Category: Nonfiction

There’s No Time Like Snow Time

By , February 27, 2015
Capitol Feb 6 1979

February 6, 1979

As we experienced the icy weather of the last week, Megan (guest blogger) and I decided to dig up some memories of Nashville snowstorms of the past.  The following images and captions come from the Nashville Banner Archives in the Special Collections Division at the Main Library.

 

 

 

 

Horse Feb 21 1929

The heaviest fall of snow in more than ten years transformed Nashville overnight into a city of white. This attractive picture was taken in Centennial park early Thursday morning, Feb. 21, and with old Dobbin and the sleigh, it brings back memories of long ago.
(1929)

 

 

 

 

Girls Snowball Jan 16 1948

Choice target of students’ snowballs yesterday was Dr. Robert C. Provine,
president of Ward-Belmont School.
(January 17, 1948)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skiiers Jan 27 1963Skiers enjoy the snow.
(January 27, 1963)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Dino Jan 20 1978

Becky and John Mills (from left), Benny Pully and Rob Hatchett construct a prehistoric-type snow creature at 154 Brenda Lane – a lifesize dinosaur.
(January 20, 1978)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silhouette Jan 24 1979

Solitary Sledding:
Holding his inner tube, William Hall prepares for another run down a snowy slope in Shelby Park.
(January 24, 1979)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sledding Ashwood Ave Jan 19 1984Slick Snickers:
Kids have fun sledding down Ashwood Avenue.
(January 20, 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you take any great shots of this year’s winter weather? Share your pictures with us on social media!

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NashvillePublicLibrary
Twitter - https://twitter.com/nowatnpl
Instagram - https://instagram.com/nowatnpl/

And if you want to know more about Nashville’s past, make a visit to our Special Collections Division and explore the Nashville Banner on microfilm.

Book review: The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion

By , February 26, 2015

The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion

By Eleanor Thompson

 

In 1840, when 21 year old Queen Victoria selected white as the color of her wedding dress no one could have predicted that she would set a trend for white wedding gowns that would last for nearly two centuries. Even today, white is still the number one choice for brides in western cultures.

Eleanor Thompson’s new book The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Couse of Bridal Fashion is so much fun to read, you will not want to put it down. From Queen Victoria to Catherine Middleton, everyone’s wedding dress that you would imagine is in this book. From Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana to Dita Von Teese’s purple Scarlet O’Hara inspired wedding dress, along with a multitude of stunning wedding dresses you will be excited to see for the first time.

Each chapter features a full page color photograph of the wedding dress, information about the bride, dress designer and a detailed sketch of the gown that allows you to see its silhouette and all of the intricate details of the design.

The Wedding Dress is a must read for anyone who loves fashion, don’t miss it, this book is marvelous.

 

 

- Karen

 

P.S.  If you love looking at weddings dresses as much as I do, you may want to take a peek at the blog created by the Victoria and Albert Museum for their exhibition entitled Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 the postings are fascinating!

 

 

 

Book review: Knit Your Own Zoo: Easy to Follow Patterns for 24 Animals

By , February 12, 2015

Knit Your Own Zoo: Easy to Follow Patterns for 24 Animals

By Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne

 

It’s time to get out your knitting needles! From the people who brought you Knit Your Own Dog and Knit Your Own Cat ……we have…. Knit Your Own Zoo!

The British knitwear design team of Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne have done it again! Twenty-four of your favorite zoo animals are brought to life as tiny knitted dolls. The overall look of the animals is spot on and it’s all due to the wonderfully textured yarn combinations that really make the animals pop.

Each chapter of the book introduces a new animal and features a photo of the completed animal, knitting instructions and fun facts about the animal. As far as level of difficulty goes, the solid colored animals are a little easier to knit while the multicolored animals like the Armadillo and Leopard require more advanced knitting skills. Finished animals run about 5 inches tall.

 

These animals are so cute you’ll want to knit them all!

 

 

-Karen

 

P.S. Soon you will be able to knit your own goldfish! Muir and Osborne have recently released their latest book Knit Your Own Pet in England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book review: The Sex Lives of Cannibals

By , February 10, 2015

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
By J Maarten Troost

There are a lot of reasons I like working at the library: good work hours, awesome fellow coworkers, brand new office, and free access to pretty much any book I could ever read. But one of my favorite things is all the fun, mostly useless facts I learn from reading eye-catching books that come across my desk. And as you can imagine – this is a title that piqued my interest.

