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Frank Crowninshield

Frank Crowninshield

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Francis (Frank) Crowninshield, the son of Frederic Crowninshield and Helen Suzette Fairbanks Crowninshield, was born on 24th June, 1872. His father was a painter and served for two years as director of the American Academy in Rome. Crowninshield was educated in New York City where one of his fellow students was Condé Nast. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship.

Like his father, he had a strong interest in painting and he eventually became art critic of The Century Magazine. During this period he promoted the work of modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jules Pascin, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He also purchased some of their work and these were later sold at a large profit.

In 1909 Condé Nast purchased a small society magazine called Vogue. He employed Crowninshield as editor and over the next few years he turned it into the country's main fashion and lifestyle magazine. It was also published in several European cities including London and Paris and it became a highly profitable aspect of Nast's growing magazine empire.

Nast also decided to establish a new magazine, Vanity Fair. He asked Crowninshield for advice. He replied: "Your magazine should cover the things people talk about... Parties, the arts, sports, theatre, humor, and so forth." Nast realized that Crowinshield was the best man to edit the new magazine that was launched in January 1914. Crowninshield told his readers: "We, as a nation have come to realize the need for more cheerfulness, for hiding a solemn face, for a fair measure of pluck, and for great good humour. Vanity Fair means to be as cheerful as anybody. It will print humour, it will look at the stage, at the arts, at the world of letters, at sport, and at the highly vitalized, electric, and diversified life of our day from the frankly cheerful angle of the optimist, or, which is much the same thing, from the mock-cheerful angle of the satirist."

Crowninshield developed a reputation for identifying good writers. In 1916 he published the first poems of Dorothy Parker. She later recalled: "Mr. Crowninshield, God rest his soul, paid twelve dollars for a small verse of mine and gave me a job on Vogue at ten dollars a week." Two years later she replaced P.G. Woodhouse as the magazine's theatre critic. Other members of staff at the time included Donald Ogden Stewart, Robert Benchley, Robert E. Sherwood and Helen Brown Norden. Crowninshield also accepted the poems, short-stories and articles from some of the most exciting young writers in the 1920s. This included Alexander Woollcott, Aldous Huxley, Edmund Wilson, Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot, Ferenc Molnár, Djuna Barnes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Noël Coward and Thomas Wolfe. By 1917 the magazine had a circulation of 90,000.

In 1919 Crowninshield began taking lunch with a group of writers in the dining room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. The writer, Murdock Pemberton, later recalled that he owner of the hotel, Frank Case, did what he could to encourage this gathering: "From then on we met there nearly every day, sitting in the south-west corner of the room. If more than four or six came, tables could be slid along to take care of the newcomers. we sat in that corner for a good many months... Frank Case, always astute, moved us over to a round table in the middle of the room and supplied free hors d'oeuvre. That, I might add, was no means cement for the gathering at any time... The table grew mainly because we then had common interests. We were all of the theatre or allied trades." Case admitted that he moved them to a central spot at a round table in the Rose Room, so others could watch them enjoy each other's company.

This group eventually became known as the Algonquin Round Table. Other regulars at these lunches included Robert E. Sherwood, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Harold Ross, Donald Ogden Stewart, Edna Ferber, Ruth Hale, Franklin Pierce Adams, Jane Grant, Neysa McMein, Alice Duer Miller, Charles MacArthur, Marc Connelly, George S. Kaufman, Beatrice Kaufman , Ben Hecht, John Peter Toohey, Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt and Ina Claire.

Vanity Fair published more pages of advertisements than any other American magazine. As a result Crowninshield was very keen not to upset those who helped finance the magazine. This included the theatre producer, Florenz Ziegfeld who objected to a review of a play by Dorothy Parker that featured his wife, Billie Burke: "Miss Burke is at her best in her more serious moments; in her desire to convey the girlishness of the character, she plays her lighter scenes as if she were giving an impersonation of Eva Tanguay." Parker developed a reputation for making harsh comments in her reviews and on 12th January 1920 she was sacked by Crowninshield.

Robert E. Sherwood and Robert Benchley both resigned over the sacking. As John Keats, the author of You Might as Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker (1971): "It is difficult now to imagine a magazine of Vanity Fair's importance then truckling to Broadway producers, but the newspapers and magazines of 1920 did, and this was a sore point to the working newspapermen and theatre critics at the Round Table. They believed that if an actor was guilty of overacting, it was no more and no less than a critic's duty to report that he was - producers be damned. Furthermore, in this case, Vanity Fair's position seemed to be one of accepting a complaint from an advertiser as sufficient excuse to fire an employee with no questions asked, and it was the injustice of this position that led Mr Benchley and Mr Sherwood to tell Mr Crowninshield that if he was going to fire Mrs Parker, they were quitting."

In 1921 Crowninshield moved in with Condé Nast. Crowninshield commented: "I suppose people thought we were fairies." Amy Fine Collins gave another explanation: "the situation providing the editor with posher accommodations than he could otherwise have afforded, and his boss with access to Crowninshield's far-flung and comprehensive social connections." Crowninshield, who never married, told his friend, Alexander Woollcott: "Married men make very poor husbands."

Crowninshield met Clare Boothe in 1929. At the interview he asked her to come back in a week's time with 100 suggestions suitable for publication in Vanity Fair. On the result of this exercise he gave her a job on the magazine. Clare asked if that meant her ideas were good ones. Crowninshield replied: "No, my child. Some of them are perfectly dreadful. but two at least are excellent. And one good idea a week is about all a magazine should expect from a novice assistant editor."

One of Boothe's first assignments was to write captions for its popular feature, We Nominate for the Hall of Fame . This included articles on people like Thomas Mann, Ernest Hemingway, Walter Gropius, Louis Bromfield and Pablo Picasso. In August, 1930, she introduced a new feature, We Nominate for Oblivion . Her targets included politicians such as Reed Smott ("because his chief qualifications for holding the position of Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is that he is an apostle in the Mormon Church of Utah and doesn't count on his fingers") and Smith W. Brookhart ("because he has made political capital out of snitching on those of his hosts who serve alcohol").

Vanity Fair suffered during the Great Depression from falling advertising revenue. Condé Nast announced in December 1935 that the magazine would be merged with Vogue (circulation 156,000) as of the March 1936 issue. Amy Fine Collins has argued: "A victim of the Depression, the magazine lost advertisers - whose existence Crowninshield had always ignored anyway. But Vanity Fair had also fallen out of sync with the times. By the 30s, with the economy and Fascism at the forefront of readers' minds, subscribers gravitated more to no-nonsense news coverage."

Frank Crowninshield died on 28th December, 1947.

Robert Benchley said that Frank Crowninshield had called Mrs Parker into his office that morning and told her that a suggestion had come to him from the publisher, Condé Nast, to fire her. The reason was, Mr Crowninshield had said, that she had panned three Broadway plays, and the producers of these plays complained to the publisher that they had been unfairly treated...

It is difficult now to imagine a magazine of Vanity Fair's importance then truckling to Broadway producers, but the newspapers and magazines of 1920 did, and this was a sore point to the working newspapermen and theatre critics at the Round Table. Furthermore, in this case, Vanity Fair's position seemed to be one of accepting a complaint from an advertiser as sufficient excuse to fire an employee with no questions asked, and it was the injustice of this position that led Mr Benchley and Mr Sherwood to tell Mr Crowninshield that if he was going to fire Mrs Parker, they were quitting.

Once upon a time, before the income tax, the Great War, and Prohibition, Mr. Condé Nast bought a magazine called Dress, a potential rival to his four-year-old Vogue. A few months later, in 1913, he paid $3,000 for a musty British social, literary, and political review titled Vanity Fair, named after both the sinful place in John Bunyan's 17th-century allegory The Pilgrim's Progress and William Makepeace Thackeray's 19th-century satirical novel. Crossbreeding his two acquisitions, Nast created Dress and Vanity Fair, a hydra-headed flop. To salvage the situation, Nast sought advice from the most cultivated, elegant, and endearing man in publishing, if not Manhattan, Frank Crowninshield.

The upper-crust aesthete - who, earlier the same year, had helped organize the landmark Armory Show, a succés de scandale which introduced Cubism to the American public - offered a remarkably simple solution. "Your magazine should cover the things people talk about," Crowninshield told Mr. Nast. "Parties, the arts, sports, theatre, humor, and so forth." Nast at once anointed Crowninshield editor, and agreeing to ditch the first half of the old title, the publishing tycoon launched Vanity Fair in January 1914. In his first editor's letter that March, Crowninshield confidently proclaimed that "young men and young women, full of courage, originality, and genius, are everywhere to be met with."

From 1921 to 1927, Nast and Crowninshield actually roomed together in a Park Avenue duplex - "I suppose people thought we were fairies," the publisher said - a situation providing the editor with posher accommodations than he could otherwise have afforded, and his boss with access to Crowninshield's far-flung and comprehensive social connections....

What, then, killed Vanity Fair, dead at 22 in the year 1936? A victim of the Depression, the magazine lost advertisers - whose existence Crowninshield had always ignored anyway. By the 30s, with the economy and Fascism at the forefront of readers' minds, subscribers gravitated more to no-nonsense news coverage than to arch V.F. pictorials such as "Who's Zoo?," which likened Mussolini's face to a monkey's. Nast contemplated emasculating Vanity Fair by turning it into a magazine called Beauty. But instead he folded it, along with Crowninshield, into Vogue. How bewildered the erudite Crownie would be to learn that, nine decades after his installation as editor - and some 20 years after Vanity Fair's resurrection into its current incarnation - today's reading public is less familiar with Bunyan and Thackeray than with the periodical that once promised to "ignite a dinner party at fifty yards."

Crowninshield family

The Crowninshield family were among the Boston Brahmin society of Boston: the most affluent and established families of Boston. The ancestor of the family was Johann Casper Richter von Kronenshcheldt, who came down to Germany with his father, Johann Casper Richter from the south of Denmark and settled in a small town. Johann Casper Richter's son headed for the New World and arrived in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, North America in 1680.

  • Derby family
  • Boardman family
  • Bradlee family
  • Fairbanks family
  • Hodges family
  • Putnam family
  • Welch family
  • Williams family
  • Capt. George Crowninshield, Jr.
  • John Cronwinshield
  • Hon. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield
  • Brvt. Brig. Gen. Casper Crowninshield
  • Rr. Adm. Arent Schuyler Crowninshield
  • Brvt. Col. Benjamin W. Crowninshield
  • Frances "Frank" Welch Crowninshield

  • Capt. Hon. Jacob Crowninshield (1770-1808),  U.S. Representative
  • Capt. Hon. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield (1772-1851), 5th United States Secretary of the Navy
  • Col. Hon. Francis Boardman Crownisnhield (1809-1877), Speaker of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts

Of Dr. Johann Kasper Richter von Kronescheldt and Elizabeth Allen [ edit | edit source ]

Capt. George Crowninshield

Of Capt. John Crowninshield and Anstiss Williams [ edit | edit source ]

Capt. Hon. Jacob Crowninshield

Of Capt. George Crowninshield and Mary Derby [ edit | edit source ]

Capt. Benjamin Crowninshield

Of Capt. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield and Mary Boardman [ edit | edit source ]

Capt. George Crowninshield, Jr.

Hon. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield

Of Capt. Francis Boardman Crowninshield and Sarah Gool Putnam [ edit | edit source ]

  • Capt. Francis Boardman Crowninshield (1809-1877)
    • m. Sarah Gool Putnam (c1809-1880)
      • Mary Crowninshield (1833-1834)
      • Sarah C. Crowninshield (1834-1840)
      • Col. Benjamin William Crowninshield (1837-1892)
        • m. Katherine M. Bradlee (-)
        • m. Capt. Josiah Bradlee III (1837-1902)

        Photograph of Hon. Benjamin Williams Crowninshield

        Of George Casper Crowninshield and Harriet Elizabeth Sears [ edit | edit source ]

        • George Casper Crowninshiel(bapt. 1812-1857)
          • m. Harriet Elizabeth Sears (1814-1873)
            • Cora Crowninshield (1845-1919)
              • m. Charles Boyden (1840-1881)

              Rr. Adm. Arent Schuyler Crowninshield

              Of Fanny Crowninshield and John Quincy Adams [ edit | edit source ]

                - md John Quincy Adams (1833-1894) (See also Adams political family:
                  , prominent college athlete and football coach at Harvard University. , 44th Secretary of the Navy, mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts.
                    , first president of Raytheon

                  Of Frederick Josiah Bradlee I and Elizabeth Whitwell Thomas [ edit | edit source ]

