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Surviving prints of Munson filmsEdit

The article currently says no prints of films starring Audrey Munson survive, but this link claims there is a print of Purity 1916, at the Centre Nation de la Cinematographie. -- Solipsist 11:01, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

[edit] Clean-up Hmm...were the headings better before? Now that table of contents is huge. ~~Shiri — Talk~~ 06:20, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Oh, and I removed an image, Einar, I hope you don't mind. When you have four images in a gallery row, it makes the page scroll right. I'll queue it up here until there's more text to even it out.~~Shiri — Talk~~ 06:46, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Don't forget "Justice" at the Bronx County Courthouse. From NYC's official webpage: The Bronx County Courthouse is renowned for the quality and quantity of its sculpture. Charles Keck, who also sculpted figures for Columbia University and the facade of the Brooklyn Museum, designed the frieze above the base. The frieze depicts the activities of the working man with such themes as agriculture, commerce, industry, religion, and the arts. Adolph Weinman, who created the Manhattan Municipal Building facade sculpture, including the Civic Fame statue, supervised the creation of two pink marble sculptural groups at the entrances. Other sculptors included George Snowden, Joseph Kiselewski, and Edward Sandford, Jr.

I feel a bit lost about why this particular bit of information has shown up on the Audrey Munson talk page? This is also a good example of why it's good to be a registered user, or if you are one, why it's a plus to sign your writings. The Bronx Building is listed on the Charles Keck page but not on Weiman's, which was an early effort by me and not really finished. I am sort of working on an article about Edward Sanford, but it's not much beyond the thinking stage right now. Which brings us back to Audrey Munson ? Ar you suggesting that she was the madel for some of the work on the Bronx Courthouse ?? Carptrash 16:40, 6 October 2005 (UTC) 16:37, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I am suggesting (stating) that Audrey Munson modeled for "Justice" on the Bronx County Courthouse. My name is Barry Popik. The Audrey Munson silent film "Purity" will be shown at the University of California-Santa Barbara in November 2005; it hasn't been seen in 90 years. I'm trying to bring it to New York City. (Audrey Munson, in "Purity," is often claimed to be the first nude woman in film.) I rediscovered Audrey Munson with my New York Times article on April 14, 1996. The Bronx County Courthouse was discussed in the City section of the New York Times last week.

Hello Barry, I am familiar with your work regarding AM, I believe that we corresponded while I was writing this article. If you register or sign in or whatever with wikipedia then we can correspond easier on each other's talk pages. My inderstanding is that the Bronx building was built in 1934, by which time Audry was already institutionalized, and in any case had been out of the business for quite a while. However it as always a questionable tactic to argue with New Yorkers about New York. Carptrash 14:55, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Barry Popik ( here again. You're thinking of the wrong courthouse. Yes, the one at 851 Grand Concourse was built in 1933. But the other was built in 1914. See: Audrey is in the middle! I'm currently trying to bring PURITY to MOMA.

Yes, that certainly could be AM, sitting there on that courthouse. However part of the reason that i ended up witht the wrong courthouse is that you mentioned Keck and Weinman and Sanford and a couple of others, and they all worked on the 1933 building. So, who did the Munson on the 1914 building? I can find no mention of that anywhere. 14:54, 18 October 2005 (UTC) Carptrash _ i keep getting Unlogged
PS the sculptor of the Justice statue on the BCC was Jules Edouard Roiné. What makes you feel that AM was the model? Carptrash 19:09, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Bary Popik here again. I've got to check through my papers. Meanwhle, catch PURITY on November 20th at the University of California-Santa Barbara:

Photos of statueEdit

I have some photos I took of the star gril statue which she posed for. I would be glad to donate them if peopel wanted them on the page: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiwikimoore (talkcontribs) 20:15, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I have updated the lince on these photos to be compatable with wikipidea. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiwikimoore (talkcontribs) 16:00, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Thank you! I have uploaded the photos to Commons as Image:Star Maiden Statue 1.jpg and Image:Star Maiden Statue 2.jpg. Kelly hi! 16:26, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Since we have a photo of an original Star Maiden from the 1915 catalog, we really don't need the photo of the "Star Girl" from the atrium of the Citibank Center. It is not an original "Star Maiden", it is a bronze replica made in the 1980's (as the bronze tablet affixed to the statue base attests). The only known original (if in fact it is original) is the Star Maiden in the California Room of the Oakland Museum. --Paul (talk) 22:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I rediscovered Audrey Munson 25 years ago that helped create this page; my link has been removed by a spiteful Wiki editorEdit

Barry Popik ("Big Apple" etymologist and NYC historian) here. I rediscovered Audrey Munson 25 years ago. I spent years of my life sending Audrey Munson information all over New York City, to several museums and historians and politicians, without a single positive response. It led to this article that started it all in 1996:

That led to the 1999 book, which led to this Wikipedia page, which led to the 2016 biography and now possibly much more (including a movie).

Wikipidia's JesseRafe got into an argument with me on another matter, and as a result, he's removed any link to me in any part of Wikipedia. I do not write for Wikipedia because of people like him, but please, it's important to put back the link so that people know how Audrey Munson was rediscovered. I have also advocated for an Audrey Munson Google doodle and an Audrey Munson postage stamp. If those things happen, you will mention them here, but not that I helped to do them. I have never made a single dime on this in these 25 years, but erasing my work is wrong. Barry (talk) 19:41, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Ummmmm No one erased your work. No one accused you of profiting off her. It seems clear that linking to your blog is more about you than about AM. Your work has been built upon and superseded by well-edited sources. Congratulations. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Second thought: think carefully about using the word "vandalism" as you did when saving your comment. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:19, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Mental IllnessEdit

This page has no information on precisely what mental illness Audrey Munson had. Does anyone out there have information on her illness? What condition would require her to never leave the asylum, even after 65 years?Inkan1969 (talk) 16:34, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

BBC interviewEdit

Note for future use, BBC interview ‘America's first supermodel’. JDAWiseman (talk) 07:48, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

I added this under "External links". No information of note, but excellent images. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:19, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Better as a table?Edit

@Carptrash: @Wikiuser100: @Randy Kryn: @Beyond My Ken: @Renaissongsman: @Ser Amantio di Nicolao: @WFinch: @Lockley: @Wetman: @Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ):
Hi, folks. I'm pinging those of you who have put some work into this article. It seems to me that the Sculpture section would work far better as a table, bringing the images and text (and anecdotes) all together. I started a section as an example. Before I go any further, I'd like feedback on whether you like (or hate) this approach. (I have a bad habit of taking over articles.) It can all be reverted if you don't like it.
Best, == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:36, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

@BoringHistoryGuy: No opposition from this quarter - I think it would be fine. --Ser Amantio di NicolaoChe dicono a Signa?Lo dicono a Signa. 21:05, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Table is fine and looks good, but please leave maybe three or four large image examples in the text, as they are now, in addition to their use in the table. Thanks. Don't want to hide all these beautiful sculptures in tiny images. Randy Kryn (talk) 21:22, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Please keep going — the table is a great solution. I agree about featuring a few of the best images as larger examples, as well. — WFinch (talk) 00:05, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I agree also. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:24, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Looks good on a quick pass-by. I'll take a closer look-see later. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:47, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to table this suggestion.Carptrash (talk) 16:03, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

