Monday, February 6, 2012

Boston Museum of Fine Art

1. reflection-kab Glass Sculpture at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts 2-3-12

2. Gus and glass-kabGus and I spent a few hours at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on Friday. It was out first time ever to visit and the place is massive! I really liked this towering glass sculpture in the Sharpiro Family Courtyard. Since we came in the Fenway entrance it was one of the first things we saw! We spent about 4 hours there and then came home. There was so much to see, we will definitely have to go back again!

3. glass sculpture-kab 

4. looking up-kab 

5. top-kab 

6. narcisus-kab Narcissus on the Campagne by Elizabeth Lyman Boott c1872

Of all the magnificent and famous paintings in the museum, this tender little flower in the corner of a room we were passing through caught my eye. I fell in love with it and was surprised to learn it was painted by a female American Artist from the 1800’s. Her name was Elizabeth Lyman Boott and the information next to the painting said that she died at age 40 from an illness and her effigy was displayed behind me. I looked at the painting for awhile, then turned to see the effigy.

7. artist-kabElizabeth Lyman Boott Effigy carved by her husband, Frank Duveneck

She looked so sweet, peaceful and beautiful and I couldn’t get her out of my mind. When I went searching for information on this artist I was surprised to read this tragic love story:

Lizzie dies young

Early in 1888, the little family returned to Paris where Duveneck reconnected with his Munich friends. Lizzie, saddled with a child, husband and elderly father, had a new view of Parisian life. But despite it all, she took up watercolors again, and she and Duveneck submitted work to the jury for the 1888 Paris Salon.

On the day the jury voted, Lizzie went to bed with a chill. Four days later she died of pneumonia.

Duveneck returned to the States in 1889, placed his son in the care of the Boott family in Boston at the insistence of his father-in-law, and settled in Cincinnati where he worked on a funerary monument for his beloved wife's grave.

A simple effigy covered with a palm leaf was cast in bronze and later copied in plaster - one awarded an honorable mention at the Salon of 1895 - and sent to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (among others) where his son could see it.

James traveled to Florence to see the bronze memorial and wrote to Lizzie's father, "One sees, in its place and its ambiente, what a meaning and eloquence the whole thing has - and one is touched to tears by this particular example which comes home to one so-of the jolly great truth that it is art alone that triumphs over fate."


You can read the entire story by clicking on this link: Elizabeth Lyman Boott 

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  1. What a beautiful story and memorial. We should all be so lucky.

    That glass piece is Awesome.

    Haven't been to an art museum in decades.

  2. Gaelyn, we had a good time but got tired quickly. I loved that painting and was amazed when I read the story. finding a female artist form that time period is so rare in the first place. What a story to boot!

  3. Im speechless. that spiky thingy looks like a work of art

    Our World Tuesday | New York City

  4. Amazing that the sculpture is glass! Wowowow! Thank you for sharing the story about Elizabeth. The effigy is beautiful as is the Boott painting. I always enjoy visiting art museums. I never know what I'm going to find! Thanks for taking us with you!

  5. Mama Ko, it is!

    Snap, I am glad you enjoyed her story and glad you took the time to read it!

  6. As an artist myself, I enjoy reading Philip Koch's sensitive writing about Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, who along with Whistler and Rothko, are my favorite American painters.
    I don't live in the United States but have traveled and passed a short time there. But even with the little time spent in your beautiful country, especially in small-town America, I can relate to some of the poetical feel that Hopper and Wyeth had captured in their art, which is for me part of the attraction of their paintings.
    Browsing at the other day, as I do now and then, I find a good selection of Edward Hopper's work, ,in the big archive of Western Art, that customers can order online for canvas prints and even hand-painted, oil-painting reproductions can be made and sent to them.
    Hopper's surrealistic and depersonalized world is there again. Timeless, yes, as it is still there now in the roadside cafes and diners that I ate at all over America.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.