                  • Frederick Josiah Bradlee I (1866-1951)
                    • m. Elizabeth Whitwell Thomas (1868-1952)
                      • Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. (1892-1970)
                        • m. Chevalier Josephine de Gersdorff (1896-1975)

                        Of Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. and Chevalier Josephine de Gersdorff [ edit | edit source ]

                        • Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. (1892-1970)
                          • m. Chevalier Josephine de Gersdorff  (1896-1975)
                            • Frederick Josiah Bradlee III (1919-2003)
                            • Chevalier Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee (1921-2014)
                            • Constance "Connie" Bradlee (1924-1993)

                            Of Maj. Edward Augustes Crowninshield and Caroline Marie Welch [ edit | edit source ]

                            Francis "Frank" Welch Crowninshield, Founder and Editor-in-chief of Vanity Fairb

                            • m. Caroline Marie Welch (1820-1897)
                              • Edward Augustes Crowninshield, Jr. (1841-1867)
                              • Frederic Crowninshield (1845-1918)
                                • m. Helen Suzette Fairbanks (1841-1921)

                                Of Chevalier Josephine de Gersdorff and Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. [ edit | edit source ]

                                • Chevalier Josephine de Gersdorff (1896-1895)
                                  • m. Frederick Josiah Bradlee, Jr. (1892-1970)
                                    • Frederick Josiah Bradlee III (1919-2003)
                                    • Chevalier Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee (1921-2014)
                                    • Constance "Connie" Bradlee (1923-1993)

                                    The Museum of Modern Art history

                                    In the late 1920s, three progressive and influential patrons of the arts, Miss Lillie P. Bliss, Mrs. Cornelius J. Sullivan, and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., perceived a need to challenge the conservative policies of traditional museums and to establish an institution devoted exclusively to modern art. They, along with additional original trustees A. Conger Goodyear, Paul Sachs, Frank Crowninshield, and Josephine Boardman Crane, created The Museum of Modern Art in 1929. Its founding director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., intended the Museum to be dedicated to helping people understand and enjoy the visual arts of our time, and that it might provide New York with “the greatest museum of modern art in the world.”

                                    The public’s response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and over the course of the next 10 years the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of the building it still occupies in midtown Manhattan. Upon his appointment as the first director, Barr submitted an innovative plan for the conception and organization of the Museum that would result in a multi-departmental structure based on varied forms of visual expression. Today, these departments include architecture and design, drawings and prints, film, media and performance, painting and sculpture, and photography. Subsequent expansions took place during the 1950s and 1960s, planned by the architect Philip Johnson, who also designed The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden. In 1984, a major renovation designed by Cesar Pelli doubled the Museum’s gallery space and enhanced visitor facilities.

                                    The rich and varied collection of The Museum of Modern Art constitutes one of the most comprehensive and panoramic views into modern art. From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art’s collection has grown to approximately 200,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, media and performance art works, architectural models and drawings, design objects, and films. MoMA also owns approximately two million film stills. The Museum’s Library and Archives contain the leading concentration of research material on modern art in the world, and each of the curatorial departments maintains a study center available to students, scholars, and researchers. MoMA’s Library holds over 320,000 items, including books, artists’ books, periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 90,000 artists. The Museum Archives contains primary source material related to the history of MoMA and modern and contemporary art.

                                    The Museum maintains an active schedule of modern and contemporary art exhibitions addressing a wide range of subject matter, mediums, and time periods, highlighting significant recent developments in the visual arts and new interpretations of major artists and art historical movements. Works of art from its collection are displayed in rotating installations so that the public may regularly expect to find new works on display. Ongoing programs of classic and contemporary films range from retrospectives and historical surveys to introductions of the work of independent and experimental film- and video makers. Visitors also enjoy access to bookstores offering an assortment of publications, and a design store offering objects related to modern and contemporary art and design.

                                    The Museum is dedicated to its role as an educational institution and provides a complete program of activities intended to assist both the general public and special segments of the community in approaching and understanding the world of modern and contemporary art. In addition to gallery talks, lectures, and symposia, the Museum offers special activities for parents, teachers, families, students, preschoolers, bilingual visitors, and people with special needs. In addition, the Museum has one of the most active publishing programs of any art museum and has published more than 2,500 editions appearing in 35 languages.

                                    In January 2000, the Museum and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) exercised a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing their affiliation. The final arrangement results in an affiliation in which the Museum becomes the sole corporate member of MoMA PS1 and MoMA PS1 maintains its artistic and corporate independence. This innovative partnership expands outreach for both institutions, and offers a broad range of collaborative opportunities in collections, exhibitions, educational programs, and administration.

                                    In 2006, MoMA completed the largest and most ambitious building project in its history to that point. The project nearly doubled the space for MoMA’s exhibitions and programs. Designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, the facility features 630,000 square feet of new and redesigned space. The Peggy and David Rockefeller Building, on the western portion of the site, houses the main exhibition galleries, and The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building—the Museum’s first building devoted solely to these activities—on the eastern portion of the site, provides over five times more space for classrooms, auditoriums, teacher training workshops, and the Museum’s expanded Library and Archives. These two buildings frame the enlarged Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The new Museum opened to the public on November 20, 2004, and the Cullman Building opened in November 2006.

                                    To make way for that renovation and rebuilding project, MoMA closed on 53 Street in Manhattan on May 21, 2002, and opened MoMA QNS in Long Island City, Queens, on June 29, 2002. MoMA QNS served as the base of the Museum’s exhibition program and operations through September 27, 2004, when the facility was closed in preparation for The Museum of Modern Art’s reopening in Manhattan. This building now provides state-of-the-art storage spaces for the Museum.

                                    Today, The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 welcome millions of visitors every year. A still larger public is served by MoMA’s national and international programs of circulating exhibitions, loan programs, circulating film and video library, publications, Library and Archives holdings, websites, educational activities, special events, and retail sales.

                                    Century-Old Rose Garden Restored in Marblehead

                                    Brian McCarthy wanted to purchase the entire seven-and-a-half-acre Crowninshield estate. However, only two acres were up for sale in 1996 when a friend alerted him that the Marblehead property was on the market. Twenty-five years later, many would say that Brian and Nancy McCarthy purchased the best two acres of the parcel because Louise du Pont Crowninshield’s rose garden lay buried and nearly forgotten on their section of the estate. And everyone agrees it was lucky land because Brian McCarthy launched a full and faithful restoration of the garden with sensitive insight and all the fixings for his forever home.

                                    />Astilbe accents the yew topiary in the formal garden.