“But Amanda,” you say, “cannibals are scary. I don’t care if they have sex.”

That’s fair. But I’ll clue you in: thankfully, that really isn’t what this book is about. In the late 1990′s, then 26 year old Maartin Troost and his girlfriend decided to move to the end of the world, aka Kiribati (pronounced Kiribass). This is a country of 33 atolls and reef islands in the Pacific Ocean. Basically they are just large collections of coral that jut out of the water. Their specific atoll was Tarawa – which is where the 1o0,000 or so locals live. It might sound idyllic to live on a tropical island, but then consider the fact that Tarawa and Kiribati as a whole do not have a functional sewer system. The local population uses the reef instead.

Eww, right?

Not to mention it’s hot, they almost run out of water, and they miss most of the Clinton scandal – which apparently was a big disappointment for Troost. His girlfriend headed a local aid organization that attempted to improve the quality of life on the island chain. Troost’s plan was to write The Great American Novel. It’s fun to follow his progression with this particular story line as he slips farther and farther away from his goal – especially since his has such a self-deprecating voice. The book would be a whole lot less enjoyable if Troost wasn’t so sarcastic and laughable.

The library does not have a print copy of this book, although we can try to get you one through Interlibrary Loan. What we do have is the downloadable audio from hoopla. If you have a free minute and are interested, I’d recommend this one.

Since I finished this book, I’ve done a little more reading on Kiribati. The Battle of Tarawa was fought between the Americans and the Japanese in November 1943, during WWII. The international date line used to divide the country, but the president actually moved it in 1995 so the whole country could share the same work week and they were the first country to welcome in the third millenium. Also, Kiribati could potentially be the first country completely lost to climate change. With the rise in the world seas, Kiribati has strategic plans in place to evacuate their islands for higher ground.

After living with the local population for two years, Maarten and his girlfriend finally decide it’s time to head for home to Washington DC. Fear of malls and mind-numbing jobs were just part of the culture shock that awaited them.

At least we know Maarten finally finished his book. And just think of all the fun facts I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t read it.

Happy listening…

:) Amanda

 

Nashville & Selma

By , February 9, 2015

Poster for movie Selma

Watching the new movie Selma was like seeing Nashville’s Civil Rights “All Stars”: James Bevel, Diane Nash, C.T. Vivian, John Lewis, Bernard LaFayette are all depicted in the film.

To be sure, the Nashville movement was much larger than these five people. Many others who gained national prominence in the Civil Rights Movement also got their start in Nashville. But they couldn’t have done it alone. Countless ordinary “foot soldiers” – like the mass of marchers in Selma – took part in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins in 1960, often enduring beatings, arrests, and insults.

 

James Bevel in1960, at a protest in Nashville

James Bevel at a protest in Nashville, March 1960

 

What you may not have known – and what is not shown in the film – is that former Nashville activist, James Bevel, first proposed the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Prompted by the cold indifference of Alabama governor George Wallace to the killing of Jimmie Lee Johnson by state troopers, Bevel said:

“I’m going to go and talk to Wallace, and I’m going to walk all the way from Selma to Montgomery, because I want to think about what I want to say to him…. How many people you think … [will] walk with me?”

Listen to this excerpt of an oral history interview with Bernard LaFayette, where he tells more about Bevel’s role in initiating the march.

 

LaFayette on Bevel and Selma march

LaFayette on Bevel and Selma march

 

The Nashvillians portayed in Selma could march forward without fear, because they had already endured so much. They were, in the strongest sense of the word, veterans. In 1961, when some of them – including Diane Nash and John Lewis – left Nashville for Alabama to ensure that the Freedom Rides continued, they quite consciously knew they were risking death. These courageous men and women, most of them in their early twenties, made sure they had made out their wills before leaving town.

Now, it was four years later, and the Civil Rights campaign had focused on Selma. People who had gotten their training in non-violent protest in Nashville during the sit-ins were again at the forefront, and they were still risking their lives.

