Monday, November 11, 2019

COST OF REVOLUTION. The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier at theMuseum of the American Revolution: Review By Polly Guerin

COST OF REFOUUTION EXHIBIT 
The American Revolution and its fight to be free of British rule is an inspiring battle cry that also
spirited on the cause for rebellion in other countries, particularly  Ireland. 
COST OF REVOLUTION: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN IRISH SOLIDER at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia tells the untold story of RICHARD ST. GEORGE, an Irish soldier and artist, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution and the ensuing Irish Revolution of 1798. "You may not have heard the name Richard St. George before, but you'll be astonished by what his life can tell us about America and Ireland during the Age of Revolution," said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. "This exhibit extends the Museum's internationally acclaimed, story-driven approach into the global stage to examine the broader influence of the American Revolution through St. George's remarkable personal journey."   On view through March 17, 2020.   
T
Richard St. George by Thomas Gainsborough
        St. George, mind you, did not fight on the American side, yet his story is a compelling reference to the time and place when history took on the monumental cry for liberty. As a young officer in the
British Army, Richard St. George crossed the Atlantic in 1776 to try and stop the growing American Revolution. He returned home to Ireland after surviving a severe head wound at the Battle of Germantown, near Philadelphia in 1777. Back in Ireland he found his native country roiled by the effects of the revolutionary spirit sweeping across America and Europe. Inspired by the rally call for freedom St. George became an outspoken critic of the growing movement to establish an Irish republic, independent of the British Empire in the late 1790s. Sadly, a few months before the outbreak of the Irish Revolution of 1798, St. George was ambushed and killed by a group of Irish tenants in County Cork who were influenced by the United Irishmen and the Defenders. He was eulogized at his funeral in 1798 at St. Mary's Church in Athlone, Ireland for having devoted his life to defending the British Crown. 
         American Revolution history buffs will appreciate the KEY ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY: The 1775 bound maps of the estate of Richard St. George in County Galway, on loan from the Galway County Council Archives, Galway, Ireland. A rare silk flag carried by the Delaware militia tha the British light infantry captured during the Philadelphia campaign of 1777, on loan from the Delaware Historical Society, Richard St. George's personal sketches from the American Revolutionary War, on loan from a private collection. One sketch depicts St. George being carried off the battlefield following his wounding at the Battle of Germantown in 1777.  Image: A portrait of Richard St. George by English artist Thomas Gainsborough (1776) that depicts him just before he shipped out for New York to fight against the growing American Revolution, on loan to the Museum from Australia's National Portrait Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne).        

Exhibition Display COST OF REVOLUTION
Five portraits of Richard St. George, created over a span of 25 years, are known to survive and are reunited in the exhibit for the first time since they left the possession of St. George's descendants more than a century ago. Every piece of surviving artwork by St. George himself, including cartoons, sketches from his military service in America, and a self-portrait are also assembled for the first time in this exhibit. Together, the portraits, cartoons and sketches reveal the physical and emotional toll of revolution. Among the other portraits are paintings of the Battles of Paoli and Germantown by Italian artist Xavier della Gatta that St. George helped to create in 1782 to reflect on St. George
's participation in those battles. The paints are in the Museum's permanent collection. SPECIAL PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS: The Museum's monthly History After Hours Series includes COMIC RELIEF on November 19; CAMPED OUT on December 10, and A WINTER'S BALL on January 21, 2020.   For more information visit www.amrevmuseum.org/exhibits/special-exhibitions. Or call 215.253.6731.

MUSEUM of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 101 S. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
       Ta Ta Darlings!!! Even if you are not an aficionado of historical research COST OF REVOLUTION reminds us to remember that the American Revolution is the birth of our
nation with Freedom and Liberty at the core of our fundamental beliefs. Fan mail always
welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, November 4, 2019

ARTIST IN EXILE: THE BARONESS HYDE DE NEUVILLE Review By Polly Guerin

Greenwich and Dey Streets New York City 1810
Rare depictions of early America by the pioneering woman artist and French refugee, the little known Baroness Hyde de Neuville, illuminates by meticulous and charming detail what it was like in America in the 1800s. A keen and particularly sensitive observer, the Baroness traveled extensively and recorded individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and landmarks that you may recognize. Other historically correct and mesmerizing images may no longer exist but they serve as historical references to the fledgling nation. Image: Greenwich & Dey Streets, New York City. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Collection of Art, Prints and Photographs. Stokes Collection 1810.
     The New York Historical Society's exhibition, ARTIST IN EXILE: THE VISUAL DIARY OF BARONESS HYDE DE NEUVILLE is on view through January 26, 2020 in the Joyce B. Cowin Women's History Gallery of the Center for Women's History with 115 watercolors, drawings, and oher works by Anne Marguerite Josephine Henriette Rouille de Marigny, Baroness Hyde de Neuville (1771-1849). Self-taught and ahead of her time, Neuville's art celebrates the young country's history, culture, and diverse population, ranging from indigenous Americans to political leaders.  The Baroness' oeuvre is an enchanting observation of early America, views so well recorded with such fine and innocent detail that her images vicariously take you, like a time traveler, back into an early American place, its people or an event. Image: Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. in 1821. Colonial Willamsburg Foundation Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
      
Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. 1821
"Neuville could never have envisioned that her visual diary---created as a personal record of her travels and observations of early America---would become an invaluable historical of the early republic. Yet, her drawings vividly evoke the national optimism and rapid expansion of the young United States and capture the diversity of its individuals," Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society. Image: Among the notable events the Neuville's attended was an "Indian War Dance" performed by a delegation of the Plains Indian tribes in front of President Monroe,  and 6,000 spectators at the White House, Washington, D.C. on November 29, 1821. Neuville's watercolor documenting the event includes likenesses of half-chief Shaumonekusse (Praire Wolf) and one of his five wives,  Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight) Later the "War Dance," was performed at the Neuville's house.. Black and brown ink. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. 
THE BARONESS HYDE de NEUVILLE, the artist who stated in 1818 that she had but one wish "and that was to see an American lady elected president." A woman ahead of her time she was born to an aristocratic family in Sancerre, France. She married ardent royalist Jean Guillaume Hyde de Neuville, who became involved during the French Revolution in conspiracies to reinstate the Bourbon monarchy and was accused of participating in a plot to assassinate Napoleon, In an effort to disprove the charges against her husband, the baroness took her cause directly to Napoleon who was impressed with her courage and allowed the couple to go into exile.      

They arrived in New York in 1807 and stayed for seven years. During their second American residency (1816-22) when her husband served as French Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, D.C., Henriette became a celebrated hostess. John Quincy Adams described her as "a woman of excellent temper, amiable disposition, profuse charity, yet judicious economy and sound discretion. Image: Self-portrait Baroness Hyde de Neuville, Black chalk, black ink. New York Historical Society purchase 1953-238. A GALLERY TOUR OF ARTIST IN EXILE, Led by curator, Roberta M. Olson, will take place on January 6. In honor of the Baronesses' heritage, several French movies will be shown as part of the New York Historical Society's Friday night film series. 1938's The Baker's Wife on November 8 and 1946's Beauty and the Beast on December 6. On select weekends throughout the exhibition's run, young visitors can explore the Baroness' life and the art she created with touch objects and living historians.  TA TA DARLINGS!!! Wonderful exhibition of
life in small-scale renderings, be sure to pick up one of the magnifiers on loan at the exhibit to see up-close the fine details of the Baroness' images. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com with links in the left-hand column to visionary men,
women determined to succeed, fashion historian and poetry.