A Bitter problemEdit

It looks like Audrey Munson could not have been the model for Karl Bitter's Venus de Milo (with arms) andiron figure. The National Academy of Design's catalogue states that Bitter's original plaster was exhibited at the National Sculpture Society in 1898 (when Munson was 7). The bronze entered NAD's collection in May 1904 (when Munson was about to turn 13).[1] I'll leave it in for now, but it doesn't look good. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:24, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

Good find, thanks for proving that there are problems with the claim. Maybe best to remove it until more sources confirm either story. If the statue is from 1898 then that would seem to follow your logic of questioning the validity of the source's source. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:38, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: Okay, I'll go ahead and take it out. It's a beautiful piece, even if it's not Munson. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 15:29, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
And I'll check some sources. Carptrash (talk) 16:04, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Given that Munson publicly said that she posed for it (in her newspaper column, reported in American Venus, I'd leave it in pending further investigation. I've added a ref. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:46, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Re-thinking that. Given the confusion and what Carptrash writes below, let's leave it out until we can clear things up. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:35, 30 January 2019 (UTC)

Suspect claimsEdit

Munson was born June 8, 1891, so it seems unlikely that she posed for:

  • Alma Mater (1903), Columbia University, by Daniel Chester French - (age 10 when it was commissioned; age 12 when it was installed)
  • Day and Night (1906), Pennsylvania Station, by Adolph Alexander Weinman - (age 15 when it was installed)
  • Madame Butterfly (1903), proscenium figure, New Amsterdam Theatre, by Albert G. Wenzel - (age 12 when the theatre opened)

According to James Bone, Isidor Konti's Three Graces (1907), was the first time Munson posed nude for an artist, (at age 16), so any claims prior than that should be considered suspect. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 16:40, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

A suggestionEdit

Since we now have 3 sculptures which are suspect because of Munsen's age, I'd like to suggest that perhaps we have her birth-year wrong.Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

I just borrowed American Venus from the Internet Archive, and it confirms the date of borth. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:54, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
  • pp.116-118: Munson says that she is the model for Bitter's Venus de Milo (with arms).
  • No listing for "Alma Mater" in the book
  • No listing for "Day" or :Night" in the book in relation to Munson posing for them
I have the book for 13 more days, so I'll try to look up whatever other problems arise. In the meantime, I'm going to order a copy of the Munson biography. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:27, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
  • p.18 - She was 16 when she first posed for Weinman, so that would be 1907, for Descending Night. Ihat would seem to put her out of the running as the model for Day and Night if they were installed in 1905.
Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
The other book on Munson (The Curse of Beauty) should be coming on Friday, maybe it'll put some of this to rest. The problem with American Venus appears to be that it largely relies on Munson's newspaper columns, and I'm not very confident in their reliability. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
@Beyond My Ken: I appreciate the results of any research you can do. I don't have any sculpture reference books that would help.
It occurrs to me that the Bitter Venus for Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands did not have to be the same as the 1898 plaster or the 1904 bronze given to NAD, which were both miniatures. Later, Munson might have posed for a larger size (fit for a Queen?).
It might be better for me to sit things out for a bit, until things are more settled. I do like the ability to add more info and images, and keep them together in a table. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:24, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I have both Munson books and the version of the Venus in "American Venus (pp. 116-119) is very detailed, except that there is not date. Burt it is totally (i.e. Opinion) believable. I have not found the story in Bone's book and it does not appear in either of my Bitter books, but really all he did was model two arms, so it is not considered to be a very major commission. But it is a totally different event from the Biltmore Venus and needs to be included. which I think it now is. Carptrash (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, took me a bit to realize that "Bone" is The Curse of Beauty, so you've already investigated that source. Ah well, the book is ordered, so I'll a copy as well. So all we really have to go by is Munson's version in her newspaper column, repeated in American Venus. Did she have a reputation for, well, gilding her reputation by taking credit for modeling she didn't do? Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:39, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
Well the "Pomona" aka Pulitzer Fountain (?) is sometimes discussed, whether she took credit for the body when all she posed for was the face, but I find her story of the Venus arms in "American Venus" to be completely believable. Carptrash (talk) 04:11, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
Sounds good. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:58, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: Yes, it looks like Munson may have sometimes lied about her age. A June 27, 1915 article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch announces her engagement to an Italian nobleman, and lists her age as 18.[2] (She turned 24 earlier that month.) It also provides confirmation that she posed for Furio Piccirilli's Winter. (Spring, Summer and Autumn were already confirmed.) == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 19:38, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Madame ButterflyEdit

I'm not sure where the confusion is, but according to the interior landmark designation of the New Amsterdam Theatre by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission [3], the "Wenzel" involved with the interior of the theatre was not "Albert G. Wenzel" but "Albert Beck Wenzell" (with 2 Ls), who was a muralist and painter, not a sculptor. He co-created "an allegorical mural painting representing drama" for the arch above the proscenium, and also "the two panels flanking the proscenium. These display Virtue, a female figure holding a crown and a flaming heart, and Courage, a male figure with a sword and shield."

So, is "Albert G. Wenzel" "Albert Beck Wenzell", and is the Madame Buterfly "figure" the painting of "Virtue"? Or Is "Madame Butterfly" part of the proscenium arch allegory?

  • This book says that "Albert G. Wenzel" was a "designer" involved in the New Amsterdam, but doesn't go into details.
  • This (unreliable source) aays "Albert G." and "figure over the proscenium", but it looks like a copy of text from an earlier version of the Wikipedia article. That is true of almost every other source that says "Albert G. Wenzel". I think that you @Carptrash: must have first introduced that name in your very first version of the article [4] back in 2004. Of the two sources you listed, one doesn;t mention Wenzel, and the other appears to be a dead link, so I'm assuming that's where you got the info.

Should we instead be using "Albert Beck Wenzell" or "Albert B. Wenzell", in line with NYCLPC. There are a fair number of Google hits for "Albert Beck Wenzell artist". [5]

But, yes, as to your main point, I can't find any source that says that the New Amsterdam's interior was redone (except for when it was converted into a movie theatre, and that was removing stuff, not adding), so the date does appear to be too early for Munson to have been the model. I think we should solve both problems by eliminating the Wenzel entry entirely. Beyond My Ken (talk) 14:21, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: Thank you, and … Bravo! == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 15:30, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
"The Field Guide to Architectural Sculpture in the United States" has this to say about the mural:
  • "The major painted piece stands in the auditorium, above the proscenium arch. It's a great panel, 18 x 45 feet, begun by muralist Robert Frederick Blum, and finished by A.B. Wenzel after Blum died unexpectedly of pneumonia in 1903."
    That's Wenzel with one "l". But the date would predate Munson by a decade or so. I will see if I can figure out where I got that from in 2004, which might be a problem because since then all the cells in my body have changed, maybe twice. Carptrash (talk) 16:17, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
Okay, from "American Venus" (pp.106-107) "William Dodge used her bubbling vivacity for the “Spirit of Play” in the Amsterdam Theatre frescoes ....” “….Wenzel his charming but frivolous “Madam Butterfly…” Wenze with one “l’ again. Now let's look at what we have again. Carptrash (talk) 16:27, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
Just to note, a straight Google search for "Albert Beck Wenzel" (one L) brings up results with both one and two Ls. The attached Google card has two Ls. [6]. I'm totally agnostic about which is correct, but it seems pretty sure that the middle initial "G." is out.
Now what is to be done about her age and the date? (There would be less of this doubt if it turned out that she had fudged her DOB to make herself younger -- but that would mean that she died older than 104. Even a couple of years would have made her a teenager. Maybe birth records in Rochester might give a clue, even if it's not usable due to being OR). Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:02, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Konti and the Hotel AstorEdit

