Best of 2021

Selected from prior postings in 2021.

Civic Virtue

This strange “sculpture is known as an allegorical personification: a story or set of abstract ideas symbolized by the human form. The youthful male figure represents Virtue: honest, incorruptible city government. The writhing feminized sea creatures, caught up in netting, together represent the Vices over which Civic Virtue strives to triumph: treachery and corruption. is now in Greenwood Cemetery. It is controversial and sexist. “Controversy erupted as soon as the monument was unveiled. Civic Virtue was viewed as a male stomping upon two women and not as an allegorical personification.” Read all about it here: “Civic Virtue” Historical Marker (hmdb.org)

My opinion on this sort of controversial sculpture is to leave them up and use them as a teaching tool as they did with this one by posting a plaque with the text from the contents of the link I provided above.

Old Curiosity Shop

In about 1958 my mother went to The Old Curiosity Shop in London and bought this book for me. A large 9 by 11 inch version of the sad story of The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. The illustrations by Frank Reynolds, R. I. are priceless. I can’t find a publishing date in it or anything else about the book.

The book is one of the few things I have left from my mother and from that time. I remember reading it in a flat in Queensborough Terrace, Kensington, in my bedroom. My room used to be the old larder behind the kitchen and had no heat except for a small kerosene heater – very Dickensian. I loved the little moss garden in the gutter outside the window.

Click on the first one to enlarge and run the slide show. This is for you Derrick.