                                    Seaside Farm, as it is called, was the former summer getaway for the Crowninshields at Marblehead, where yachtsman Francis (Frank) Boardman Crowninshield sailed in the summer. Not just any household, this was a veritable American version of Upstairs Downstairs, complete with butlers, chauffeurs, and several gardeners. Those gardeners definitely did not stand idle. Frank’s wife, Louise du Pont Crowninshield, was a staunch preservationist and founder of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, but she also had gardening in her bloodline, having grown up wandering Winterthur, her father’s naturalistically planted estate near Wilmington, Delaware.

                                    The rose garden she created at her Marblehead summer home in the early 1900s was every inch the sumptuous spectacle you might expect of a family who loved the land and commanded the resources to make a thoroughly tasteful display happen. Her style was more formal than her father’s, summer was when she needed her garden to shine, and roses were her passion. She went straight over the top designing a luscious, rose-filled garden.

                                    Unfortunately, no vestige remained of her vision when the two-acre lot became the McCarthys’ domain. Between Louise Crowninshield’s death in 1958 and 1996, the original estate was subdivided and “absolutely nothing was left of the garden,” McCarthy asserts of his two-acre lot. “No remnant, flower, or wall still existed.” He made it his mission to reclaim the scene in all its splendor.

                                    A house also no longer stood on the two acres that the McCarthys bought. As a result, for the first few years of ownership, they were immersed in building a quintessential Georgian home with a slate roof, thirteen dormers, and numerous columns, plus a commanding view of Doliber Cove at Peach’s Point. When that house was completed, McCarthy was able to turn his full attention to the garden.

                                    Fortunately, photographs existed. Further, McCarthy found a gardener who once worked on the estate and recalled the exact roses and perennials previously planted. “He described the roses, catmint, boxwood hedges, and perennials around the pool,” McCarthy recalls. “It was a great history lesson for us.”

                                    With the help of Doug Jones of Boston’s LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects, the restoration began in 1999. What followed was several years of intense work as many feet of brick walls were recreated to look as if they were original. Meanwhile, McCarthy frequented auctions to find appropriate sculpture to fill the niches in the wall. Boxwood hedges were planted and clipped into parterres. Hundred-year-old wisteria trees were found and installed to give instant age. Treasures were unearthed.

                                    In the process of restoration, a 60 by 30 foot swimming pool was discovered buried beneath some giant locust trees and a few feet of soil. “It was built around 1910-1915 and as a testimony to the original craftsmanship, there was not one crack in that pool,” McCarthy marvels. A koi pond was also installed, and both pool and pond were given a state-of-the-art UV light filtration system. Cast iron gates were replicated and a greenhouse was added to protect McCarthy’s collection of venerable half-century-old jade plants.

                                    Most importantly, the garden blossomed again. From the ivies that climb the walls and burst into bloom to the perennials that bristle in the parterre beds, Seaside Farm speaks its appreciation in petals. Roses blossom and rebloom throughout the summer to send their redolence floating in the breezes. The garden breathes and has breadth.

                                    />The original staircase required extensive renovation.

                                    And the past lives. Throughout this process, existing elements were preserved. Care was taken to steer clear of a 175-year-old purple beech tree, one of the largest in the country. The soil was amended and compost was added. With 1,100 feet of ocean frontage, sea walls were restored and storm-proof plantings were installed along the water.

                                    Blocks of ornamental grasses, Russian sage, sedums, and Montauk daisies were put in for an entirely different spin from the formal garden. Those plantings dance in the sea gusts, framing the view out to Brown’s Island (now Crowninshield Island), donated to the Trustees of Reservations by Mrs. Crowninshield. “I sing her praises every single day of the year,” declares McCarthy. For one shining garden in Marblehead, the tradition of stewardship and horticultural excellence remains alive and well. “We care about leaving a legacy,” McCarthy explains.

                                    The Museum of Modern Art, Then and Now

                                    W hen the first-ever exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City opened 85 years ago, on Nov. 7, 1929, the “museum” wasn’t exactly the institution today’s visitors might expect. At the time, the city’s museum crown was indisputably in the hands of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met did not share the spotlight and the Met did not do modern. In return, artists of the time had turned up their noses at its hallowed halls viewing it, as TIME phrased it back then, “only as a trysting place for shopgirls and their beaux, a shelter for nurse-girls and babies on rainy days, a ‘point of interest’ for out-of-towners.”

                                    When seven collectors and patrons &mdash including Mrs. John Davison Rockefeller Jr. and Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield &mdash announced that September that they would open a Museum of Modern Art to bridge the gap, the museum was actually a few rooms in the Heckscher Building, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Not having a proper museum, it turned out, didn’t really make a difference: the following March, TIME reported that 1,500 people a day visited the museum &mdash and that the trustees of the institution would have to start charging admission, 50 cents a head, in order to better manage the flow of visitors.

                                    In 1932, the museum moved to a site on 53rd Street that, over the years, would evolve into the building MoMA inhabits today, with six floors of galleries instead of six rooms.

                                    Selected readings on MoMA history

                                    An incomplete history of MoMA and MoMA PS1, as told through objects in the archives. Jump into a highlight from our timeline or start at the beginning.

                                    Archives highlights

                                    A small sample of objects from the Archives.

                                    Magazine and MoMA blog posts



                                    Inside/Out, a MoMA blog

                                    Bibliography on the history and collections of The Museum of Modern Art

                                    Bajac, Quentin, ed. Being Modern: Building the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2017.

                                    Bajac, Quentin, Christophe Cherix, Stuart Comer, Rajendra Roy, Martino Stierli, and Ann Temkin. MoMA Now: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

                                    Barr, Alfred H., Jr. “Chronicles.” Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art 1929–1967. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1977, 619-650.

                                    Barr, Margaret Scolari. “Our Campaigns: Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and the Museum of Modern Art: A Biographical Chronicle of the Years 1930–1944.” The New Criterion, special summer issue 1987, 23-74.

                                    Basilio, Miriam, ed. Latin American and Caribbean Art: MoMA at El Museo. New York: El Museo del Barrio and The Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

                                    Bee, Harriet Schoenholz and Michelle Elligott. Art in Our Time: A Chronicle of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

                                    Biesenbach, Klaus and Bettina Funcke, eds. MoMA PS1: A History. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

                                    Butler, Cornelia H. and Alexandra Schwartz, eds. Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2010.

                                    Cahan, Susan. Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016.