Some of the questions above sent me digging into the history of Konti, Miss Munson, and the Hotel Astor.
First, the Three Graces did not appear in "the lobby" of the Astor as is sloppily repeated in a bunch of sources. It was situated at one end of the grand ballroom, the vast two-acre three-story space in the second stage of the hotel's construction, the "Annex", first opened to the public on September 29, 1909 as part of the Hudson–Fulton Celebration widely reported in the newspapers. I see no good support for the 1907 date for that sculpture. James Bone mentions the September 1909 unveiling, but Bone asserts that Konti had been stuck on this three-figure pose for three years until this new model walked into his life, oh wow, etc.
Those dates have a bearing on whether or not this was Munson's first sitting as a model. As far as I can tell Bone does not offer a date for this meeting with Konti. Other sources say she was 15 or 16 when she started, putting us at 1906 or 1907. A widely repeated short profile printed in newspapers nationally in mid-March and into April 1915 says "Miss Munson began posing when she was fourteen years old." (Kansas City Sun, April 20, 1915) Yet she only comes to NYC in 1909? My observation is that James Bone's tale of Munson's mother sternly and protectively sitting in Konti's studio while the sculptor enlightens them as to the inherent nobility of the human form, and Munson allowed to stand unclad after a three-month probation period -- well, I'm cynical about all that. Miss Munson's dates don't seem to hang together.
The first newspaper coverage of Audrey Munson I see is the big June 8 1913 article in the Sun, in which she describes her first encounter with Konti the photographer Herzog, on the street, as "about four years ago".
Back to the Hotel Astor, one end of the Grand Ballroom had The Three Graces by Konti. BUT the other end of the Grand Ballroom had another multi-figure marble by Konti, unveiled at the same time, called The Song, as seen here. The Song looks larger, with its own exedra. Compare the downcast face of the two central seated figures in both of these, and the jawlines of the two female figures at proper left. There's certainly a resemblance to you-know-who. --Lockley (talk) 23:38, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
BoringHistoryGuy wrote:
I'm inclined to think you're right, and 1909 is a more likely date for the posing for Isidore Konti. The unfortunate thing is that it almost eliminates the possibility that Munson posed for French's Mourning Victory, since the Melvin Memorial was dedicated on June 16, 1909. Rush job? Carptrash, Did Munson ever claim to have posed for Mourning Victory?
The opening of a new ballroom would have been a big deal. Maybe there's something about it in the newspapers. In any case, thanks. == BoringHistoryGuy 02:06, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
BHG, I hope you don't mind moving the conversation over here. Oh, no, I wouldn't rule Mourning Victory or anything else out on the basis of that 1909 date. That whole story of meeting and posing for Konti is both vague and drenched with virtuous sentimentality. The lack of firmly documented dates still leaves plenty of room for shenanigans and slippage, for one thing the very obvious possibility of Munson's modeling for DCF or other sculptors in his circle, at a younger age, on the low-low. (We can't be the first to wonder about this.) Slippage, too, because for instance at the New Amsterdam Theater, there is a TON of artwork in that building, with some major continuing renovations and the opening of a rooftop annex later IIRC, so its opening date of 1903 doesn't necessarily rule out Munson's appearance in there somewhere. @Carptrash:, I'm hoping, already has a firm opinion about Mourning Victory. --Lockley (talk) 03:21, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
After going through the Richman book on French, the best coverage of particular DCF commissions, I am ready to make a definitive (that being, of course, one of those words that mean, "In my opinion"). The "Melvin Memorial" and "Mourning Victory" are slightly different works. DCF had finished the MM by 1907/08 and packed it off to the Piccirillis to be carved. Way too early to be Munson. That was the Melvin Memorial that is in Concord. Then in like 1912 it was decided to make a copy to present to some museum and DCF then redid some of the modeling. Not a lot, but some. That became "Mourning Victory." It is possible that AM modeled for some of that. This is a good example of having one's cake and eating it too. Carptrash (talk) 04:01, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: @Lockley: Thank you, King Solomon. That makes perfect sense (and may well be true). == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 04:27, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

Melvin MemorialEdit

I think we have concluded that Munson could not have posed for at least the cemetery version of "Mourning Victory" and I think it should be removed from the chart. However I would prefer to get a nod or two from you before proceeding. Carptrash (talk) 16:32, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Maybe a note, such as "claimed by Munson although unlikely based on published dates"? That would acknowledge the attribution, to prevent somebody else inevitably finding it and adding it back in, while also pointing out Munson's stretchy version of the truth? Just a thought Carpy. Good to see you here! --Lockley (talk) 19:31, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
And you too. Nice to see you here, that is. "American Venus" has a picture of the "Peace" group by Weinman from the NY Appellate Court, and it was dedicated in 1900, at which point Audrey was 9. The book is also somwhat evasive about "Mourning Victory", it has a nice quote from DCFrench about Munson followed by "the sculptor of "Mourning Victory" but it only implies that the quote was about that work. The book further states, "Though no model is credited with the pose, French's Melvin Memorial of 1907 displays several distinctive characteristics of Audrey's figure. Her unique upswept hair, so similar to the hair of Weinman's "Descending Night" of 1906 gives every indication that she was the model." So I have not found where Munson claims to be the model AND we all know that Weinman's Descending Night was made for the PPIE, a decade after the claimed 1906. Or as the Everly Brothers so aptly pointed out, "Problems, problems, problems, all day long. Carptrash (talk) 20:04, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Just FYI, I have a picture of Bitter's Peace on Commons at [7]. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:11, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: @Beyond My Ken: Carptrash wrote the above before I sent him my email. Except for the obvious howlers, I was thinking about adding light shading to the table for the works that have no documentation, and explain why their claims are dubious. So, shading for the 1906-08 Mourning Victory and no shading for the 1912-14 one. I presume since the 1912-14 one was a mirror-image of the first, French (Picirilli?) needed a model to sit for it.
Or is this all opening a kettle of fish best left sealed? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 22:35, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
There are no kettles best left sealed.Carptrash (talk) 23:53, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Personally I like the shading idea -- all in the spirit of showing our work & vigorously stamping out Error. --Lockley (talk) 07:25, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
I think shading is a pretty good idea as well. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:12, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: @Beyond My Ken: @Carptrash: I tried the shading, and I think it works. I stuck with the 4 works least likely to have had Munson as a model—3 of them because she was too young to have posed. Of course, that doesn't mean they won't get challenged. Lockley, you've added some great stuff. Thank you. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 22:54, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: Are these the "drooping maidens"? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:19, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi @BoringHistoryGuy: -- I was just going to spend a few minutes looking more closely at the Palace of Fine Arts. To untangle which is which. I didn't realize that there were some males figures on it, and pretty rusticated ones at that. There are four inward-looking figures at the corners of the boxes atop the colonnade, and those might be the drooping maidens. They are somewhat droopy. Oh here's something that ties those ideas together, from this source:
The flower-box sculptures are by Ulric H. Ellerhusen - both those on the ground and those at the corners of the boxes surmounting the peristyle. The ladies on the latter, looking so steadily into the boxes, do not represent "Curiosity." The plan was to have masses of foliage overflowing, and half-covering the figures; and when this was given up, the decorative women gave the unexpected impression of being deeply absorbed in something happening out of sight of the spectator below. An explanation which has gained some currency is that the figures represent "Introspection," which seems quite apropos.
Your photo shows Ellerhusen's "garland figures" around the base. I think there are a lot of 'em. Also re the Palace of Fine Arts, I'm pretty sure that the sculptor Spero Anargyros recast the entire set of exterior sculptures here in 1969, which will also apply to Herbert Adams's work. There may be other Audreys here too. BTW I think the shading works great! --Lockley (talk) 02:22, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: Thanks. I'm trying not to go too far in the commentary about the shaded works (although it's hard).
The flower-box figures appear to be identical, which was why I eliminated them as the named Ellerhusen works. And all the attic figures between the relief panels of the dome appear to be male. Take another look at the garland figures, from the images at Wiki Commons there appear to be only 5 of them.[8] And there may be only 3 unique ones, arranged A-B-C-B-A. I can't tell for sure. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 02:50, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Oh, that's good feedback -- I have a bunch of work to do allasudden! --Lockley (talk) 03:07, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Palace of Fine ArtsEdit

