Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aging Gracefully

I have looked across the Hudson River many times, and seen the iconic Lackawanna sign on the Hoboken Terminal. As many of you know, I love architecture from the Gilded Age, but I was always saddened to see how dirty it looked.

However, a trip to the station let me know otherwise. The station is immaculate, and it's not dirt, but patina (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patina) that gives the station it's aged appearance. Much like the Statue of Liberty, these landmarks have aged to an intense green that L. Frank Baum may have envisioned when writing about the Emerald City in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.'

Also, the station's interior has been masterfully restored. While smaller in scale, the beautiful Tiffany stained-glass ceiling rivals the beauty of Grand Central's starry fresco. Details about the restoration can be found here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoboken_Terminal

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mad Men & Madame X

For those of you who watched last week's episode of Mad Men, The Waldorf Stories, you saw a flashback of a tryst between Cooper and Joan.

I couldn't help but notice she looked a lot like one of my favorite John Singer-Sargent paintings, Madame X.

The painting was quite scandalous in its day—her strap was originally falling off of her shoulder (it was later repainted).

Though the title was supposed to give the subject anonymity, it was very obvious to viewers that this was a painting of Virginie Amélie Gautreau. To add more to the scandal, the painting was hung right near a painting of Dr. Samuel Pozzi, a gentleman with whom Madame Gautreau was an extramarital affair. I think the allusion made in Mad Men was an excellent one.