Posts Tagged revolutionary war

Craft fair season

Saturday is the first craft fair at which I’m exhibiting this season. In preparation, I’ve been matting and framing some new pictures over the last few days. I am so grateful for my mat cutter.

Now I have to decide what to title these pictures, which is often difficult. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as deciding which pictures to print! These pictures are all from Boston or New York City. Of course, I can’t miss the opportunity to tell you a little about them.

Col. William Prescott statue in front of Bunker Hill Monument

Col. William Prescott was field commander at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He built fortifications on Breed’s Hill (lower and closer to Boston Harbor than Bunker Hill and is alleged to have said one of the American Revolution’s most famous quotes: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” His statue stands in front of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Mass.

I think this title will be “Don’t Fire Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes” but that may be too long.

This one is simple to title: “Paul Revere’s Ride”. Ride was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Old North Church steeple is visible in background. Statue is in Paul Revere Mall. No, that isn’t a place to shop!

Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges

These are the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in New York Harbor. They are two of New York City’s numerous suspension bridges. I haven’t decided on a title, but perhaps I’ll use “In Suspense”.

Brooklyn Bridge detail

This one is simple: “Brooklyn Bridge”. The Roebling family’s masterpiece is still an American icon. Note the date in the cornerstone: 1875. This is not the date the bridge opened, but only the date the Brooklyn Tower was completed. New York Tower was finished two months later. Bridge didn’t open until May 24, 1883.

Lady Liberty

A person can’t cruise around New York Harbor without taking pictures of Lady Liberty. Even though Hubby calls her “Our Lady of Perpetual Torch”, I’m titling this picture “Lady Liberty.” Her full name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”, a very imposing name. But she’s one very imposing lady. She couldn’t buy shoes in a store because she wears size 879.

New York skyline

Titling this photo of Manhattan’s skyline was easy. Hubby said, “It looks like a rhapsody in blue.” We are both fans of George Gershwin’s music, so this picture is “Rhapsody in Blue”. United Airlines used the composition as its theme song. It’s also part of the score for Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

Bank of America Tower and Conde´ Nast Building at dusk

New York City is a great financial and publishing center. Both are represented in this photo. Bank of America Tower is at center, while the Conde´ Nast Building is at right. Conde´ Nast was built green, one of the pioneers in environmentally-conscious construction. In 2003, a 358-foot tower was added to carry the broadcast load that the antennae on the Twin Towers had done before 9/11. Conde´ Nast publishes numerous lifestyle magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Vogue. Bank of America Tower was built 10 years after Conde´Nast Building and just recently was named LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum status, which is a kind of super-green construction.

Thank God for Without it, I’d have no idea which skyscraper was which. I also have no idea what to title this.

people on Top of the Rock observation deck

I took the skyscraper photos from Rockefeller Center’s observation deck, called “Top of the Rock“. I rarely consciously think, “I want to take unique shots.” But in a place where thousands have stood before me, I wanted to take shots that others might not take. I’d rather not see all my shots under someone else’s name.

The above is one such conscious decision. Top of the Rock has three observation decks. These folks were on the bottom while I was on the top, about 850 feet high, with only antennae behind me. (No, I am not afraid of heights.) Shooting people in front of objects is a good way to show the relative size of something. We look so insignificant compared to the magnificent skyscrapers all around. Thank God that He sees us as more significant than anything on earth.

Maybe this one’s title is “On Top of New York”.

Empire State Building

This is another conscious decision to take something a casual tourist might not take. Unfortunately, I have seen a near-duplicate of this image elsewhere, although I can’t find it now.

Rockefeller Center was built during the Art Deco period and these arches show that art movement’s influence. I love Art Deco. I wish our tight schedule had allowed me to wander around the building, but it didn’t.

I have no idea what to title this one, either.

Now that these are all matted and framed, I just have to sell them. Wish me luck and send up prayers. The latter are by far the most effective.

GHTime Code(s): nc 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A spot of tea, anyone?

Old South Church interior

This is the interior of Old South Meeting House, built in 1729. It’s most famous for its connection to the Boston Tea Party. Visitors are even handed a tea bag when they visit.

Those opposed to the British tax on tea held a meeting in Old South to discuss what their response should be. Samuel Adams, a prime mover and shaker in the revolutionary movement, stood up and announced, “Gentlemen, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country.” This was supposedly a signal to the Massachusetts Sons of Liberty to destroy the tea.

The Boston Tea Party was on and 342 tea crates bobbed in Boston Harbor. The partiers ensured that all the tea was thoroughly soaked and ruined.

When the British occupied Boston, they wreaked revenge on Old South, turning it into a horse riding arena. They gutted the building and used its furnishings for fuel. When the Redcoats left, the congregation spent eight years raising funds and restoring the interior.

Old South pulpit

The original congregants liked long sermons. In an age without mechanical amplification, the speaker needed all the help he could get. The height of the podium ensured that sound would fall upon the ears of the listeners and the sounding board above him reflected sound downward. Much to my amusement, I thought it looked like some giant threat. “Say something we don’t like and we’ll crush you with this stamp above you!”