Here's an inventory of the architectural sculpture on the Palace of Fine Arts, as it relates to Munson.

In the Rotunda, it looks like sources attribute the eight robed angels atop the columns inside the dome, by Adams, to her posing. Already on the list. They're clones.

Outside there are eight full-length attic figures, between piers above the double columns, 23 feet tall, four male and four female. Those are by Ellerhusen. Any connection to Munson? Unknown. I'm not convinced by what I've seen.

Alternating between those figures are a series of eight bas-relief panels, deep relief, archaic-looking. Those are actually three unique panels repeated in those eight spaces, called "Struggle for the Beautiful", "Power of the Arts", "Triumph of the Arts". Those are credited to Zimm. In one of them, a central female figure is a good candidate to be identified with the model we're looking for. Maybe goes on the list.

Lastly, I think, on the Rotunda, each of the Corinthian capitals on the eight double columns features three very conspicuous sprites facing outward on their three sides, which makes (8 x 2 x 3) = 48 sprites, unattributed as yet to any sculptor. Also might be her.

On the two peristyles, the main architectural sculpture is Ellerhusen's set of inward-looking maidens. There are a lot of them, on top of the columned pylons, the figures all placed on the corners of big square boxes supposedly meant as flower boxes. It's conspicuous and unusual imagery. No explanation of these 72 clone wallflowers quite makes sense to me, other than this was Maybeck's whim or misfire, in a project he envisioned as an overgrown ruin, hardcore archaic-emo picturesque. They are 14 feet tall. I agree with you, that to assign 3 or 4 different names to these clones, "Meditation", "Introspection" doesn't make any sense either. I don't know if they have faces, or if that is Miss Munson's rear end.

That brings us to the ground-level flower boxes, which are in the plaza where the Rotunda and the two arcades come closest to touching. The outside of these four rounded flower boxes are where the barefoot garland figures are, again by Ellerhusen. Life size or a little bigger. That's a good call on the A-B-C-B-A pattern. By my count, four flower boxes times at least five figures per box, so at least 20 of these. Something about their postures suggest Munson to me, but I do not know.

Two or three pieces by Stackpole, Lentelli and another Zimm, connected with the "altar", immediately at the water's edge, disappeared with the altar even before the whole structure was torn down circa 1963, to be completely rebuilt. Those pieces are gone. Some time around 1969 Spero Anargyros replaced the 8 23-foot male and female figures around the Rotunda, and 40 of the 72 Maiden Introverts, with cast stone. --Lockley (talk) 00:47, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: Good work. Very thorough. What do you recommend about proceeding? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 01:53, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
@BoringHistoryGuy:, well, a couple of judgment calls in there. In my opinion (1) the Adams angels are correct as they are, (2) I would propose adding that one Bruno Louis Zimm panel, based on her frequent representation at PPIE 1915 & the physical similarity, (3) as to the "drooping" figures versus the garland figures, in this source the works "Contemplation, Wonderment and Meditation" are listed separately from the "Frieze of Garland Bearers". I don't know whether Munson was depicted in any drooping / weeping activities, or handling garlands. So I am not totally confident that "C W & M" or the garland bearers actually belong on the list. I would only suggest the current "C W & M" title doesn't match the current "garlands" photo. That's all I got! --Lockley (talk) 03:01, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: I agree with you on all points. Especially your take on the separate listings for "Contemplation, Wonderment and Meditation" and the garland figures. I think adding a different color of shading for "possibly modeled by Munson" would be useful. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 12:26, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: I was wrong about the figures between the panels on the attic of the Palace of Fine Arts. At least 2 of them appear to be female. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 13:02, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

@BoringHistoryGuy:! Nice work! Thank you for keeping after this, glad we agree, and thank you for beating me to adding the Zimm entry. Nice images there. Amazed simply by the amount of architectural sculpture on this particular building. And, uh, those introverted maidens are beginning to make more sense to me, as part of the overall design, in the way they signal "don't look here", the way they refuse your attention, pushing your eye back to the contrasting sunny Rotunda. Is this one building worth all this much detailed attention? Yeah, I guess so, as the sole survivor of all the PPIE's palaces, the only sample of what those spaces felt like. Dang walking through that fair must have been aesthetical overload. --Lockley (talk) 18:27, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: Thanks. There was one guidebook that prescribed sitting in one of the Court of the Four Seasons's screened niches for "sensory overload." == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: Thanks for the Greenhut correction. The tomb door was listed in a book about Art in California, but I guess it was just exhibited there. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
@BoringHistoryGuy: ...most welcome. On that one, even SIRIS didn't know, so if I can rustle up some public spirit I'll ping them on that correction. As our gruff adjutant general Carptrash taught me how to do. --Lockley (talk) 22:26, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: It looks like "Contemplation, Wonderment and Meditation" ARE figures on the attic of the Rotunda's dome. Eugen Neuhaus's list of the PPIE's sculpture reads:
"Ulrich H. Ellerhausen – Figures in the attic of the rotunda / Standing females and males between architectural friezes immediately below the cupola of the dome."[9]
Sorry I steered you wrong. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:35, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: Contemplation is the formal name of the drooping maidens, according to this source.[10] I guess Wonderment and Meditation alternate on the attic of the Rotunda. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 18:26, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@BoringHistoryGuy: Thank you for nailing that Contemplation thing down. Nowhere did I see it described as the Egyptian princess Xanax, which is what I was hoping for. As long as it's one name for all those figures that are exactly alike, y'know? That's only playing fair. --Lockley (talk) 20:11, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: I heard that you might be the guy who can access old newspapers? I am looking for "The Washington Times (Washington, District of Columbia) · 9 Jan 1921, Sun · Page 28 29" - which is an AM story. Carptrash (talk) 20:21, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: No, life is not fair, but sometimes we can make it more fair, which is why you should check your email inbox for the article you seek. --Lockley (talk) 21:04, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: @Carptrash: It looks like the same pair of figures is repeated 8 times around the attic of the Rotunda—Meditation is the male, and Wonderment is the female. I presume Munson only posed for one of them. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:17, 14 February 2019 (UTC)


