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Introduction
1)
Title
Blashfield Mosaic and Memorial Fountain
2)
Town, State
New York, NY
3)
ID #
1219
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
January 18, 2004
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
July 14, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
October 04, 2010
Description
The memorial honors Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield (1858-1918). Prominent New Yorker, Municipal Art Society board member and author, Mrs. Blashfield following the 1909 dedication of the Queensboro Bridge (between Manhattan and Queens) focused attention on bringing water to a farmers food market situated on the Manhattan end. A proposed fountain at the site, on East 59th Street between First and York Avenues, New York, New York, was to be a gift of the Municipal Art Society (MAS) to the city for the market’s vendors. However, as unfortunate as it was unexpected, Mrs. Blashfield passed away, and the fountain project paused. The scope of the MAS gift was then expanded to include a memorial to Mrs. Blashfield. Fountain complemented by mosaic, the memorial would come to contain a woman together with a horn of plenty, entitled, fittingly, “Abundance.” • The work’s composition incorporates several attributes that often lead to distinctive monument-making: color, glass, water, accessibility and an effect that appears proportional to the memorial’s mission. The mosaic panel, four-by-nine feet, is set in a granite stele; sitting just below is a trough holding water flowing from the mouth of an ox-head. The creator and painter of the piece, Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848-1936), well-known muralist, was also the husband of the honored, and for this piece Mrs. Blashfield herself served as model. Also contributing to the memorial’s development were Grace Edith Barnes, mosaicist; Eli Harvey, sculptor; and, Charles W. Stoughton, architect. • The memorial, in disarray since the market of which it was a part had closed in the 1930s, required refurbishing. An overall commercial site renovation project, some 26 years in the making following a 1977 start, got under way. While a comparatively small part of the project’s total scope, the memorial was the final piece to be completed. Conservation efforts were carried out, starting in 2001, by Jackie and Cameron Wilson of Wilson Conservation and Robert G. Schiffmacher of Urban D.C., Inc., both companies of Brooklyn, New York. These monument restorers were supported by a volunteer group-of-five from the MAS, led by Phyllis Samitz Cohen, mural program director. • The memorial originally was a gift, as noted, of the MAS to the City of New York. The city’s Art Commission, especially under its executive leadership at the time, played a vital leadership role in moving the memorial out of harm’s way and creating public processes that encouraged its restoration and, once more, effective public display. This restoration was carried out under the MAS Adopt-a-Mural program. The primary patron for the Blashfield initiative was Florence B. D’Urso, in memory of her husband, Camillo, who owned many Key Food supermarkets. Thus, the themes of food and sustenance were brought forward. • The memorial was originally unveiled May 13, 1919, some six months following the death of Mrs. Blashfield. Following its refurbishing, the memorial was re-dedicated June 3, 2003.
Content
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1)
Community service
2)
Outstanding/notable citizen/person
3)
Leader: Interest Group
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Mural, Mosaic
5)
Average (life-size)
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly and on tablet
8)
Text available, all
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
2900-913.1, 2900-913.2, 2900-913.3, 2900-913.4, 2900-913.5, 2900-913.6, 2900-913.7, 2900-913.8, 2900-913.9
10)
Design Preservation
Good
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Blashfield, Edwin Howland
12.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Harvey, Eli
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Not Applicable
Setting
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1)
Plaza arrangement
2)
Land (elevation/depression) , Water
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
6 Very Good
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
5 Good
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
4 Satisfactory
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
4 Satisfactory
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
6 Very Good
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
5.0 Good (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
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4)
1918
5)
May 13, 1919
6)
June 03, 2003
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Satisfactory
12)
Local government
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
No Perceived Theme Match
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
Agriculture and the Farmer's Frontier
Demography
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1)
File Number
50A
2)
Town/City
New York
3)
County
New York
4)
District
Manhattan
5)
State
NY
6)
Zip
10022
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
40.7593770000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-73.9608380000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
59th St
11)
Intersecting Street 2
First Ave
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Bridgemarket Plaza
13)
Additional Identifier 2
Queensboro Bridge
15)
Man-made
16)
16.1)
Business/businesses
16.2)
Citizens/residents
16.3)
Community Group
16.4)
Government, Local
17)
17.1)
2001-current
17.2)
20th Century
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
January 18, 2004
19)
19.1)
Book/Pamphlet/Text
19.2)
Government Materials
19.3)
Newspaper
19.4)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
July 14, 2010
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
21.1)
Site Survey
21.2)
Newspaper
21.3)
Website
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
NAME: Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield
TITLE ALTERNATE (1): Abundance
TITLE ALTERNATE (2): Queensboro Bridge Fountain (from Catalogue, Works of Art, below)
TITLE ALTERNATE (3): The Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield Memorial Fountain (SIRIS)
TITLE ALTERNATE (4): Queensboro Bridge Market Fountain (SIRIS)
TITLE ALTERNATE (5): The Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield Fountain (MAS)
PORTFOLIO: Leader -- Interest group: Municipal Art Society (MAS) New York, New York
DESIGN, ADDITONAL: Charles W. Stoughton, architect. Grace Edith Barnes, mosaicist (David W. Dunlap, below)
SPONSOR: Communty group – MAS (original and 2001-2003 Adopt-A-Mural restoration), the latter supported by a grant from Florence D'Urso.
SOURCE(1): Catalogue of the Works of Art Belonging to the City of New York, Vol II, September, 1908, to January, 1920, p. 8 and facing; Gayle and Cohen, Guide to Manhattan's Outdoor Sculpture; SIRIS
SOURCE(2): The following writings and notices are from The New York Times, as indicated: David W. Dunlap, “A Colorful Mosaic is Restored,” June 1, 2003. Erika Kinetz, “A Shadow From the Past, Back Into the Light,” June 8, 2003. Notes on Current Art, “Memorial to Mrs. Blashfield,” May 11, 1919. Obituary Notices, November 20, 1918.



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