Category Archives: Wharton in the News

Edith Wharton in the News: Week of December 2, 2016

From Antiques and the Arts, http://www.antiquesandthearts.com/william-merritt-chase/

William Merritt Chase

PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 29, 2016

In 1891, Chase established a studio in Shinnecock, Long Island, N.Y., and founded a summer art school there. This scene of his family poring over a portfolio of Japanese prints shows how work and play intertwined for the artist. “Hall at Shinnecock,” 1892. Pastel on canvas. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection.

By Jessica Skwire Routhier

BOSTON, MASS. — William Merritt Chase is remembered today not only as one of the great artists of his generation, but also as a gifted and engaging teacher, inspiring a generation of artists who would go on to establish America as an epicenter of Modernism in the Twentieth Century. As such, he is an essential bridge between that Modern era and the time when American art was still in its infancy. His career also encompasses a time of great change in American culture, best seen in his elegantly rendered, intellectually challenging and attention-getting portraits of women. Such portraits are a highlight of “William Merritt Chase,” organized by the Phillips Collection, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Terra Foundation for American Art, and on view at the MFA through January 16.

In Edith Wharton’s 1905 novel The House of Mirth, published while Chase was in the autumn of his career, a pivotal scene has the heroine, Lily Bart, participating in a tableau vivant. The term refers to a popular pastime of the turn of the century, in which participants posed in elaborate costumes and settings as living recreations of famous works of art. Lily, whose social standing is in jeopardy but whose beauty remains unrivaled, recreates a portrait by Joshua Reynolds, and Wharton’s elegant prose draws the reader into unguarded admiration. The scene is swathed in poetry and romance until its denouement, when Wharton’s omniscient narrator reveals the ugly way in which certain men in the audience have chosen to view her performance.

William Merritt Chase was also fond of tableaux vivants. In “Old Masters Meet New Women,” her insightful essay for the exhibition catalog, MFA curator Erica E. Hirshler writes that Chase used his studios in New York City and Long Island, N.Y., to stage recreations of paintings by the Old Masters he revered. As a rule, he did not literally depict such entertainments in his paintings and pastels, but a sense of theatricality is nevertheless strong throughout his body of work. His famed 10th Street Studio in New York City was a particularly theatrical place, a frequent setting for his painted portraits and interiors. Diane Paulus of the American Repertory Theater, who provides commentary for the MFA’s mobile guide, notes that Chase’s interiors are arranged like stage sets in order to highlight particular passages or moments of action.

[read the rest at the link above]

 

From the New York Times Book Review:

Consider, for example, the Dows clan of OUR TIME AT FOXHOLLOW FARM: A Hudson Valley Family Remembered (Excelsior/State University of New York, $50) and the 800-acre Rhinebeck estate they intended to be “a sort of Mount Vernon on the Hudson.” The patriarch, Tracy Dows, was an avid amateur photographer, and David Byars’s book is based on the 26 private albums, dating from 1903 to the 1930s, that Dows’s daughter donated to Hudson River Heritage. There are plenty of views of the pillared mansion and its outbuildings (including the guesthouse where Thomas Wolfe wrote “Look Homeward, Angel”) as well as the elaborate spreads of pals like the Astors, who had a vaulted, Corinthian-columned indoor swimming pool, and the Dinsmores, whose guests could play golf on their nine-hole course. The text is filled with the era’s boldface names — Edith Wharton, Charles Dana Gibson, the Olmsted brothers, Alice Roosevelt Longworth — and the family’s travels took them to the era’s favorite high-end locales: the “cottages” of Newport; the exclusive resorts of Hot Springs, Va., and Jekyll Island, Ga.; the Beatrix-Farrand-designed gardens of Seal Harbor, Me. But in between the lines of the captions are stories waiting to be told.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/books/review/country-living-our-time-at-foxhollow-farm-david-byars.html

Wyndcliffe, home of EW’s aunt Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones (of “keeping up with the Joneses”), for sale

wyndcliffe

From Atlas Obscura:

Wyndclyffe, a mansion in Rhinebeck, New York, which is about 100 miles north of New York City, has been in bad shape for decades, ever since it was abandoned in the 1950s after a series of owners couldn’t afford to maintain it.

Owing to its size, it’s not hard to see why: 24 rooms on 80 acres, a pre-Civil War manor house that preceded the Gilded Age, when many such mansions were routinely built, that later fell into disrepair.

