As part of the experience of making a documentary film on Daniel Chester French, came a request to produce an orientation film for Chesterwood, his home-studio in The Berkshires, just a half a mile from the railroad track, or should I say not far from Stockbridge. For some reason I can’t stop thinking of Alice (not Parker, but the restaurant made famous by Arlo Guthrie).
The point is that I’m submerged like a yellow submarine into the life and works of this pillar of the golden age of American sculpture: Daniel Chester French, the monument man, and the man behind the marble and the bronze the sculptor of the seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, the Alma Matter at the University of Columbia, the Minutemen in Concord, and George Washington in Paris to name just a few. The latest on French was learning of his taste for Italian opera, and for Caruso in Particular. It makes sense, after all he spent two years in Florence as a pupil of Thomas Ball, learning from the great masters of the Renaissance and digging the latest 78rmp releases of the most admired operatic tenor of the 20th century. Then I went back to the itineraries of French in Florence, collected a few of my favorite sights and added a single secret tear. It’s all there, on the video I shared on YouTube just because. Now it’s your turn to sit back and imagine.