The Beehive: Official Blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society http://www.masshist.org/blog The official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society, covering MHS events and activities. en-us Fri, 01 May 2009 00:00:00 GMT Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.masshist.org/blog/rss/feed2.0.rss egrublin@masshist.org (Elaine Grublin) webmaster@masshist.org The Art of Ludvig Sandöe Ipsen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1120 <p> </p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/apollo_club_1_200dpi.jpg" alt="" width="576" height="768" /></p> <p> </p> <p>On 27 January 1880, the Apollo Club of Boston, an all-male chorus, performed Mendelssohn's <em>Oedipus at Colonus</em> at the Boston Music Hall. The program for that concert featured this beautiful design by Danish illustrator Ludvig Sande Ipsen (1840-1920). It is one of the 51 black-and-white ink illustrations that make up part of the <a href="http://www.masshist.org/collection-guides/view/fa0364">Apollo Club records</a>, on deposit here at the MHS since 2012.</p> <p><a href="http://www.apolloclub.org/" target="_blank">The Apollo Club</a> was founded in 1871, incorporated in 1873, and is still going strong. In fact, it is Boston's oldest active male chorus and the second oldest continuously active male singing group in the country. Throughout its long history, the club has performed at many notable occasions, including the funeral of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in 1874, the centennial celebration of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1875, and the memorial service for President William McKinley in 1901.</p> <p>Arthur Reed, the club's first secretary, commissioned Ludvig S. Ipsen to design covers and page details for concert programs and publications. Ipsen was quite a "get" for the Apollo Club. After training as an architect in Copenhagen (not to mention serving in the Danish Army engineer corps during the Second Schleswig-Holstein War), he had immigrated to the United States in 1867 and soon made a name for himself in Boston as a designer of book covers, book plates, posters, etc. His illustrations appeared in volumes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, but arguably his most important and best-known work was the illustrated edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's <em>Sonnets from the Portuguese</em> published in 1886.</p> <p>Ipsen designed 130 program covers for the Apollo Club over 23 years. His illustrations include historical and mythological figures, as well as musical instruments and notes, trees and flowers, cherubs, birds, ribbons, seascapes, etc., all carefully composed and depicted in amazing detail.</p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/apollo_club_2_200dpi.jpg" alt="" width="576" height="344" /></p> <p> </p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/apollo_club_3_200dpi.jpg" alt="" width="576" height="734" /></p> <p>Ipsen also designed the Apollo Club seal, still used by the organization today.</p> <p>Many memorials of Ipsen and reviews of his illustrations note that he worked at a time when advances in printing technology made the reproduction of images faster and cheaper, and original hand-drawn artwork for mass-produced books was in decline. But Ipsen found a receptive audience in the Apollo Club, and the result is a beautiful and skillful synthesis of music and art.</p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT Susan Martin, Collection Services http://www.masshist.org/blog/1120 This Week @ MHS http://www.masshist.org/blog/1119 <p><strong>Calling all graduate students! </strong></p> <p>Are you studying American history or some other related subject? Are you interested in meeting fellow students and faculty members who work in your field? Then consider attending a special <a href="http://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=1448">Graduate Student Reception</a> at the Massachusetts Historical Society this week. Beginning at 6:00PM on Thursday, 18 September, this event is a great way to network with your peers in the area, tour our historic building at 1154 Boylston Street, and to learn about the range of resources available to support your work, including MHS fellowship programs. This event is free for graduate students and faculty members, though <strong>RSVP required by September 17.</strong> Email <a href="mailto:kviens@masshist.org">kviens@masshist.org</a> or phone 617-646-0568 with your name and affiliation. Indicate whether you are a graduate student or faculty member. We hope to see you there!</p> <p>Also at the Society this week, we continue our exhibition of World War I photographs, letters and memorabilia with "<a href="http://www.masshist.org/2012/calendar/event?event=1311">Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country: Massachusetts Women in World War I</a>." As always, the exhibit is open Monday - Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM, free of charge. And on Saturday, 20 September, stop by at 10:00AM for "The History and Collections of the MHS," a free 90-minute tour of the Society's building. The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or<a href="mailto:abentley@neu.edu">abentley@masshist.org</a>.</p> <p> </p> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:31:08 GMT Dan Hinchen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1119 The Western Front Recedes: The St Mihiel Operation http://www.masshist.org/blog/1118 <p>In the autumn of 1918, the Great War in Europe was nearing its termination after four years of fighting. Beginning in August of that year, the Allies launched what became known as the Hundred Days Offensive, a series of attacks against the Central Powers which pushed the Western Front and the German lines out of France and, ultimately, resulted in an armistice. One such two-day offensive occurred near the French town of St. Mihiel on 12-13 September. The action was carried out by the 26<sup>th</sup> Infantry Division under the command of Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/mihiel.jpg" alt="" width="512" height="384" /></p> <p> </p> <p>The 26<sup>th</sup> was formed by Edwards in the summer of 1917 and the first units of the Yankee Division sailed in September, "the first fully formed American division in France." Over the next several months the division undertook training in France with their English and French counterparts so that they could acclimate to life in trenches and amidst hostile fire.</p> <p>Fast forward to September 1918. Edwards and his division were in the area of St. Mihiel as a result of several months of fighting on the move in the northeast of France. Despite the rain and mud that slowed down some units from reaching their start line the night before the offensive, "the attack came off without any major hitch, following a tremendous artillery barrage during the early morning hours of September 12, 1918."</p> <p>Here at the Society are the <a href="http://balthazaar.masshist.