                                    Elderfield, John. The Modern Drawing. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1983.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. Modern Painting and Sculpture: 1880 to the Present at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: American Art of the 1960s. Studies in Modern Art, no. 1. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1991.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Essays on Assemblage. Studies in Modern Art, no. 2. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1992.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Studies in Modern Art, no. 3. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art at Mid-Century: At Home and Abroad. Studies in Modern Art, no. 4. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art at Mid-Century: Continuity and Change. Studies in Modern Art, no. 5. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1995.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Philip Johnson and the Museum of Modern Art. Studies in Modern Art, no. 6. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

                                    Elderfield, John, ed. The Museum of Modern Art: Imagining the Future of the Museum of Modern Art. Studies in Modern Art, no.7. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998.

                                    Elderfield, John. Henri Matisse: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1996.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 1: Charting Modernism.” Esopus Magazine, no. 7, Fall 2006, 75-86.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 2: Dear Miss Miller…: Selected Correspondence between James Lee Byars and Dorothy C. Miller.” Esopus Magazine, no. 8, Spring 2007, 66-75.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 3: Tentative and Confidential: Documents Relating to Exhibition ‘X’.” Esopus Magazine, no. 9, Fall 2007, 132-144.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 4: Drawing Comparisons: The Sketches of René D’Harnoncourt.” Esopus Magazine, no. 10, Spring 2008, 131-151.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Early Registration: Selected Pages from the Museum of Modern Art Guest Book.” Esopus Magazine, no. 11, Fall 2008, 142-159.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 6: States of Grace: Materials in the Archives relating to Grace Hartigan (1922–2008).” Esopus Magazine, no. 12, Spring 2009, 141-151.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 7: Exhibition Number 13: Henri Matisse: A Retrospective.” Esopus Magazine, no. 13, Fall 2009, 98-115.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 8: The Art of Broadcasting: The Museum of Modern Art and Television.” Esopus Magazine, no. 15, Fall 2010, 146-163.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 9: One and the Same: Celebrating the Union of Democracy and Modern Art.” Esopus Magazine, no. 16, Spring 2011, 113-121.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 10: Rent to Own: The Art Lending Service of the Museum of Modern Art.” Esopus Magazine, no. 17, Fall 2011, 116-133.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 11: Creating ‘Spaces’: Documents from the Pioneering 1969 Exhibition.” Esopus Magazine, no. 18, Spring 2012, 106-123.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 12: From Body to Object: Documents Related to Scott Burton’s Performances.” Esopus Magazine, no. 19, Spring 2013, 105-121.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 14: Imagining Possibilities.” Esopus Magazine, no. 21, Spring 2014, 44–63.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 15: The Healing Arts.” Esopus Magazine, no. 22, Spring 2015, 117–128.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 16: The Living Garden.” Esopus Magazine, no. 23, Spring 2016, 26–40.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 17: Modern Renaissance.” Esopus Magazine, no. 24, Spring 2017, 143–158.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 18: The Young Turks.” Esopus Magazine, no. 25, Spring 2018, 18–36.

                                    Elligott, Michelle. René d’Harnoncourt and the Art of Installation. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2018.

                                    English, Darby and Charlotte Barat. Among Others: Blackness at MoMA. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

                                    Goldberger, Paul. “The New MoMA.” The New York Times Magazine, 15 April 1984, 36-49.

                                    Franc, Helen. An Invitation to See. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1992.

                                    Friedman, Samantha and Jodi Hauptman, eds. Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

                                    Goodyear, A. Conger. The Museum of Modern Art: The First Ten Years. New York: by the author, 1943.

                                    Harvey, Michelle. “Modern Artifacts 13: Seitz Specific: Re-locating the Work of Claude Monet.” Esopus Magazine, no. 20, Fall 2013.

                                    Hellman, Geoffrey T. “Profiles: Imperturbable Noble.” The New Yorker, 7 May 1960. [profile of René d’Harnoncourt]

                                    Hellman, Geoffrey T. “Profiles: Last of Species.” The New Yorker, 19 Sept. 1942, 22-26. [profile of Frank Crowninshield]

                                    Hines, Thomas S. Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art: The Arthur Drexler Years, 1951–1986. Los Angeles: The Getty Research Institute, 2019.

                                    Hunter, Sam. Introduction to The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The History and the Collection. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1984. Reprint, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997.

                                    Kahn, E. J. Jr. “Profiles: Resources and Responsibilities, Part I.” The New Yorker 40, no. 47, 9 Jan. 1965. [First of two-part profile of David Rockefeller]

                                    Kert, Bernice. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the Family. New York: Random House, 1993.

                                    Lamster, Mark. The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

                                    Lowry, Glenn D. The New Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

                                    Lowry, Glenn D. The Museum of Modern Art in this Century. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2009.

                                    Lynes, Russell. Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. New York: Atheneum, 1973.

                                    MacDonald, Dwight. “Profiles: Action on West Fifty-third Street, Part I.” The New Yorker 29, no. 43, 12 Dec. 1953. [First of two-part profile of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.]

                                    MacDonald, Dwight. “Profiles: Action on West Fifty-third Street, Part II.” The New Yorker 29, no. 44, 19 Dec. 1953. [Second of two-part profile of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.]

                                    MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019.

                                    Reed, Peter. A Modern Garden: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007.

                                    Reed, Peter and Romy Silver-Kohn, eds. Oasis in the City: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2018.

                                    Reed, Peter and William Kaizen, eds. The Show to End All Shows: Frank Lloyd Wright and The Museum of Modern Art, 1940. Studies in Modern Art, no.8. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004.

                                    Ricciotti, Dominic. “The 1939 Building of the Museum of Modern Art: The Goodwin-Stone Collaboration,” The American Art Journal 17, no. 3, summer issue 1985, 50–76.

                                    Roob, Rona. “Alfred H. Barr, Jr.: A Chronicle of the Years 1902–1929.” The New Criterion, special summer issue 1987, 1-19.

                                    Rubin, William S. Picasso in the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1972.

                                    Rubin, William S. Miró in the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1973.

                                    Schulze, Franz. Philip Johnson: Life and Work. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

                                    Szarkowski, John. Looking at Photographs. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1973.

                                    Szarkowski, John. Windows and Mirrors: American Photography Since 1960. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1978.

