The Concord Museum ~ Daniel Chester French
One of the must stops in Concord MA for visitors is the Concord Museum. The museum is, of course, dedicated to the events and people who have made this town a fascinating place to explore and is indeed, “the gateway to Concord’s history!”
The reason for my visit on a warm, showery Sunday morning, was to tour through the Special Exhibition Galleries – The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation and The Shot Heard ‘Round the World: April 19, 1775.
The design of the museum leads the visitor through a series of galleries on the way up the stairway to a room at the top and a surprise exhibit dedicated to Daniel Chester French (1850 – 1931). On display were several well-known pieces of sculpture including the Minute Man and Mourning Victory. However, it was the glass case containing the figurines that won all my attention.
The reader may be aware of my fascination with owls. Here in the case, are three carvings that are more than delightful to admire. They are of Parian porcelain. The description for the viewer is as follows:
Here, a sole owl sits upon a roost similar to the one seen in Matchmaking. The owl embodies the human sentiment of loneliness, echoing an image from the 1850 book Reveries of a Bachelor by Donald Grant Mitchell.
Plaster and Parian porcelain 1913 and 1871
The first being given to his brother William, “Williams and Everett have at last issued the “owls” and there is now a copy in each of their windows.”
For 1913 silver wedding anniversary party at Chesterwood French had his studio assistant cast in plaster, “a lot of the love-making owls….and gave each of the lady guests one.”