Saturday, February 3, 2007

Theodore Roosevelt: OMOM Essay 42

I was surprised to learn that President Theodore Roosevelt (d. 1919), soldier, politician and hunter, was also very interested in art. He wrote a perceptive review of the Armory Show of 1913, at which America was introduced to “modern” European art such as Cubism. “About the Sculpture” focuses on his cooperation with Augustus Saint Gaudens (Essays 19 and 31 of Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan), then America’s most prominent sculptor, on the design of the $20 gold piece. TR suspected the design of the new Double Eagle (see photos below) would get him impeached: "About the Subject" in tells why.

In “About the Sculpture” I pull back again to look at the big picture: the setting in which Roosevelt was meant to be seen, which included part of the east facade of the American Museum of Natural History and an enormous plaza (never constructed) that would have spread into Central Park.

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