Saturday, December 30, 2006

Horace Greeley: OMOM Essay 7

Why does Greeley look so disheveled? In "About the Sculpture," I compare Ward's Greeley at City Hall to Doyle's Greeley at Herald Square, and argue that the rumpled look makes the Ward sculpture a better likeness of Greeley. (Objective esthetic evaluation is a topic that's covered in more detail in Essay 16 of Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan, on Lincoln.)

"About the Subject" includes an paragraph by Greeley (1811-1872) explaining his novel concept for what is covered in his New York Tribune. While Greeley had flaws, quirks, and self-contradictions, I have to admire him for the quote in the Sidebar, in which (at age 31) he asserts his right to disagree with an older and more experienced business partner: "I have given you and I have been ever ready to give you any service in my power, but my understanding, my judgment, my consciousness of conviction, of duty and public good - them I can surrender to no man. You wrong yourself in asking." (That's about a quarter of the Sidebar.)
On the Forgotten Delights site you can read Greeley's description of New York ca. 1831, and a list of some of the political causes he promoted and condemned.

Below: detail of the Doyle's Greeley

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