12 October 2015

A Day in the Park with Roger Pasquier

William Glackens May Day, Central Park
ca. 1905

There are few public parks more beautiful and lush than New York's Central Park. A new book PAINTING CENTRAL PARK captures all the inspiration of the park in the many American paintings of the scenic landscape. This is the first book that explores the work-by Roger Pasquier with a foreword by Amanda Burden. 

Painting Central Park
by Roger F. Pasquier
Forward by Amanda Burden

Several Autumns ago, I had luncheon at one of the most talked about apartments in the design world. The table (for two) was perfection-linen that belonged to the Duchess of Windsor, all the finest one can imagine. While I was taking in my surroundings-my eye kept drifting out to the landscape. It was a stunning view of Central Park-with all its autumnal color at peak. Easy to see how artists find infinite inspiration amongst the acres-and of course the less gifted who can just wander about, drawing in the scene-if only in one's mind.

The book reveals the park and the changes of its inhabitants over 150 years. I am attracted to so many of the works- but of course the "people" pictures are my personal favorites. The book is somewhat like that-there is something for everyone to love-just like the park. About the park, Amanda Burden quotes Henry James, who wrote that there was "something for everybody... and everything at once."
"The perception comes quickly, in New York, of the singular and  beautiful mission, but almost crushing, that has been laid as an effect of time, upon this limited territory, which has risen to the occasion, from the first, so consistently and bravely." Henry James

George Bellows, A Day in June,1913

Maurice Prendergast, Central Park, 1900

"We may even say, putting it simply and strongly, that if he doesn't here, in his thought, keep patting the Park on the back, he is guilty not alone of a failure of natural tendency, but of real deviation from social morality." Henry James

William Glackens, Central Park Winter
ca 1905

The Park has had to "produce on the spot the particular romantic object demanded, lake or river or cataract, wild woodland or teeming garden, boundless vista or bosky nook, noble eminence or smiling valley." Henry James

The book rises to James prose, as Central Park still does today.

Quotes on the Park are all by Henry James.
Thank you to Vendome Press for this beautiful book!


  1. As I said in sharing on Google, a very interesting blog with related paintings that are absolutely wonderful - and I do not praise easily! But all your blog entries are interesting...

    1. CAMILLE. I so appreciate your comment. I loved this book., and just got a wonderful email from a dear friend, who grew up visiting the park her entire life-until she moved to North Carolina. I am sending the book off to her today! What are books without sharing. pgt

  2. Very entertaining and gives one the opportunity to visit past ideas-paintings-genres-that they love. Thanks! Mrs. atk

    1. Annette, I love this book-just the right combination of words-and pictures, and music of the soul. pgt

  3. Love those paintings of Central Park. Am nosy about that lunch you attended.

  4. Hello Gaye, This book appears enchanting, and I have added it to my list for the next trip back to the States. The blog Ephemeral New York often features such paintings of Central Park and other places in/aspects of New York. Here is a recent post on artist Alfred Mira: https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/the-greenwich-village-vision-of-artist-alfred-mira/

  5. Dear Gaye, I love this book and often go back to look at a particular painting or two. The concept is wonderful as is the array of art created on this gorgeous and most unique subject!

    The Arts by Karena

  6. Thanks for the tip, I live downunder but have also resided in NYC on occasions and Central Park was a terrific retreat, especially in spring and fall



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