Learn more:

Books:

The Children by David Halberstam (tells the story of the Nashville sit-ins)

Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Raymond Arsenault

In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma by Bernard LaFayette [Library Use Only]

Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America by Frye Gaillard [Library Use Only]

Documentaries:

Nashville: We Were Warriors [available for individual viewing in the Main Library's Civil Rights Room]

Freedom Riders

4 Little Girls [Library Use Only]

Selma the City and the Symbol [Library Use Only]

Home of the Brave [Library Use Only]

Primary sources at Nashville Public Library:

Civil Rights Oral History Project

Civil Rights Collection

Civil Rights topics in our Digital Collections 

– Linda

Wilson Collection honors the best of African American Literature

By , January 26, 2015
Letter from Birmingham City Jail

One of the 8 serigraph prints, created by Faith Ringgold for Letters from Birmingham City Jail

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give. As for me, I shall not be moved.”
- Our Grandmothers, Maya Angelou

As we just celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and are about to celebrate African American History month (in February), I thought that it was a perfect time to honor both with some of the best work by African American authors and artists from the Wilson Collection.

As I mentioned in a previous post about the Limited Edition Collection, the club began including work by African American authors and artists in 1983. Beginning with Nobel Prize winner, Derek Walcott, the Limited Edition Club published Poems of the Caribbean. A poet and playwright, Walcott is better known for the 1990 poem, Omeros. Walcott is a winner of many literary awards, including an Obie Award in 1971, for the play Dream on Monkey Mountain.

Jacob Lawrence, artist 

Also published in 1983 by the LEC, Hiroshima is a book by Pulitzer-Prize winning author, John Hersey. The LEC version includes a poem and signature by Kentucky (Kentucky-Tennessee Border) native, Robert Penn Warren. The book is a detailed account of Hiroshima from 6 survivors, after the atomic bombs were dropped in August, 1945.

A cover photo for Time magazine done in 1970, by artist Jacob Lawrence. (Photo courtesy of SPD.com - Society of Publication Designers)

A cover photo of Jesse Jackson for Time magazine. Created by artist, Jacob Lawrence, in 1970. (Photo courtesy of SPD.com – Society of Publication Designers)

In order to provide the adequate detail that the story calls for, artist Jacob Lawrence was chosen to create the 8, multi-color silk screens for the book. Lawrence’s achievements range from studying at the Harlem Art Workshop for 6 years, obtaining Rosenwald Fellowships for 3 successive years and a Guggenheim in 1946.

That same year, he also painted a cover for Fortune magazine. In 1970, he did a cover portrait of Jesse Jackson for Time magazine.

Lawrence is also known for several one-man exhibitions, the first one starting at the Harlem YMCA in 1938, and eventually had many traveling exhibits of art. In his later years (around the time when he created the art for Hiroshima), Lawrence was a professor of art at several institutions including Pratt Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle.

Lawrence’s feelings toward John Hersey’s book were beautifully translated into illustrations – “I read and reread Hiroshima several times. And I began to see the extent of the devastation in the twisted and mutilated bodies of humans, birds, fishes, and all the other animals and living things that inherit our Earth. The flora and fauna and the land that were at one time alive were now seared, mangled, deformed, and devoid of life. And I thought, what have we accomplished over these many centuries?”

Other great authors of the 20th century (that are included in the LEC) include Margaret Walker (For My People), Maya Angelou (Our Grandmothers), Langston Hughes (Sunrise is Coming After While), and Zora Neale Hurston (Bookmarks in the Pages of Life).

Margaret Walker

The year that the LEC published Margaret Walker’s For My People marked the 50th anniversary of its original publication (originally published in 1942). Though it was Walker’s first published work, she’d been writing for years. Walker attributes her inspiration for writing to her parents, starting from around the age of 11 or 12 when her father gave her a datebook as a Christmas present.

Maya Angelou

And Maya Angelou…where do I begin? Well known for many more reasons than being an award-winning author; Maya Angelou was also a dancer, actress, singer, activist and professor. She was the first poet since Robert Frost to make an inaugural recitation at a Presidential inauguration, reciting “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Clinton’s inauguration.

Maya took her acting, literary, and dance talents around the world, always ensuring that her son, Guy, was in good hands. She became involved with social causes as well, serving as the Northern Coordinator of the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference). When she worked for a school in Accra, Ghana, she wrote for periodicals there, and in Egypt.

Upon her return back to the States, Angelou began publishing the first volume of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (a book that is also on many school’s banned and challenged lists). Our Grandmothers, Angelou’s favorite poem from the book of poetry I Shall Not Be Moved, was chosen by her for the Limited Edition Collection. Though a short poem, Our Grandmothers is every bit as strong as her autobiographies and her books of poetry.