                                    Tomkins, Calvin. “Profiles: Forms Under Light.” The New Yorker 53, no. 14, 23 May 1977. [profile of Philip Johnson]

                                    Tomkins, Calvin. “Profiles: The Modernist.” The New Yorker 77 no. 34, 5 Nov. 2001. [profile of Kirk Varnedoe]

                                    Tomkins, Calvin. “Profiles: Sharpening the Eye.” The New Yorker 61 no. 37, 4 Nov. 1985. [profile of William Rubin]

                                    Umland, Anne and Adrian Sudhalter with Scott Gerson, eds. Dada in the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008.

                                    History of Salem, Massachusetts

                                    Salem is a historic town in Massachusetts. The area was home to native people for thousands of years before being settled by the Massachusetts Bay colonists in the 17 th century.

                                    Salem is most famous for the being the site of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 but also has a rich maritime history as well.

                                    The following is the history of Salem:

                                    • An epidemic breaks out in the Native-American villages in New England and hits the Naumkeag tribe hard, greatly reducing their numbers.
                                      and a group of settlers from the failed colony at Gloucester arrive in the area the natives call Naumkeag, which is modern-day Salem, and settle it. Conant serves as the settlement’s governor.
                                    • On June 20, John Endecott and a group of settlers from the New England Company for a Plantation in Massachusetts Bay arrive in Naumkeag with a patent to settle the area. Conant peacefully surrenders control of Naumkeag.
                                    • The Massachusetts Bay Colony charter is confirmed and the New England Company is renamed the Massachusetts Bay Company.
                                    • Naumkeag is renamed Salem, a hellenized version of the Hebrew word “Shalom” (which means peace) in honor of the peaceful agreement between Endicott and Conant.
                                    • On June 12, John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Company reach the New World and land in Salem but the village can’t accommodate all of the new settlers so they continue on to Charlestown and eventually settle in Boston.

                                    Pickman House, Salem, Mass
                                    • The Ingersoll-Turner mansion, now known as the House of Seven Gables, is built by merchant John Turner.
                                    • Jonathan Corwin purchases a partially constructed house, now known as the Witch House, on Main Street (Essex Street) and completes construction on it.

                                    The Witch House, Salem, Mass, circa November 2015. Photo by Rebecca Brooks
                                    • On October 11, a group of selectman, John Ruck, John Higginson, Samuel Gardner, Timothy Landall, William Hirst, and Israel Porter, purchase Salem, Danvers and Peabody from the Naumkeag tribe for 20 pounds. Although the tribe had moved to Lowell after King Philip’s War ended, it still returned to Salem on a yearly basis until 1725 and camped on the side of Gallows Hill.
                                    • On March 1, the Salem Witch Trials begin when three women, Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne, are arrested on charges of witchcraft. Tituba confesses and declares that there are more witches in Salem which sparks a massive witch hunt.
                                    • On June 1, Bridget Bishop becomes the first person executed during the Salem Witch Trials when she is hanged at Proctor’s Ledge.
                                    • On July 19, Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good and Sarah Wildes are hanged at Proctor’s Ledge.
                                    • On August 19, 1692, John Proctor, George Burroughs, George Jacobs Sr, John Willard and Martha Carrier are hanged at Proctor’s Ledge.
                                    • On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey is pressed to death in a field on Howard Street after refusing to to continue with his trial.
                                    • On September 22, 1692, Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Easty, Wilmot Redd and Mary Parker are hanged at Proctor’s Ledge. These are the last executions of the Salem Witch Trials.
                                    • On May 10, 1717, Judge John Hathorne dies at the age of 76 and is buried in the Charter Street Cemetery.

                                    “Tombstone of Col. John Hathorne, the Witch Judge, ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem, Mass,” color printed postcard, published by the Rotograph Co, circa 1905
                                    • On June 9, Judge Jonathan Corwin dies in Salem at the age of 78 and is buried in the Corwin family tomb in the Broad Street Cemetery.
                                    • Philip English donates a section of land on the corner of Brown and St. Peter Street, and a small wooden church, called the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, is built there.
                                    • The Salem Courthouse on Washington Street, where the Salem Witch Trials were held, is torn down.
                                    • Sometime between 1759 – 1760, the Nathaniel Bowditch House is built on North Street.
                                    • On August 24, 3,000 angry colonists storm Salem after members of the committee of correspondence are arrested for holding a town meeting.
                                    • On October 6, a fire destroys Judge John Hathorne’s mansion on Washington Street as well as a nearby meetinghouse, seven other homes and 14 stores.
                                    • General Thomas Gage moves the Massachusetts General Court from Boston to Salem.
                                    • On February 26, a skirmish known as Leslie’s Retreat takes place in Salem.
                                    • Fort Lee is established near Fort Avenue at Salem Neck.
                                    • Merchant Joshua Ward purchases George Corwin’s property on Washington street, razes Corwin’s house and builds a large Federal-style brick mansion, the Joshua Ward House, which still stands today.
                                    • The city transforms the swamp at Washington Square into a tree-lined park called Salem Common.
                                    • The Howard Street Cemetery is established on what is now modern day Howard Street.
                                    • On July 4, Nathaniel Hawthorne is born in Salem.
                                    • The Gardner-Pingree House is built for John and Sarah Gardner on Essex Street.
                                    • The Thomas March Woodbridge House is built for tannery owner Thomas March Woodbridge on Bridge Street.
                                    • On September 21, Sophia Peabody is born in Salem.
                                    • The Joseph Fenno House is built on Hawthorne Boulevard.
                                    • Bessie Monroe House is built on Ash Street.
                                    • The Joseph Story House is built for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story on Winter Street.
                                    • In September, the Friendship is captured by the British warship the HMS Rosamond during the War of 1812.
                                    • The old Salem jail on Federal Street, where the accused witches were held in 1692, is abandoned and new jail is built on St. Peter Street.