But Wyndclyffe (also spelled Wyndcliffe) has a more colorful history than most. The American novelist Edith Wharton spent time there as a child, for one thing, and it’s also is believed to have inspired the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses,” after its original owner, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, a New York socialite.

More at http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/nab-the-abandoned-mansion-that-inspired-the-phrase-keeping-up-with-the-joneses

Image and more text at http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/wyndcliffe-mansion

Image below and another article available at the Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/faded-mansion-evokes-opulence-of-a-bygone-age-1473895594

wyndcliffe1

 

 

Ghost Hunters at The Mount, 11/18

Reaching out from the Syfy PR team, in hopes that you might be interested in sharing this info about an upcoming investigation by the “Ghost Hunters” with your readers…

The Season 10 finale of Ghost Hunters will see the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) going to Lenox, MA to investigate The Mount.

Episode title: “1st Edition Apparition” airing Nov 18 at 9/8c

Location: The Mount in Lenox, MA

TAPS revisits Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts.  It’s believed Edith and her husband could be behind increased activity since the team’s last investigation there in 2008.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks for the consideration,

Maxine

 

Alice Kelly in the Times Literary Supplement: “An Unknown First World War Story by Edith Wharton”

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1628382.ece

Writing from Paris to her American editor Charles Scribner in New York in late June 1915, Edith Wharton confessed:

“Some months ago I told you that you could count on the completion of my novel by the spring of 1916; but I thought then that the war would be over by August. Now we are looking forward to a winter campaign and the whole situation is so overwhelming and unescapable that I feel less and less able to turn my mind from it. May I suggest, during the next six months, giving you instead four or five short stories, not precisely war stories, but on subjects suggested by the war? So many extraordinary and dramatic situations are springing out of the huge conflict that the temptation to use a few of them is irresistible. I have three in mind already and shall get to work on them as soon as I can finish my articles.”

The celebrated American author had been based in Paris since 1907, and in the first eleven months of the war had established several war charities, which would later gain her numerous military honours. The unfinished novel would eventually become Hudson River Bracketed (1929), and the articles, Wharton’s war reportage from the front line, were appearing in Scribner’s Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post and would be published in November 1915 as Fighting France. After being what she termed “pen-tied” during the first few months of the war, Wharton had clearly begun to see its literary potential. The previous month she had submitted her war story “Coming Home” to Scribner’s for publication at Christmas 1915, and would go on to produce a fund-raising anthology, The Book of the Homeless (1916), the novels The Marne (1918) and A Son at the Front (1923), and a number of poems, newspaper articles and talks. However, it was only as the war was drawing to a close that she would write some of her proposed “not precisely war stories”, namely “The Refugees” (published in January 1919 in the Saturday Evening Post) and “Writing a War Story” (published in the Woman’s Home Companion in September 1919).

Wharton in the News: New Play — Tea with Edie and Fitz

Hello!
My name is Adam Pasen and I am the playwright of Tea with Edie and Fitz, a new work about the notorious meeting between Edith Wharton and F. Scott Fitzgerald at her estate for tea. I am e-mailing because the play (in addition to winning the BroadwayWorld Award for best new work and having monologues from it included in Best Women’s Stage Monologues and Scenes 2014 from Smith & Kraus) was recently published in its entirety by Chicago Dramaworks. I was wondering if you will be willing mention this on the Edith Wharton Society page in the New Books and Edith Wharton in the News section and/or on the Twitter Feed. It would be an honor to be able to reach so many Wharton aficionados at once!
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PLAY:
I have included a link to the publication page below as well as a production still of Edith with Scott Fitzgerald from the show. Please let me know if you would be willing to share the play with the Society, it would mean so much to me!
Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely,
Adam Pasen

Edith Wharton in the News: Beinecke Library acquires previously unrecorded Wharton writings from WWI

Via Dan Hefko:

The Beinecke Library has acquired several issues of World War I-era Red Cross newsletters Hyeres Weekly News and Hyeres and There containing previously unrecorded writings by Edith Wharton.

The newsletters are available online here: Hyeres Weekly News: http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3999462; Hyeres and There: http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3999463.

The newsletters accompany a scrapbook compiled by Harriet B. Sanders, who served with the American Red Cross Southern Zone staff in Hyères, France, from September 1918 to May 1919 (YCAL MSS 995).

Read the rest here.