William and His Friends: A Group of Notable Creatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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9781299718951: William and His Friends: A Group of Notable Creatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Dust jacket notes: "In working with the photographs of all the varied treasures in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Miss Naramore noticed how many and diverse were the animals stabled in that hall of art. Some were tiny, some were gigantic. some were carved from jade, others wrought in iron. Some were as old as the oldest civilizations, many were made by living artists. She made a collection of a few of these in a scrapbook for her own amusement. Animal lvoers who saw it, found it so delightful they insisted it should be published. 'We've named it William,' Miss Naramore says, 'for the famous blue hippopotamus who bears that nickname, and who has been a great favorite with visitors to the museum ever since Mr. Harkness presented it to us in 1917.' William and his friends make a varied lot! A polar bear stalks in white marble, an elephant makes a tiny ivory chessman, a huge seal rears in black marble, and there is a team of oxen cast in the days of the Caesars - to mention only a few. In arranging the animals, Miss Naramore ignored all sensible, chronological systems and mixed ancient and modern together in reckless fashion. 'It amused me to put the Egyptian ape opposite the twentieth-century hen, because there seems a curious kinship between the two. The little glass horse and the gazelle, although centuries apart in time, seem to share a certain delicacy and a wistful spirit.' And in looking through the book one feels that the author's own feeling about them makes a far more satisfying arrangement than any amount of 'system' could."

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