According to something I just read, "Eve" at the PPIE is the female figure at the base (right side facing it) of the "Genius of Creation" group. The guy, presumably is Adam. Carptrash (talk) 20:12, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

@Carptrash: That makes sense. I went thru the catalogue of all the sculpture exhibited at the Palace of Fine Arts, and there was no Eve by French. There also was no Conception, Wonderment or Contemplation by anyone, which probably confirms that they were architectural sculpture. When did French model his reclining Eve? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:27, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

A GamechangerEdit

@Lockley: @Carptrash: @Beyond My Ken: Lockley's discovery is new and important:

A widely repeated short profile printed in newspapers nationally in mid-March and into April 1915 says "Miss Munson began posing when she was fourteen years old." (Kansas City Sun, April 20, 1915).

Although we may not want to contemplate a young teenage Munson posing topless or in the nude, this report, if true, means she could have been the model for both the Melvin Memorial and the MMA's Mourning Victory. She would have been 15 when French began work on the former.
Lockley, talk about burying your lede! == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 15:45, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Well, it lends a little support to that idea... There are more than 20 reprintings of that article behind the paywall at The same article is current citation # 3 from New Oxford PA. Here is an open-source version. It's positive and promotional, seems to be hung on the newshook of her appearance at the 1915 SF fair, and mentions that she began posing when she was 14, nine years ago, putting her age in April 1915 at 22 or 23, once again raising question marks in the air. Or........ it could just be wrong! deliberately or not. --Lockley (talk) 19:59, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
I discovered a new source on Munson (I forget what - having spent the day drinking) so am withholding opinions until it shows up. This stuff is 100 years old. We do not (opinion) have to get it all straight today. Carptrash (talk) 23:01, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Maybe not in one day, but this is the sort of thing that any Munson biographer should have found and addressed. Congrats, @Lockley:
I don't know if any of you know Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia. It takes place in an English stately home, and alternates between the 1990s and the 1810s. Modern scholars pore over old records and argue about what happened there 180 years earlier, while we see the Regency characters live thru the events (which the modern scholars wildly misinterpret). A cautionary tale about academic hubris. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:23, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
If 24-year-old Munson was claiming to be age 18 in 1915, the "posing since age 14" story seems like an alibi to reinforce the lie about her age and explain the earlier works. Over the hill (or approaching it) at 24? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 21:05, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

The KeyEdit

Do you think we need to add "but listed in some sources" in the grey part of the key, "unlikely to have posed" section? Otherwise folks might think, "well if it is unlikely that she posed for it why is it here?" I have another grey one to add (or not) from the Andrea Geyer "Queen of the Artist's Studios" booklette. It is the "Peace" figure by Bitter on the Appealate Court Building, which Bitter's bio has as being finished in 1898 or 99. I have seen it listed elsewhere, maybe in "American Venus." Carptrash (talk) 17:40, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

@Carptrash: @Bmclaughlin9: @Wikiuser100: @Randy Kryn: @Beyond My Ken: @Renaissongsman: @Ser Amantio di Nicolao: @WFinch: @Lockley: @Wetman: @Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ):
The only works I shaded in gray -- "unlikely to have posed" -- were ones that could be eliminated or were doubtful because of Munson's young age. Maybe I should add that to the box. I don't know that our goal needs to be that the table becomes the ultimate authority. Well-meaning editors could innocently repeat the errors and dubious assumptions in the published sources. Not sure how to proceed. Ideas? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 18:17, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
By adding some sort of note explaining a bit more as to what the grey signifies we help future researchers. I am expecting the "We are here to JUST report what the sources say" folks to show up pretty soon so we need to have our ducks (in this case, statues) in a row. Carptrash (talk) 18:51, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
I've had a go at expanding the key, which is an attempt to summarize what the table contains, why some of those earlier modelling dates might be accurate after all, and a warning about credibility. I'm all for showing our work. And heck we already DO only report what the sources say. The altered key is just a suggestion, BHG, as always, you're welcome to change it back. --Lockley (talk) 19:37, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: I like what you've done. A definite improvement. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:28, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, finally I'll be able to sleep through a night. Though (in the hope of keeping some of you awake) where is the Biltmore Venus attributed to AM? Carptrash (talk) 00:17, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: Biltmore's there. Munson began posing for it at age 2. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:39, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, I know it is here, but why? Where did our info come from? Carptrash (talk) 03:42, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: I see. You're right. It and "Venus Coming from the Bath" should be an extended footnote. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 12:45, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Done. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 13:30, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Hello @Carptrash:, how are you? About Bitter's Peace on the Appellate Court House in NYC. Perfect candidate for grey shading. It does seem to be listed both in Geyer and "American Venus", and (IMO) would be good to list it here in all its dubiousness. Either way, I hope we've been clear enough about the dates so that interested parties can do their own math and draw their own conclusions. --Lockley (talk) 21:18, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes, I guess sticking with the sources and not-so-subtly suggesting that they are wrong is the way to go. It will also help highlight, in grey, of course, just how rocky these shoals are. I am reading "The Curse of Beauty" in which we find Audrey, in 1909, on Broadway (the new Amsterdam Theater, don't you love it) approaching her 18th birthday and still not yet a model. To me this is by far the most credible source. While he provides real dates Geyer asks questions such as "Did she have sex" With men or women" (p.38) Carptrash (talk) 21:41, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

If my Memory serves me wellEdit

the "Memory" at the Marshall Field grave site (which I have visited) is a different work than the one we have listed and photographed. I have not yet checked the dates, so it could be another Munson, but it is not THIS Munson. So I removed:
A c.1910 bronze cast marks Marshall Field's grave in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.[11]
Carptrash (talk) 15:40, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

@Carptrash: You're right. SIRIS doesn't have photos of them, but the descriptions don't match. Thanks for catching this. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 15:52, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: @Lockley: Anything linking Munson to this DCF version of Memory? SIRIS says c.1910.[12] == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 17:00, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Not yet. But it is on my list of things to look for. A long list. Carptrash (talk) 17:27, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Munson's 20 articlesEdit

I've gone through the 20 articles published under Munson's name in the Hearst Sunday American from 9 Jan through 21 May 1921. Well, I've gone through 19 of the 20. I don't seem to have access to the one published on May 8.

