From the (Portrait) Archives

Happy 2008!

I returned to Boston on New Year's Eve, just past ten in the evening, after the second 24-hour train ride in less than ten days. At the time, I was of the most emphatic opinion I will never travel again. Since I have plans to head down to New York City at the end of January, this will manifestly not be the case . . . but it was definitely the sentiment of the moment. The best New Year's present ever was being able to crawl into bed and sleep horizontally between clean sheets!

This week, I am spending my daylight hours working at the MHS, and I thought I would share with you this childhood portrait of e.e. cummings which resides on our second-floor landing. Artist Charles Sydney Hopkinson painted little Edward in 1896, when the future poet was only two years old.

The MHS has an extensive portrait collection, since the donors of family papers tended to be the sort who also had the funds to commission paintings. My friend Jeremy says it sometimes makes him feel like we work at Hogwarts, and that the portraits might someday start talking back to us. That is a disquieting thought, since most of them are much more imposing than e. e.

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