December 15, 2011

Jenny in Three





Three images of the Swedish Nightingale grace a small case on the ground floor of the newly reopened New York Historical Society, which has been closed for more than a year. I snapped this image with my Iphone after having gone there to find the famous Healy portrait of Emma Thursby, who, interestingly enough, was known as the American Nightingale. I was hoping to make another post about Thursby, but she was not on view, and I couldn't find anyone who knew when she would make her return.

What is in the case? A snuff box, glasses case and a child's plate, which you can tell by the alphabet that runs around border. Lind caused such a sensation after her arrival in New York that her image was used to advertise everything and anything. I can't quite imagine that happening today, can you? Pavarotti selling cigars, snuff, soap and handkerchiefs? It's a marketing strategy that died out forty years ago, being seen as somewhat cheesy. But it lasted at least a hundred years, starting perhaps, with Lind herself. 

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