1/Henry Trippe House; Secretary, Maryland; c. 1730
Major Henry Trippe, a gentleman landowner and planter of English origin, built this one-and-a-half story brick home he called ”Carthagena” between 1724 and 1731 on land he head inherited from his father. The house faced the head of Secretary Creek on the eastern shore of Maryland. This orientation indicates the importance of water access before the development of good roads.
Greatly altered, the house still stands on its original site. A model and its living room can be viewed at the Brooklyn Museum, one of the twenty-three American period rooms installed as part of the Museum’s decorative arts collection.
2/Raphael Soyer (American, born Russia, 1899-1987); Café Scene, ca. 1940; oil on canvas
Raphael Soyer had a lifelong interest in the daily lives of working-class New Yorkers. His paintings of lone women in the early 1940s suggest the absence of husbands or sweethearts who had been called up to serve in WWII.
3/Luigi Lucioni (American, born Italy, 1900-1988); Paul Cadmus, 1928; oil on canvas
Luigi Lucioni and Paul Cadmus probably met as students, and they doubtless shared acquaintances within New York’s circles of gay artists and writers.
4/Reginald Marsh (American, 1898-1954); The Bowl, 1933; egg tempera on pressed wood panel
In this vivid Depression-era painting of one of the wild “bowl” rides at Coney Island, friends and strangers alike are thrown into contact by the overpowering centrifugal force. Reginald Marsh described the chaotic tangle of female bodies with the sensual physicality for which his work was best known.
5/Abbott H. Thayer (American, 1849-1921); The Sisters, 1884; oil on canvas
The women in this portrait were Bessie (left) and Clara Stillman, the sisters of the powerful financier James Stillman.
Abbott Handerson Thayer’s biographer, Nelson C. White, recorded an anecdote about his own experience of viewing this painting at an exhibition in 1922: “I was looking at the picture when two elderly women came and stood before it. As I glanced from the canvas to their faces I suddenly realized that they were the subjects of the portrait. Thayer had rendered their character in their youth with such insight and feeling that the likenesses survived the modulations of age and easily identified them.”
July 22nd, 2017