The series is called "By the 'Queen of the Artists' Studios'". The general tone is mild Sunday-supplement titillation with its references to nude modeling, vague debauchery, studio gossip, absinthe, Cubism, etc. Munson's claims in the text are full of exaggerations -- but accurate enough to consider. The claim about posing for Wenzell's illustrations for the 1913 novel "The Sixty-first Second" checks out here -- see the four illustrations on pgs 60-61, pg. 248, and before the title page. There's the interesting news that Benjamin-Constant hypnotized his models to get them into positions they couldn't tolerate otherwise. Also, in chapter 1, Munson noted in passing that she'd gone to Konti with a letter from William De Leftwich Dodge, for whom she had already posed. Konti was her first nude modeling.

The captions to the illustrations OTOH are wildly false & not worth documenting.

Below I've listed artists who Munson named and explicitly claimed to pose for in the text of these articles. Based on what I see here, if there are major works yet unreferenced in our article, they probably belong to Scarpitta.

  • 1: January 9, 1921.[13]
    • A.B. Wenzell (painter), "Carl Dorner" (painter; might be Earl Horter), Adolph Weinman (sculptor), "Ralph Draper" (photographer; Bone id'ed as Herzog), Isidore Konti (sculptor)
  • 2: January 16, 1921.
    • Wm. De Leftwich Dodge (painter), Cartiana Scarpitta (sculptor; Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta 1887-1948), Pierre Tartoue (painter / photographer), "Piccirilli" (sculptor; probably the top dog Atillio)
  • 3: January 23, 1921.
    • Daniel C. French (sculptor), "Toyo Kitchui" (photographer; Bone id'ed as Toyo Kikuchi), Alfred Ohr (painter; ?), Francis Foster (sculptor; ?), "Gervex" (painter Henri Gervex, extra dubious)
  • 4: January 30, 1921.
    • Karl Bitter (sculptor)
  • 5: February 6, 1921.[14]
  • 6: February 13, 1921.[15]
    • Alfred Jaeger (sculptor), Robert W. Aitken (sculptor), "Mr. Tenetti" (sculptor; likely Francois Tonetti)
  • 7: February 20, 1921.[16]
    • M. Milliere (illustrator in Paris; might be Maurice Milliere), M. Camille Doucet (painter in Paris; ?)
  • 8: February 27, 1921.
  • 9: March 6, 1921.
    • Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney (sculptor aka Gertrude Vanderbilt)
  • 10: March 13, 1921.[17]
    • Wm De Leftwich Dodge (painter)
  • 11: March 20, 1921.
  • 12: March 27, 1921.
  • 13: April 3, 1921.
    • Allan Newman (sculptor), Evelyn B. Longman (sculptor)
  • 14: April 10, 1921.
  • 15: April 17, 1921.
    • Frederick MacMonnies (sculptor)
  • 16: April 24, 1921.
    • Francis Picabia (painter)
    • Prince Paul Troubetzkoy (sculptor)
    • Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (sculptor)

--Lockley (talk) 22:57, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: This is great! and very helpful. Thank you.
I put them alphabetically in the form of a table. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 01:06, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Ref Sculptor Ref Painter
6 Robert W. Aitken 2 Wm. De Leftwich Dodge (painter)
4 Karl Bitter 1 "Carl Dorner" (painter; might be Earl Horter)
3 Francis Foster 7 M. Camille Doucet (painter in Paris; ?)
3 Daniel C. French 3 "Gervex" (painter Henri Gervex, extra dubious)
6 Alfred Jaeger [Albert Jaegers] 7 M. Milliere (illustrator in Paris; might be Maurice Milliere)
1 Isidore Konti 3 Alfred Ohr (painter; ?)
13 Evelyn B. Longman 16 Francis Picabia (painter)
15 Frederick MacMonnies 2 Pierre Tartoue (painter/photographer)
13 Allan Newman [Allen George Newman] 1 A. B. Wenzell (painter)
2 "Piccirilli" (sculptor; probably the top dog Atillio)
2 Cartiana Scarpitta [Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta 1887-1948]
1 Adolph Weinman 1 "Ralph Draper" (photographer; Bone id'ed as Herzog)
9 Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney (Gertrude Vanderbilt) 3 "Toyo Kitchui" (photographer; Bone id'ed as Toyo Kikuchi)
Cartaino Scarpitta modeled works (or allowed his sculpture to be used) for the Marlene Dietrich movie The Song of Songs (1933 film). A sculptor's former model and lover, Dietrich takes a sledgehammer to a life-size nude of herself.[18] Which sounds like fun to watch. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 02:44, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Great work Lockley. I have been in contact with Scarpitta's granddaughter for a while, but not about Munson. I just asked and she is not aware of any "Lady Godiva" by her grandfather. Carptrash (talk) 04:26, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Just for fun Here's a glimpse of that statuary in Song of Songs, from about 0:25 to 0:35. --Lockley (talk) 01:26, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
That is fun, sort of a Piccasoed version of the Venus de Milo. Carptrash (talk) 15:08, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, but this is the statue she smashes.[19] == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 18:16, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

Peace, and other unpeaceful thingsEdit

Munson & Bitter and "Peace"