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&BBID=18212">Clarence Ransom Edwards papers</a>, within which are several reports providing details about the operations performed by the 26<sup>th</sup> Division. One intelligence report, dated September 11 to September 12<sup>th</sup>, 1918, 16 o'clock to 16 o'clock, states that</p> <blockquote> <p>The enemy, surprised by our attack, and with all communication to the rear out by our artillery fire, offered what resistance he could during the day, chiefly with his machine guns. In the open country the resistance was very weak. In the woods his machine gun nests proved fairly effective. The first day's objective was reached before 22 o'clock.</p> </blockquote> <p>These intelligence summaries, along with correspondence, memoranda, and other materials in the Edwards papers provide detailed insight into some of the operations of the "war to end all wars" and also highlight some of the personal drama between Edwards and his military colleagues. If you would like to learn more, visit the MHS library and see them for yourself!</p> <p> </p> <p>-Shay, Michael E., <em>Revered Commander, Maligned General: The Life of Clarence Ransom Edwards, 1859-1931.</em> Columbia: University of Missouri Press, c.2011.</p> <p> </p> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:18:34 GMT Dan Hinchen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1118 This Week @ MHS http://www.masshist.org/blog/1117 <p>It seems that summer is trying to reassert itself here in September but it is quiet and cool at the MHS. There is but one public program on the calendar this week in the form of a <a href="http://www.masshist.org/calendar/brown-bags">Brown Bag</a> lunch talk on Wednesday, 10 September. Come by at noon for "<a href="http://www.masshist.org/calendar/event?event=1447">Sculpting the Citizen Soldier: Civil War Memory and the Life Cycle of Monuments</a>," presented by short-term research fellow Sarah Beetham, University of Delaware. <span style="font-size: 14px;">In this talk, Dr. Beetham will explore how Civil War citizen soldier monuments have factored into community life in the century and a half since the war's end. Soldier monuments have been interpreted and interpreted, vandalized and hit by cars, amended and moved to new locations. How do these interventions affect our understanding of post-Civil War memory? This talk is open to the public free of charge. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">There is also a free tour this week on Saturday, 13 September, starting at 10:00AM. "The History and Collections of the MHS" is a 90-minute, docent-led tour that allows visitors to see all of the public spaces at the Society while learning about the art, architecture, history, and collections in the building at 1154 Boylston. The tour is free and open to the public with no reservations required for individuals or small groups. However, groups of 8 or more should contact the MHS before attending the tour. For more information, please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or <a href="mailto:abentley@masshist.org">abentley@masshist.org</a>. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">And while this September is pretty quiet here at the MHS, seminar season is nearly upon us. Be sure to keep an eye on the <a href="http://www.masshist.org/calendar">online events calendar</a> to see all of the public events on tap later this month and into October. </span></p> <p> </p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 16:00:00 GMT Dan Hinchen http://www.masshist.org/blog/1117 “Signed, sealed and delivered”: The Treaty that Ended the Revolutionary War http://www.masshist.org/blog/1116 <p><img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/treaty_pg1.jpg" alt="" width="276" height="461" /> <img src="/imhs/cms/assets/cms1/treaty_pg14.jpg" alt="" width="291" height="461" /></p> <p>"On Wednesday the third day of this Month, the American Ministers met the British Minister at his Lodgings at the Htel de York, and signed, sealed and delivered the Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the King of Great Britain." John Adams <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=ADMS-06-15-02-0116">reported this news</a> to the President of Congress on September 5, 1783 and congratulated Congress on the "Completion of the work of Peace."</p> <p>It was eight o'clock in the morning when John Adams along with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, met the British peace negotiator, David Hartley, at his residence in Paris and months of negotiations, first the previous year leading to the <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?&id=ADMS-06-14-02-0058">preliminary peace treaty</a>, and then in earnest from April until the end of August culminated in <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=ADMS-06-15-02-0114">this definitive treaty</a>.</p> <p>While this was no doubt a significant moment--;after all, eight long years of war were officially ending with complete American independence--;the signing was more of an anticlimax for Adams. His immediate feelings, as he revealed <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=ADMS-04-05-02-0130">to Abigail</a> the following day, were that as the definitive treaty was no more than "a Simple Repetition of the provisional Treaty," they had "negotiated here, these Six Months for nothing." Nevertheless, Adams understood that given the political realities of their position relative to Great Britain, "We could do no better Situated as We were."</p> <p>The key provisions of the Treaty of Paris guaranteed both nations access to the Mississippi River, defined the boundaries of the United States, called for the British surrender of all posts within U.S. territory, required payment of all debts contracted before the war, and an end to all retaliatory measures against loyalists and their property. Throughout John Adams's term as minister to Great Britain in the 1780s, he and the British foreign secretary, the Marquis of Carmarthen, regularly discussed the actions each side saw as breaches of and a failure to fulfill the treaty--;a debate that went unresolved until the signing of the Jay Treaty in 1794.</p> <p>When editors at the Adams Papers Editorial Project are asked to name our favorite document in the immense collection that is the Adams Family Papers, John Adams's copy of the Treaty of Paris, is certainly a top choice. This duplicate original in the Adams Papers is the only original not in a government archive. One can easily imagine that the legal- and legacy-minded John Adams was keen to retain a copy of this founding document over which he had so long toiled so far from his home for his posterity. Of particular interest are the seals--;as there was no official seal for the American commissioners to use, each used whatever was convenient to him. See <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=ADMS-04-04-02-0135#AFC04d138n5">here</a> for a full discussion of the Boylston family coat of arms, which Adams used as his seal on both the preliminary and definitive treaty and for more on Adams's thoughts at the conclusion see the newly launched digital edition of <em>Papers of John Adams</em>, <a href="http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/volume-toc?series=pja&vol=15">volume 15</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>Image: First and last pages of the Definitive Peace Treaty between the United States and Great Britain (Treaty of Paris), September 3, 1783, Adams Family Papers.</p> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT Amanda A. Mathews, Adams Papers http://www.masshist.org/blog/1116