Ode to Munsey Park


A Poem by Deborah Miller

Frank Munsey gave the land,
The Metropolitan Museum designed the village,
The restrictive covenants are still in place.
Eighty-five years have passed and Munsey Park still looks grand.
No McMansions here, but a permanent tribute to
American artists for whom our streets are named.
Abbey, the Boston Public Library muralist
Allston, pioneer of the American Romantic Movement of landscape painting
Barnard, Victorian known for his work illustrating Dickens’ novels
Bartlett, not sure if Josiah or John Russell, but we’ll honor both
Bellows, the urban New York City chronicler, most famous painter of his time
Bingham, luminist painter of American frontier lands
Blackburn, English portraitist known to excel in painting textiles
Blakelock, who had no self-esteem and ended up in a psych hospital
Borglum (Gutzon de la Mothe), he of Mount Rushmore
Burnham, the genre landscape artist, not the Batman comics one
Copley, our premier Colonial portraitist
Durand, a Hudson River School adherent with a passion for painting leaves
Earle, an itinerant self-taught painter
Eakins, the Philadelphia realist, art teacher and early photographer
Hawthorne, founder of the Cape Cod School of Art
Homer, lyrical land and seascape painter and illustrator
Hunt, William Morris – a Vermonter and Barbizon School promoter
Inness – father of American landscape painting and the cows are always there
Kensett, engraver and luminist painter of Lake George
LaFarge, stained-glass window maker and muralist
Martin, English romantic engraver and painter
Morse, painter turned inventor, dot, dot, dash
Park – no artist was worthy of our longest tree-lined street
Peale, but which of many : Charles, Rembrandt, Rubens or Michel Angelo?
Remington, chronicler par excellence of the American West
Revere, patriot silversmith, midnight rider and Freemason,
Ryder, moody and allegorical and eccentric
Sargent, the expatriate leading portrait painter of his generation
Strickland, a noted architect and founder of the Greek revival movement
Stuart – portraitist of George Washington used on our $1 bill
Sully, a student of Stuart famous for painting Lafayette and Queen Victoria
Thayer – the “angel” specialist used his children as models
Trumbull, Revolutionary era “Declaration of Independence” is on the back of the $2 bill
Vanderlyn, a neoclassisist and panoramist, protege of Aaron Burr
Waldo – a Connecticut portraitist
Whistler – aesthete, his mother became “Arrangement in Gray and Black #1”
Manhasset Woods, Nassau, Ridge Crescent and Ridge Circle could still be renamed
Cassatt, Chase, O’Keeffe, Hopper, Sloan, Hassam, Grant Wood, Cole or Church

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