Object Lessons

The power that an object has is far greater than what it is. In the NY Times this morning, there is an editorial on a small museum in Fargo, Noth Dakota commemorating Roger Maris and his season in 1961 when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. A flip of the page and there is an article about the Boeing 707 that was Air Force One which flew seven presidents millions of miles which is now hanging in the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. One can only imaging the conversations within the walls of that plane.

There was a sale at Christie’s in London this week commemorating the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the decisive battle between Napoleon’s navy and the English where Nelson, almost anticlimactically, died with the victory assured in the arms of his first mate Hardy. The sale was a financial success.

English furniture represents history to me. Indeed, style as I see it is a manifestation of the moment and that moment is always human and endowed with pathos, politics, culture and, in short, history. This is what is forgotten by people that buy English antiques for investment. Living with history has its own rewards.

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