Saturday, May 20, 2023

North Bridge Diarama Updated


  As I have mentioned earlier I love dioramas and they have instilled in me my love of model soldiers.  While the Lexington Green one will always be my sentimental favorite this one of the North Bridge fight is up there with it.  Because it was local whenever I was in Concord I would try and stop by to visit it.

   This great diorama is at the Concord Museum in Concord Massachusetts.  It was commissioned by the historian Allen French and built by  Guernsey and Pittman in Cambridge Massachusetts in the 1930's.  Allen French provided the historical research for the builders.  If you are not familiar with him,  his books, "Day of Lexington and Concord" and "General Gage's Informers" are the foundation of any study of the battles.  While working at Minute Man National Historical Park I took some time going through the Allen French papers.  Included was his  correspondence about the diorama and notes to the builders.  After all these years I was curious how it held up and what shape it was in.  I am very happy to say it still looks great!

   Guernsey and Pittman are famous for their quality of dioramas.  They had a office in Harvard square In Cambridge Massachusetts.  Both men had been professors at Harvard University.    I plan on doing a blog posting about the in the future in which I will showcase some of their work.  Here is a picture from the Concord Museum of the two men bring the finished diorama into the museum in 1930.

British Light companies in street fighting position.  


Nice detail of the fight.

The front rank of British soldiers are retiring to the rear to reload after firing.  Note the soldier leaning on his file mate and standing in his tip toes to get a better view!

Although the miniatures are very crude by today's standards they are still works of art. Each figure us individually made.

There are neat little details in the diorama that reward multiple viewings.  Note the planks pulled up on the bridge.  

Or the man knocking the cap off the head if his file mate.

  In the picture here Lt. William Sutherland calls for volunteers to join in him to flank the Americans.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Congratulations Nathaniel


Good news and a celebration for my family.  My son proposed to his girlfriend Adriana and she accepted.  This is very good for us all.  Congratulations Nathaniel! 

 Here we all are at the party;  Alexandra, Nathaniel, Adriana, Janine and myself.

Monday, May 1, 2023

More Early Troiani Battle Paintings

  Back in day (1972-76) I eagerly awaited the arrival in my local library of the latest edition of American Heritage.  This was a hard bound magazine with always interesting articles on American History.  I was esp impressed by a series on battles of the American Revolution that featured a battle painting of some incident during that action as well as a couple uniform figures.  These were done by a new young artist named Don Troiani.  Although familiar to most of us now, back then he was the new kid on the block.  His style of painting was much different then today,; less realistic but with great charm.  And the uniform details were amazing to someone just studying the period and learning about it. The battles he did were outstanding.  I think Fort Griswold and White Plains were my favorite.

Interestingly through my friends in a reenactment group (the 43rd Regiment/2nd Pennsylvania regiment:  Hello Tom and Mark Vogley!) I not only knew people who were models for his paintings but once quickly got to met him.    Since then I have always had a affection for his early work much more then his newer more realistic work.  So recently it was fun to find on the internet a bunch of his battle studies from these works.   I am posting them here for mine and others enjoyment.  Because they are displayed in the book the entire picture is divided by binding.  Then I will be adding details from them.

Lexington and Concord

Fort Griswold:

Guilford Courthouse:

White Plains: