Puccini In America

New York received the great composer like a god; he responded con brio to its shiny gadgets and beautiful women and produced an “American” opera.

On a cold December day in 1906, the tiny Italian village of Torre del Lago was filled with excitement. Virtually the entire population—120 men, women, and children—milled about its little railroad station to bid farewell to its most eminent citizen, leaving that day for New York. One neighbor, with a kind heart but an abysmal ignorance of geography, had brought along a sausage for delivery to an uncle in Argentina. Others had brought armfuls of flowers, and some had composed sentimental little poems especially for the occasion.

The Paintings Of Mr. Otis

A “primitive-moderne” spoofs American art and history.

A new talent burst on the art world a few months ago, a talent which lies somewhere between Jackson Pollock and Gluyas Williams and within shouting distance of Maxfield Parrish. His name is simply Mr. Otis, and he comes from Portland. Oregon. His work is painted laboriously, by hand, with real oil. He was sprung on an unsuspecting public by the Macmillan Company in a book called Mr. Otis.Read more »

‘The Smoke, The Thunder, The Roar Of The Battle…”

It is an interesting paradox that, of the two most famous paintings of Bunker Hill, the one that most suggests a real battle was painted by Pyle, the illustrator who lived long afterward, and not by John Trumbull, the painter who saw it (albeit from a distance) and served briefly in the Revolution (see AMERICAN HERITAGE , June, 1958).

First In Toga, First In Sandals—

 

As Artemus Ward once put it, “Old George Washington’s forte was not to hev any public man of the present day resemble him to eny alarmin extent.”