                                    Salem Jail, St. Peter Street, Salem, Mass
                                    • The Battle of the Chesapeake and the Shannon takes place in Salem Harbor during the War of 1812.
                                    • Bowker Place is built on Essex Street.
                                    • On April 6, Captain Joseph White is murdered in his house, the Gardner-Pingree House, on Essex Street.
                                    • On May 5, 1830, a jury indicts Richard Crowninshield for the murder of Captain Joseph White. Three other men, Richard’s brother George, Frank Knapp and Joseph Knapp, are charged with abetting the crime.
                                    • On June 15, Richard Crowninshield hangs himself in his jail cell at the Salem jail.
                                    • In August, Frank Knapp’s trial ends in a mistrial and he is retried two days later and found guilty of hiring Richard Crowninshield to murder White.
                                    • On September 28, Frank Knapp is hanged in front of the Salem jail.
                                    • In November, Joseph Knapp is tried and found guilty of murder and George Crowninshield is tried and acquitted in the murder of White.
                                    • On December 31, Joseph Knapp is hanged in front of the Salem jail.
                                    • St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is torn down and a stone church is built in its place which still stands today. The stone church is much larger than the wooden church so it is built on top of some of the graves, including Philip English’s grave.
                                    • Abner Cheney Goodell purchases the old Salem jail, which still has the dungeon in the basement, and remodels it into a home.
                                    • Alexander Graham Bell holds the first public demonstration of the telephone at the Lyceum building.
                                    • The St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and Rectory is built on Forrester Street.
                                    • Caroline Osgood Emmerton purchases the House of Seven Gables and restores it to its original 17 th century appearance.
                                    • On June 17, a bronze statue of Roger Conant, which was designed by artist Henry H. Kitson and erected by the Conant Family Association, is dedicated on Brown Street.
                                    • Historian Alfred Putnam Goodell, son of Abner Cheney Goodell, begins running the Old Witch Jail tourist attraction at his home on Federal Street and allows visitors to tour the dungeon where the accused witches were kept.

                                    Interior of the old dungeon, old witch jail, Salem, Mass, circa 1935
                                    • Historic Salem, Inc. moves the Jonathan Corwin house about 35 feet to its current location, to avoid demolition when North Street is widened, and begins restoring it to its original seventeenth century appearance.
                                    • On Memorial Day weekend, the Jonathan Corwin house opens to the public as a historic house museum, called the Witch House, on Essex Street.
                                    • In the spring, playwright Arthur Miller spends a week in Salem researching the Salem Witch Trials court records for his play The Crucible.
                                    • On July 16, the Coast Guard spots and photographs unidentified flying objects over Winter Island.
                                    • The New England Telephone Company demolishes the Goodell home on Federal Street to construct its new headquarters and discovers the old dungeon underneath. The company donates two wooden beams from the old dungeon to the Peabody Essex Museum.

                                    Old Salem Jail, Historical Marker, 10 Federal Street, Salem, Mass
                                    • In June and July, several episodes of the popular television show, Bewitched, are filmed in several locations in Salem, such as the Witch House, the House of Seven Gables and the Hawthorne Hotel. The episodes sparks public interest in the trials and Salem soon becomes a popular tourist destination.
                                    • The City of Salem declares October 7 “Bewitched Day” in Salem.
                                    • The Salem Witch Trials Memorial is built on Liberty Street.
                                    • In October, scenes from the Disney movie Hocus Pocus are filmed in several locations in Salem, such as at the Ropes Mansion, Pioneer Village, Phipps Elementary School and the Old Town Hall.
                                    • On June 15, the newly built Bewitched Statue on the corner of Essex and Washington Street is dedicated.

                                    Bewitched Statue, Salem, Mass. Photo by Rebecca Brooks.
                                    • The Gallows Hill Project confirms that Proctor’s Ledge is the site of the Salem Witch Trials executions.

                                    For more info on Salem’s history, check out this article on the Salem Heritage Trail.

                                    Vanity Fair

                                    In 1914, Crowninshield – who was considered "the most cultivated, elegant, and endearing man in publishing, if not Manhattan" [3] – was hired by his friend Condé Nast to become editor of the new Vanity Fair. Crowninshield immediately dropped the magazine's fashion elements and helped turn the periodical into the preeminent literary voice of sophisticated American society, a position it held until 1935. As young adults, Nast and Crowninshield were roommates.

                                    During his tenure as editor, Crowninshield attracted the best writers of the era. In fact, Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, Ferenc Molnár, Gertrude Stein, and Djuna Barnes, all appeared in the issue of July 1923, while some of F. Scott Fitzgerald's earliest works were published by the magazine. Dorothy Parker's first poem was bought for the magazine under Crowninshield's advisement, and the magazine was also the first to print reproductions of works by artists such as Picasso and Matisse.

                                    Crowninshield revised the magazine's policies on advertising. In 1915, Vanity Fair published more pages of ads than any other magazine in the country, though the number dwindled under Crowninshield's leadership. The magazine lost valuable revenue, especially during and following the Great Depression, when businesses purchased fewer ads in any case.

                                    Frank Crowninshield - History

                                    L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz series writes a History of Mother Goose

                                    N one of us, whether children or adults, needs an introduction to
                                    Mother Goose. Those things which are earliest impressed upon our minds cling to them most tenaciously The snatches sung in the nursery are never forgotten, nor are they ever recalled without bringing back with them myriads of slumbering feelings and half-forgotten images.

                                    We hear the sweet, low voice of the mother, singing soft lullabies to
                                    her darling, and see the kindly, wrinkled face of the grandmother as
                                    she croons the old ditties to quiet our restless spirits. One
                                    generation is linked to another by the everlasting spirit of song the
                                    ballads of the nursery follow us from childhood to old age, and they
                                    are readily brought from memory's recesses at any time to amuse our
                                    children or our grandchildren.

                                    The collection of jingles we know and love as the "Melodies of Mother
                                    Goose" are evidently drawn from a variety of sources. While they are,
                                    taken altogether, a happy union of rhyme, wit, pathos, satire and
                                    sentiment, the research after the author of each individual verse
                                    would indeed be hopeless. It would be folly to suppose them all the
                                    composition of uneducated old nurses, for many of them contain much
                                    reflection, wit and melody. It is said that Shelley wrote "Pussy-Cat
                                    Mew," and Dean Swift "Little Bo-Peep," and these assertions are as
                                    difficult to disprove as to prove. Some of the older verses, however,
                                    are doubtless offshoots from ancient Folk Lore Songs, and have
                                    descended to us through many centuries.

                                    The connection of Mother Goose with the rhymes which bear her name is
                                    difficult to determine, and, in fact, three countries claim her for
                                    their own: France, England and America.

                                    About the year 1650 there appeared in circulation in London a small
                                    book, named "Rhymes of the Nursery or Lulla-Byes for Children," which
                                    contained many of the identical pieces that have been handed down to
                                    us but the name of Mother Goose was evidently not then known. In this
                                    edition were the rhymes of "Little Jack Homer," "Old King Cole,"
                                    "Mistress Mary," "Sing a Song o' Sixpence," and "Little Boy Blue."