This is ironic considering the meeting house’s history subsequent to its preservation as a museum in the 1870s. Old South became a place where anything could be discussed. In 1929, the meeting house’s board voted that any subject, no matter its unpopularity, could be discussed.

I wonder what the original congregants would have thought of that?

To visit Old South from the Boston Common Visitor Center (start of the Freedom Trail, the red line marked on the sidewalk), walk along Tremont Street (with Visitor Center and Boston Common behind you) to the corner of Tremont and School Streets. Turn right, walk down School Street to Washington Street and turn right again, walk down Washington Street. The Old South Meeting House is on the corner of Washington and Milk Streets. The closest subway stops are State Street (Blue/Orange Lines), Government Center (Green Line) and Downtown Crossing (Red Line). It’s open daily all year, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 1-Oct. 31; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 1-March 31.
Here’s the Freedom Trail slide show:

Click on the link in the gallery to order.

GHTime Code(s): 46e1d af409 nc 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Memorial Hall dome, arch and John Eliot painting

Memorial Hall was built in the Massachusetts State House to honor those who fought in the Civil War. Henry Walker’s mural above is on the south wall and depicts Puritan minister John Eliot preaching to the Indians. Eliot published the first Bible printed in America after developing an alphabet for the Algonquin Indians. Would this piece of American history be memorialized today in a public space?

Tour guide and tour group in Memorial Hall

The mural above our tour guide, The Return of the Colors was painted by Edward Simmons. It depicts Massachusetts regiments returning their flags to the State House after the Civil War Dec. 22, 1865, in honor of Forefathers’ Day.

(Forefathers’ Day commemorates the Mayflower’s landing at Plymouth Rock. Forefathers’ Day is actually celebrated on two different days because of confusion between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The correct calendar correction puts the day on Dec. 21, not Dec. 22.)

The flags have been formally returned after every conflict thereafter, although the last time was after the Vietnam War.

The hall has two more murals, Walker’s portrayal of the Pilgrims sighting land from the Mayflower and Simmons’ representation of the Battle of Concord.

Domed skylight with Great Seals

The hall is topped by this skylight featuring the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the center with the Great Seals of the other Thirteen Colonies surrounding it.

The floors and pillars are beautiful Siena marble.

reception in Nurses Hall

The next stop on the tour would normally have been Nurses Hall, but someone was holding a reception there. Therefore, I missed the sculpture honoring Civil War nurses and Robert Reid’s murals of the events that launched the American Revolution.

ugly chairs and the Grand Staircase

This room is at the base of the Grand Staircase. After its handrails were cast, the mold was broken to ensure they remained unique. Everything else in the room is beautiful also, except for these chairs with the nasty stenciling on the backs. The contrast between the beautiful architectural details and these disfigured chairs is quite stark.

This is the Grand Staircase. Lectern at the base displays current Massachusetts Great Seal.

Original Great Seal of Massachusetts

This is the original Great Seal, obviously drawn up by some herald in London with no knowledge of climate in New England. Toplessness doesn’t work in New England winters.

center panel of State Seal Window

Much later, the state redesigned the seal to depict a much more realistic Native American, complete with appropriate clothing.

left panel of Great Seal Window

right panel, Great Seal Window

These are the family coats of arms of the Governors of the Province of Massachusetts. Thomas Gage, the last British Governor of Massachusetts, does not have his coat of arms on the window. Just over a year after Gage was installed as governor, the angry General Court, Massachusetts’ Legislature, no longer recognized his authority and decided to devise a new seal.

The center seal was their choice. The soldier carries an upraised sword to signify a nation at war. He clutches the Magna Carta to symbolize his violated rights as an English subject, which later became his rights as an American citizen.

coffered ceiling

coffered ceiling

This gorgeous coffered ceiling is above the next floor.

coffered ceiling and murals

The walls in this room are covered with beautiful murals by Edward Brodney. One is titled Columbia Knighting her World War Disabled and another titled World War Mothers. These are unusual in two respects: 1) Brodney could not afford to pay models, so he used his family and friends as the subjects; 2) women were not usually depicted in military scenes.

Massachusetts has no Governor’s Mansion and the State House lacked any space for large public gatherings. So the state converted a breezeway into a Great Hall by covering it with a glass skylight. However, the acoustics were awful. All those hard surfaces echoed dreadfully. In order to muffle the echoes, they invited each incorporated Massachusetts community to submit their flag. One problem: Many of the towns had no flag. Some had never designed one and some had never had one made. They were supposed to hang in order of incorporation, but some of the earliest towns were flagless ones. When all the communities submit a flag, they will at last be hung in order.

Directions to State House and tour instructions are here. State House Tours are offered Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. They are free of charge but reservations are requested. Call 617-727-3676. State house is closed on weekends and holidays.

Here’s the State House slide show:

Click on the link in the gallery or go here to order.

Next up, the Massachusetts House and Senate Chambers.

GHTime Code(s): nc 7c7f7 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,