In 2019, as per my Vessel post, I was in NYC. Yep very glam, but covid was around and no one really knew so – yes and no.
However, NYC is like marmite, you either like it or hate it … or you have a love hate relationship. Having worked there for a while…
Anyway, I remember it being very cold and going from coffee shop to coffee shop every few blocks became my brief for everyday venturing out on my journeys. I did some research before I went and on the advice of http://AStrongSenseofPlace which is a great resource for those who like armchair travelling at the moment, I found The Morgan Library & Museum which is located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street. https://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/current.
Not only is it a beautiful building, the atmosphere is palpable; a cross between Sherlock Holmes meets Cluedo… dark and warm. Leather bound books and carpentry; creativity in abundance.
Naturally all the books are in the cases and safe but it was worth the look around. The main reason I was there was to see the John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal. A mesmerising collection of work and not without poignancy. The majority of the work, you could say, was geared toward the Elite of the day, but out of that emerged some very strong women. Nancy Astor, Ethel Smythe, Mary Anderson., Ethel Barrymore.
Of the time, he portrayed the male face just as beautifully but the sadness was that the majority of them went off to war, never to return….