@Lockley: I recently received an emailing of what at first I thought was the “New Expanded” version of Tolstoy’s “War & Peace” but instead turned out to be Audrey Munson’s newspaper publishings. I am seriously considering adding “writer” or “Newspaper columnist” to Audrey’s lede because she wrote quite a lot. But more than that, I am trying to track down all the hints and innuendoes and wink winks to be found, checking them against not only the published works on Munson, which are, I believe, based largely on these writings, but also on whatever other references I can dig up. So, included is a picture of AB posing for Bitter “for his famous statue ‘Peace’ ”. I believe that this is where the misconception that she posed for Bitter’s “Peace” on the Appellate Court building comes from. However, ignoring for the moment that that work was done when she was 7 years old, the pose she is holding and Bitter is working on is totally different the the Courthouse “Peace.’ So what is that work? I’ve gone through both biographies of Bitter and not visually located it. She does do a “Peace” for The Maine Memorial, but that is by Piccirilli and is also a very different pose. it is possible that this is one of those perishable Exposition works but the ones that Bitter did were before she was modeling and by the PPIE extravaganza Bitter had already been tragically killed. Then there is her Isabelle Springer story about a rich high society beauty who modeled “in the altogether” and it led to opium addiction, blackmail, murder, divorce, prostitution and a pauper’s grave. A touching morality tale but NOT the way that it is presented in “Murder at the Brown Palace”, which I have somewhere around here. So what to do? Soldier on, perhaps, and stop complaining? No, that would be too simple. Carptrash (talk) 16:44, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Now AM is writing about co-modeling a work, "Rain," for PPIE with Mabel Normand, where the body is Normand, but the face is hers. And we have the work listed, only by Albert Jaegers and Munson says that it was by "Piccirilli." Without saying which one. Neither Piccirilli is listed as having a "Rain" at PPIE so . . .......attribute that story to Jaegers? Carptrash (talk) 19:39, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi @Carptrash: -- about that illustration of Peace, whoever compiled all those accompanying photographs and wrote the captions must have had extra laudanum for breakfast that morning. Racy yes. Fact-based no. For the record, that came from publication on January 30 1921. Odds are that photograph comes from PPIE. Also that bas-relief in the background, is that Adam and Eve? But I agree, this is not the Appellate Court Peace. About her version of Isabelle Springer not matching up to other versions of reality, another example, in chapter 17 published on May 1 she describes one of these poor tragic fallen models named Louise who ended up scrubbing floors in the Parisian academy, her perfect feet the only remnant of her beauty, and like that. That's an interesting factual collision with the Louise Janin in wikipedia, also in Paris, same years, also in the art scene, but whose arc doesn't fit that morality play. I'm thinking the best thing we can squeeze out of these 20 articles is glimpses of working processes, what sculptors wanted from models, their relative reputations. (Do you think it's MacMonnies that has such a legendary temper?) About Rain and Mabel Normand, give me a little while on that one --Lockley (talk) 23:06, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
hmm that story about Rain doesn't hold any water. Not as told in the text, in which Piccirilli conceives Rain for the PPIE in 1915 and uses poor Mabel Normand, commuting from Staten Island. Normand did model circa 1909-10 for illustrators Flagg & Gibson, maybe for Piccirilli, but she was in California by late 1912 and earning a lot more than $0.50/hour. Once again, the captions are just nutty. We have the Jaegers correct where it is on the list. --Lockley (talk) 00:52, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Here's a good image of what we're talking about. It'll be fun to figure out what this mysterious thing is, although it might not have much to do with Audrey Munson. Published 2/6/1921. The idea the text presents, that Normand & Munson both posed for Piccirilli for this object called "Rain" in 1914/1915 is probably not true. But some of those things could be true. Maybe this is earlier? I'll be interested to know what you all make of that pointing, cowled figure there at the top. --Lockley (talk) 03:05, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: @Carptrash: Lombardo's biography lists a 1914 Piccirilli work titled Rainbow.[20] == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 03:52, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Lombardo describes "Rainbow" as being a study for "Flower of the Alps" - which does NOT look like what Munson dedcribes. There is more bad news but (what a tease) I've had too much to drink (Wednesday is my brewery night) to get into it now. Meanwhile I make no sense out of what the whole work is that has the "rain" figure. If it is A Piccirilli and if it was ever realized it should be in Lombardo Carptrash (talk) 04:48, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Hey, you guys -- that's not any kind of "Rain". That's the Eve figure from DCF's Genius of Creation, with the image flipped. You can see the snake's body, looks like a fire hose, behind her foot. --Lockley (talk) 07:59, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Superb eye, Mr. Lockley! I reversed and cropped the image, uploaded it, and added it to the table. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 11:42, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Damn fine work! Carptrash (talk) 14:33, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Awaiting the grand openingEdit

I purposely haven't looked at the page or this talk page in a long time, and I won't look at them or read them now. When I did come by to pop in a category or a small edit, I didn't look at the page. But I've been following the edit summaries on my watch list, and this seems to me to be turning out a potential masterpiece, maybe feature worthy at some point soon. Her story deserves no less (as does that of Camille Claudel, another major art-related figure who found herself impounded like a dog in a mental institution for the rest of her long life). Please let me know when you've finished to a point of satisfaction and am winding this stage down, so I can enjoy the full presentation. Thanks. Randy Kryn (talk) 19:45, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

@Randy Kryn: Part of the problem that I am having, and that needs to be kept in mind, is that the sources we have do not agree with each other, or, worse, do agree on stuff that I (we?) feel to be wrong. And getting this stuff straightened out is impossible without just writing another reference to use that gets it right. But we are having, if not fun, at least as sense of worth involved in getting it right. Carptrash (talk) 20:33, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I knew about some of the source confusion, which sounds interesting. I'll break my Wikipedian-selfish decision to await the show and have a look at everything later. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:42, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: I think we're winding down (at least on the table). @Lockley: has analyzed dozens of original sources and footnoted the credible ones, and @Carptrash: has shared his enormous trove of Munson minutiae. My favorite part is being able to click thru the images and see all the sculptures Munson inspired. Let's hope we identify more works/images. Thanks for your contributions/support. It has been fun. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 18:29, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the alert @BoringHistoryGuy:. I've bought a program and toured the exhibit. You three have done Munson's story and legacy proud, and have given readers a detailed and beautiful page. Randy Kryn (talk) 11:14, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Other headachesEdit

4 ContinentsEdit

The "4 Continents" by French at Cass Gilbert's Customs House, now a museum. They are done too early to be Munson, but show up in both "American Venus" and "Queen of the Artists' Studios." So should we add them and then debunk then or just let sleeping dogs lie. Part of the reason for discussing them has to do with "Over Munsification", the tendency to attribute everything to her. Ideas? Carptrash (talk) 15:10, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

If they appear in "Queen of the Artists' Studios," I think we should address them. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 15:31, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Okay. American Venus is (opinion) a more reputable source since I believe that the "Queen" book just lifted stuff from it. But in any case those groups are in both books. Meanwhile @Lockley: and BHG, how many newspapers was Munson's column, or whatever, pages actually, printed in? As I look around it seems to be quite a few. I think (unless we already have done so) this needsd to be addressed too. Whatever we might think about the veracity of the information they are an important part of her legacy. I'm just going to start a list and see where it goes. Carptrash (talk) 16:13, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: I misunderstood. I presumed "Queen of the Artists' Studios" was the name of Munson's newspaper column.


@Carptrash: @Lockley: Do we know anything about Ralph Stackpole's Reverence, the nude kneeling figure atop the Altar of the Fine Arts? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 16:48, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

I know (or think I know) that Stackpole is a California artist so (opinion) anything he did would have been done in CA and not NY so Munson is not likely to have been the model. Carptrash (talk) 17:29, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: Interesting how Stirling Calder planned things. For prior expositions, the sculpture had been cast full-sized in staff in NYC and shipped to Chicago/Buffalo/St. Louis by rail. This was costly and works often suffered breakage. For San Francisco, Calder asked sculptors to ship their clay models, and his team scaled them up onsite. Cheaper and less breakage. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 18:51, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
In reading Calder's daughter's book, "Three Alexander Calders" I discovered that Stackpole was a student of Calders and only moved to California to work on Expo stuff, and just stayed. So Munson could have modeled for him. I get the impression from the book that Calder was in SF in the year or so leading up to the Expo, so where was he using Munson? Was she in California too? I doubt it since most of the other sculptors were NYers and I don't see French or Piccirilli working out there. But Calder? It is a puzzlement. Carptrash (talk) 19:42, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Here's the best thing on Reverence. FDR saw it in 1915, always remembered it, wanted it, thought it was feminine. Years later as president he contacted Stackpole and asked after it. Stackpole couldn't locate it but offered to make a copy for Hyde Park, FDR eagerly accepted. When it arrived it was NOT the sleek sexy thing FDR remembered. He ordered it hidden at the edge of his property, where it was accidentally dug up in 1987, then concealed all over again within a new ring of trees according to FDR's wishes. I've seen no good 1915-era pics of this. So far. --Lockley (talk) 20:33, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: @Lockley: Here's one.[21] == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:56, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
I just discovered the same one. Well done. Carptrash (talk) 21:34, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

A HA! nicely done --Lockley (talk) 21:43, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