                                    In 1697 Charles Perrault published in France a book of children's
                                    tales entitled "Contes de ma Mere Oye," and this is really the first
                                    time we find authentic record of the use of the name of Mother Goose,
                                    although Perrault's tales differ materially from those we now know
                                    under this title. They comprised "The Sleeping Beauty," "The Fairy,"
                                    "Little Red Riding Hood," "Blue Beard," "Puss in Boots" "Riquet with
                                    the Tuft," "Cinderella," and "Little Thumb" eight stories in all. On
                                    the cover of the book was depicted an old lady holding in her hand a
                                    distaff and surrounded by a group of children listening eagerly. Mr.
                                    Andrew Lang has edited a beautiful English edition of this work
                                    (Oxford, 1888).

                                    America bases her claim to Mother Goose upon the following statement,
                                    made by the late John Fleet Eliot, a descendant of Thomas Fleet, the

                                    At the beginning of the eighteenth century there lived in Boston a
                                    lady named Eliza Goose (written also Vergoose and Vertigoose) who
                                    belonged to a wealthy family. Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Goose (or
                                    Vertigoose), was married by Rev. Cotton Mather in 1715 to an
                                    enterprising and industrious printer named Thomas Fleet, and in due
                                    time gave birth to a son. Like most mothers-in-law in our day, the
                                    importance of Mrs. Goose increased with the appearance of her
                                    grandchild, and poor Mr. Fleet, half distracted with her endless
                                    nursery ditties, finding all other means fail, tried what ridicule
                                    could effect, and actually printed a book under the title "Songs of
                                    the Nursery or, Mother Goose's Melodies for Children." On the title
                                    page was the picture of a goose with a very long neck and a mouth wide
                                    open, and below this, "Printed by T. Fleet, at his Printing House in
                                    Pudding Lane, 1719. Price, two coppers."

                                    Mr. Wm. A. Wheeler, the editor of Hurd & Houghton's elaborate edition
                                    of Mother Goose, (1870), reiterated this assertion, and a writer in
                                    the Boston Transcript of June 17, 1864, says: "Fleet's book was partly
                                    a reprint of an English collection of songs (Barclay's), and the new
                                    title was doubtless a compliment by the printer to his mother-in-law
                                    Goose for her contributions. She was the mother of sixteen children
                                    and a typical 'Old Woman who lived in a Shoe.'"

                                    We may take it to be true that Fleet's wife was of the Vergoose
                                    family, and that the name was often contracted to Goose. But the rest
                                    of the story is unsupported by any evidence whatever. In fact, all
                                    that Mr. Eliot knew of it was the statement of the late Edward A.
                                    Crowninshield, of Boston, that he had seen Fleet's edition in the
                                    library of the American Antiquarian Society. Repeated researches at
                                    Worcester having failed to bring to light this supposed copy, and no
                                    record of it appearing on any catalogue there, we may dismiss the
                                    entire story with the supposition that Mr. Eliot misunderstood the
                                    remarks made to him. Indeed, as Mr. William H. Whitmore points out in
                                    his clever monograph upon Mother Goose (Albany, 1889), it is very
                                    doubtful whether in 1719 a Boston printer would have been allowed to
                                    publish such "trivial" rhymes. "Boston children at that date," says
                                    Mr. Whitmore, "were fed upon Gospel food, and it seems extremely
                                    improbable that an edition could have been sold."

                                    Singularly enough, England's claim to the venerable old lady is of
                                    about the same date as Boston's. There lived in a town in Sussex,
                                    about the year 1704, an old woman named Martha Gooch. She was a
                                    capital nurse, and in great demand to care for newly-born babies
                                    therefore, through long years of service as nurse, she came to be
                                    called Mother Gooch. This good woman had one peculiarity: she was
                                    accustomed to croon queer rhymes and jingles over the cradles of her
                                    charges, and these rhymes "seemed so senseless and silly to the people
                                    who overheard them" that they began to call her "Mother Goose," in
                                    derision, the term being derived from Queen Goosefoot, the mother of
                                    Charlemagne. The old nurse paid no attention to her critics, but
                                    continued to sing her rhymes as before for, however much grown people
                                    might laugh at her, the children seemed to enjoy them very much, and
                                    not one of them was too peevish to be quieted and soothed by her
                                    verses. At one time Mistress Gooch was nursing a child of Mr. Ronald
                                    Barclay, a physician residing in the town, and he noticed the rhymes
                                    she sang and became interested in them. In time he wrote them all down
                                    and made a book of them, which it is said was printed by John
                                    Worthington & Son in the Strand, London, in 1712, under the name of
                                    "Ye Melodious Rhymes of Mother Goose." But even this story of Martha
                                    Gooch is based upon very meager and unsatisfactory evidence.

                                    The earliest English edition of Mother Goose's Melodies that is
                                    absolutely authentic was issued by John Newbury of London about the
                                    year 1760, and the first authentic American edition was a reprint of
                                    Newbury's made by Isaiah Thomas of Worcester, Mass., in 1785.

                                    None of the earlier editions, however, contained all the rhymes so
                                    well known at the present day, since every decade has added its quota
                                    to the mass of jingles attributed to "Mother Goose." Some of the
                                    earlier verses have become entirely obsolete, and it is well they
                                    have, for many were crude and silly and others were coarse. It is
                                    simply a result of the greater refinement of modern civilization that
                                    they have been relegated to oblivion, while the real gems of the
                                    collection will doubtless live and grow in popular favor for many

                                    While I have taken some pains to record the various claims to the
                                    origin of Mother Goose, it does not matter in the least whether she
                                    was in reality a myth, or a living Eliza Goose, Martha Gooch or the
                                    "Mere Oye" of Perrault. The songs that cluster around her name are
                                    what we love, and each individual verse appeals more to the childish
                                    mind than does Mother Goose herself.

                                    Many of these nursery rhymes are complete tales in themselves, telling
                                    their story tersely but completely there are others which are but
                                    bare suggestions, leaving the imagination to weave in the details of
                                    the story. Perhaps therein may lie part of their charm, but however
                                    that may be I have thought the children might like the stories told at
                                    greater length, that they may dwell the longer upon their favorite
                                    heroes and heroines.

                                    For that reason I have written this book.

                                    In making the stories I have followed mainly the suggestions of the
                                    rhymes, and my hope is that the little ones will like them, and not
                                    find that they interfere with the fanciful creations of their own

                                    Watch the video: Happy Goodmans The Lighthouse Final Stand (July 2022).


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