That damn Bogdan Yelcovich is at it again. This time trying to get me interested in art.
There is no way – – – not for me – – – not with gunpowder and fishing worm guts under my fingernails.
So I tell him “Nice, Bogdan, but what am I supposed to do with a pretty magazine cover?
He responds “It isn’t the cover I want you to look at; it is what is inside.”
Well I gave in and told him I would look at his foolish magazine.
He opened it up and showed me this.
“Asher Brown Durand? What would I know about Asher Brown Durand?” I asked Bogdan.
He answered “Once I show you I don’t think you will ever forget him.”
“Take me to him then” I demanded.
“OK” Bogdan said; “Next week we will bum a ride on the train to Maplewood, New Jersey.”
So Bogdan took me to Asher’s home.
Mr. Durand was kind enough to show me the following artwork.
Bogdan was right. I don’t think I will ever forget Asher Brown Durand.
Not only was he a great artist but he was also as humble as apple pie. I asked Bogdan if he knew why such a great artist was so humble. Bogdan said that Asher had grown up with a large number of brothers and sisters; that may have had something to do with it.
Durand was born in New Jersey. His father was a watchmaker and a silversmith.
He served an apprenticeship in engraving. The owner of the firm offered him a partnership. Asher accepted and managed the firm’s New York branch.
He helped organize the National Academy of Design were he served the organization as president for a number of years.
His interest shifted from engraving to oil painting. He spent summers sketching in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
As I said before, that Bogdan Yelcovich sure knew things – – – and famous people.
I began to wonder if I really knew who this Bogdan Yelcovich really was.