Yet so many people seem enchanted enough by the decadence described in Fitzgerald’s book to ignore its fairly obvious message of condemnation. Gatsby parties can be found all over town. They are staples of spring on many Ivy League campuses and a frequent theme of galas in Manhattan. Just the other day, vacation rental startup Airbnb sent out invitations to a “Gatsby-inspired soiree” at a multi-million-dollar home on Long Island, seemingly oblivious to the novel’s undertones.
It’s like throwing a Lolita-themed children’s birthday party.
Read more. [Image: Universal]
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1925.
Camille Monet and a Child in the Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil, 1875, by Claude Monet
Camille, Monet’s first wife, is shown with a child in the garden of their house in Argenteuil, near Paris, where they lived between 1872 and 1877. Today, Claude Monet is primarily known as a landscape painter, but in the beginning of his artistic career, he used to concentrate on portraits. No one else appears in Monet’s paintings as often as Camille. In those year, portraits of women were mostly ordered by bourgeois clients, but among progressive painters, the artistic structure became more important than the identity of the portrayed person. The masterly style, the lack of details, and the plainness of the colors led to a completely new directness of expression, independent of the facial gestures of the depicted person. In this picture, the shimmering reds, blues, greens, and white that capture the brilliance of a sun-drenched day are applied with many small brushstrokes, whose varied shapes create the different textures of flowers, grass, and clothing. Meanwhile, the features of the woman are completely indistinct.
May 1, 1931: President Hoover Dedicates the Empire State Building
On this day in 1931, President Hoover dedicated the Empire State Building by “turning on the lights” from Washington, D.C. In reality, the action was purely symbolic and someone in New York City actually turned on the lights.
Throughout its construction, the Empire State Building was in a constant race with the Chrysler Building to become the tallest building. At completion, the Empire State Building won the title of the tallest skyscraper with 102 floors and a height of 1,250 feet.
In 1972, the World Trade Center towers stole the title as the tallest skyscrapers. Today, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai holds that title.
Bottom Image: 1932 View from the Empire State Building, New York City (Library of Congress).