PS, I just found another backwards print of a picture in Ch 9, where it is just her legs. See edit about to happen. Carptrash (talk) 21:46, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Fountain of the EarthEdit

@Carptrash: @Lockley: I'm convinced that Robert Ingersoll Aitken's Fountain of the Earth is a mistake, and does not belong on this list. Munson posed for Aitken's larger-than-life figures of Earth and Air, which were not part of a fountain, but flanked the steps down to the sunken garden in the Court of the Universe. Similarly, I think that what the San Francisco Chronicle called "The Spirit of Creation" is actually DCF's "The Genius of Creation." Location-wise, it works. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 02:01, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Why are you not happy with the Aitken fountain? Company Carptrash (talk) 02:51, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: It's not that I'm unhappy with it, and if there's documentation, of course it stays. But is there a credible source that lists it? == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 03:14, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
I think we have reached the point of, there is no credible source for anything, but I shall check what I have and see what I see. Carptrash (talk) 03:38, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
So this is AB in SF at PPIE. "....Audrey met Robert Aitken's four allegorical figures of her as the elements, Earth, Water, Air and Fire. (I think she is only two of them) I see myself in the main figures as well as in the groups at the base." I don't think those have a figurative base, not with groups, I think she is referring to the "Fountain of the Earth." Okay, not overwhelming. But a start. Carptrash (talk) 05:02, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: Thanks for the stuff you emailed. Yes, the sources are imprecise and confusing, but your conclusions make sense. I'll keep looking at it (which is not unpleasant). == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 13:28, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
But I would not be adverse to putting this work in the grey area. Carptrash (talk) 15:21, 15 February 2019 (UTC)


@BoringHistoryGuy: that was a nice catch you did, discovering the name of "Mr. Tenetti" in Munson's newspaper piece of Feb 13. She has to be talking about Francois Tonetti. He was another member of the ASG / DCF cluster of sculptors, just like most of Munson's other sculptors. He married another, Mary Lawrence (sculptor). The dates I have for Tonetti's work suggest that Munson could have been the model for his four female figures on the facade of the Connecticut State Library and maybe, maybe, the two female pediment figures at the Rockefeller family estate Kykuit since that work may have dragged into 1911. I don't mean to propose headaches to track down, just thought you might like to know about more happy possibilities. --Lockley (talk) 18:24, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

@Lockley: @Carptrash: That's great. Muson wrote something about having posed for a Nymph, installed at Kykuit "by the pool." But I don't remember a sculptor. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 21:40, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
St Gaudens is supposed to have wept when his talented assistant Mary Lawrence married Tonetti, saying, "Now she will just have babies and help her husband with his mediocre work." Or something similar. Which turned out to be pretty much accurate. I started the Lawrence article (excuse me while I pat my self on the back) but could never really muster the determination to do a Tonetti one. Maybe it should happen? Carptrash (talk) 22:54, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
@Lockley: @Carptrash: Maybe a Tonetti article (eventually), but my current interest is in finding what work(s) of his Munson posed for. I found two super-obscure images of Calder's nereids, but haven't found an image of the third one. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 22:46, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Besides any PPIE stuff I think the CT capitol (1914) is the best bet. I have somewhere a booklet about the sculpture there but I'm pretty sure it does not mention any models. But then who does besides Munson herself? Carptrash (talk) 15:14, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
@Carptrash: @Lockley: My email is on the fritz. I apologize if I'm not answering messages. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 00:34, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Day and NightEdit

@Carptrash: @Lockley: I've had the wrong dates for Weinman's Day and Night. SIRIS says they were c.1910, which makes them early, but not impossible for Munson to have posed for. Not a confirmation, but also not an elimination. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 19:34, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

  • for whatever it's worth, this source makes it seem that Weinman was hired and already under way on Day and Night and all those eagles in February/March 1908, when William Mead approached him with some extra work. The station's opening day was August 1 1910. Doesn't necessarily rule Munson out at all, just dates to work with. --Lockley (talk) 20:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Were I a young guy just starting instead of . . ...well let's not get macabre, I might make Weinman my object of study. The only book I know of about his work is a U Georgia one that has no chronology and only shows one eagle, and no discussion, of his Penn Station work. I am reading several MMW accounts of the building and will get back if I discover anything useful. Or interesting or whatever. Carptrash (talk) 15:59, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
No finds in MM&W.Carptrash (talk) 17:47, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Oh, did I mentionEdit

that Bone has the "Venus with Arms" being done by Weinman for the Queen of Denmark? Just Sayin' Carptrash (talk) 00:22, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Possible sculpture and sculptor for chartEdit

Jo Mora's Poppy Girl (File:J Mora - Poppy Girl.jpg) from the 1916 Panama–Pacific International Exposition fair, would this be Munson? Randy Kryn (talk) 12:27, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

@Randy Kryn: @Carptrash: @Lockley: I'm just seeing this now. Do you know whether Mora's Poppy Girl was part of the Exposition's sculpture program or was an individual piece he exhibited on his own? If it was the former, there's a much higher probability that Munson was the model. There were newspaper articles on which sculptures she posed for, but those lists were far from complete. And even her syndicated columns were partially ghost-written, and contained errors (including some whoppers!).
Best, == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 16:10, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
My guess is that Munson was working in NYC for most of the modeling that she did for the Expo and Mora (as I recall) was a West Coast guy, so I'd say, unless a good reference shows up, "No." I will look through the literature. Carptrash (talk) 17:24, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Transcontinental transportation being what it was at the time, that makes sense. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:14, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks all for the good analysis. Randy Kryn (talk) 19:12, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Prow of "The Barge," Vizcaya
Enterprise, Panama-Pacific International Exposition
@Randy Kryn: Thanks for starting the Stirling Calder template. Now we just need more articles to fill it in. Best, == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:17, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. At a bare minimum of template entries it seemed the pages and Calder's works are so good that I thought it was a good time to put up a short template in order to possibly encourage editors to create more entries and to guide readers to a few more interesting pages (including Munson's!). Randy Kryn (talk) 20:25, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: @Beyond My Ken: The people at Vizcaya would like to argue that Munson posed for the buxom maidens above. I haven't found any evidence of that, but I enjoy looking. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:43, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Good find. Stirling could sure sculpt a mean looking guard-fish. Do they have any evidence besides Stirling having known and used Munson as a model? Does its creation fall within the time range of her adult modeling career? Another interesting wannabe that maybe is. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:51, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Here's the article.[22] == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 20:59, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
I haven't been able to find anything which doesn't track back to Vizcaya's claim. There is a facial resemblence... Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:17, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Beyond My Ken: I agree. I think Calder moved to Florida for a year to work on the sculpture groups. So Munson probably could have made it there from NYC in a 1-day train ride. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 21:34, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
It would be nice if someone could come up with a cite for that supposition. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:48, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
If Vizcaya had a cite, I think they would be trumpeting it. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 22:20, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Good point. They seem more interested in their gift shop then in scholarship. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:30, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Calder's Vizcaya barge figures were wildly erotic for the time. He toned them down a bit, but not quite what you'd expect from a Scotch Presbyterian. I suspect he learned a lot about how far he could go from his work with Munson at the PPIE. == BoringHistoryGuy (talk) 23:11, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
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