Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Diana of the tower
The Saint-Gaudens is a good excuse to see the revised American Wing, where the heroic age of American sculpure looks damn fine on a sunny afternoon. In the gift shop, they're selling a small golden Diana for $800, but I want the unpainted version, pure bronze, and about five feet high, for the Back 40. The original 18-footer topped the old Madison Square Garden, but it was soon replaced by a slightly smaller version that proved more stable in the wind. She would have been a witness to millionaire psychopath Henry K. Thaw's assassination of architect Stanford White in 1906 in the rooftop garden. Supposedly while "I could love a million girls" was being sung. Thaw, the OJ of his day, was judged insane; he lived until 1947. White's wife Bessie lived to 1950. Evelyn Nesbit -- Mrs Thaw, White's former lover -- beat them all and made it to 1967, but, sadly, not too floradorariffically.