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Edith Wharton's New York - Day 2

By MPL Staff on May 17, 2014 4:26 PM

Another dispatch from MPL Library Director Paula Kiely, who is currently traveling with the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library tour of Edith Wharton's New York City:

[Read Day 1]

Another great day, packed with art and the architecture of the Wharton era.

We started at the incredible Frick Museum on 70th Street and 5th Avenue. This beautiful home turned museum holds some of the greatest works of art known. Goya, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Turner are just a few of the artists whose work we saw.

Courtyard at the Frick
Courtyard at the Frick

After lunch it was on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the afternoon. In Wharton's 1920 novel, The Age of Innocence, the main characters meet in one of the Museum galleries.  Today, the galleries were overflowing with art lovers enjoying the incredible designs of couturier Charles James in "Beyond Fashion" as well as the permanent collections.

Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Our group was then treated to a private introduction to the Print Study Room with Kit Basquin, former Associate for Administration, Drawings and Prints. Kit illustrated her descriptions of various print-making techniques with selections from the collection: a chalk drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, a 1643 etching by Rembrandt, and a 16th century woodcut by Albrecht Dürer were some the works we able to examine up close.

We ended our day with a walking tour of the upper east side. Our tour guide was  Francis Morrone, architectural historian and Wharton expert. We saw homes from Wharton's era along with the impressive mansion of Andrew Carnegie.

Francis Marrone and the group
Francis Marrone and our group

It was a unique day on our path to better understanding the world of Edith Wharton.

Tomorrow: the Morgan Library and Museum, a visit to The Cloisters, and Walk through the Museum of the City of New York.

P. Kiely


Tune in on Monday, May 20th for the next update from the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library tour of Edith Wharton's New York City.

Judy Steininger commented about 10 years ago...
I am impressed and jealous. Learning on site is the best. With writers like Wharton the past is always with us. Thanks for posting.
Diane Buck commented about 10 years ago...
David and I loved seeing the Frick again; the audio guides there are outstanding. Kit Basquin has a wonderful passion for art and we loved seeing such rare prints at the MET with her guidance. I cannot say enough about Mr. Morrone's walking tours. The two times we rambled with him the tour learned much more about the Gilded Age.

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