First Edition of Maya Angelou's Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul

First Edition of Maya Angelou’s Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul. This book was published specially for the members of the Limited Edition Club.

Another treasure by Angelou published by the Limited Edition Club is Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul. It is a treasure not only for its content, but also because it is a first edition book that was written specifically for the members of the LEC. This is a first for the LEC to publish a first edition book. It was published in 2003, with color etchings by artist Dean Mitchell (chosen by Angelou) and an original jazz composition by Wynton Marsalis. Truly unique, indeed.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes’ biographer described him in these words: “to many readers of African descent he is their poet laureate, the beloved author of poems steeped in the richness of African-American culture. To many readers who love verse and are also committed to the ideal of social and political justice, he is among the most eloquent of American Poets. For still other admirers he is, above all, the author of poems of often touching lyric beauty beyond issues such as race and justice.”

Hughes was revolutionary in his work, whether it be poetry, play-writing, activist work, or a novel. He was one of the earliest pioneers of the writing form, jazz poetry. He was also a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

Hughes passed away in 1967, many years prior to the LEC’s publication of Sunrise is Coming After While. The LEC received help from Maya Angelou in selecting the poems for the volume. The artist chosen to illustrate the publication was Phoebe Beasley, the only artist whose work has been chosen twice for the Presidential Seal.

Zora Neale Hurston

There are not too many artists out there with an annual festival in their honor, but Zora Neale Hurston has one. In Eatonville, Florida, a town made famous thanks to Hurston’s numerous fictional stories. The year before the LEC published her collection of stories (2000), the festival drew about 85,000 enthusiasts (a small town that’s not too far from Orlando).

It almost goes without saying that she was and is still a popular author. Like Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston was well known for being a prominent writer during the Harlem Renaissance, and for writing Their Eyes Were Watching God. She has influenced many contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Ralph Ellison. The collection of stories chosen for the Limited Edition Collection range from tragic to laugh-out-loud, from the time of slavery to the Harlem Renaissance.

Betye Saar, one of America’s most important artists, illustrated the book with six multi-colored serigraphs. The paper that Saar chose is handmade of cotton and cinnamon, and the afterword was also written by her.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the publications recently published by the LEC, Letter from Birmingham City Jail is an open letter that was written by Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 16, 1963, after his arrest during the Birmingham Campaign. While in jail, King received a newspaper that was smuggled in. It contained a statement from 8 white Alabama clergymen going against King’s methods, and he proceeded to write a response on the same newspaper.

King believed in the power of nonviolent resistance, and defended the strategy strongly in the letter stating that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

In honor of all of these notable authors, artists, and activists, the Wilson Collection currently has the following books (and a few news articles) on display:

  • Poems of the Caribbean by Derek Walcott. Published by the LEC in 1983.

Poems of the Caribbean

  • Hiroshima by John Hersey. Illustrated by artist, Jacob Lawrence. Published by the LEC in 1983.

Hiroshima          Hiroshima

  • For My People by Margaret Walker. Published by the LEC in 1992.

For My People          For My People

  • Our Grandmothers by Maya Angelou. Published by the LEC in 1994.

Our Grandmothers          Our Grandmothers

  • Sunrise is Coming After While by Langston Hughes. Published by the LEC in 1998.

Sunrise is Coming After While          Sunrise is Coming After While

  • Bookmarks in the Pages of Life by Zora Neale Hurston. Published by the LEC in 2001.

Bookmarks in the Pages of Life          Bookmarks in the Pages of Life

 

  • Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul by Maya Angelou. First Edition Published in 2003.

Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul          Music, Deep Rivers in my Soul

  • Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. Published by the LEC in 2008.

MLK_3          MLK_2

All of these books and several old news articles are currently on display in the Wilson Room, on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library (next to the Fine Arts area). They will remain on display throughout the month of February. The Wilson Room is open to all visitors during regular Library hours.

If you are interested in viewing more books from the Wilson Collection, you can make an appointment by calling either (615) 880-2356 or (615) 880-2363, or simply respond to this blog post.

Stay tuned for more from the Wilson Collection!

Book review: Living with Books

By , January 22, 2015

Living with Books

By Alan Powers

 

Books! We love them, we can’t live without them and this decorating book will show you fabulous and innovative ways to display them in your home!

Alan Powers’ Living with Books features page after page of rooms filled with character and personality and clever arrangements of books.

Living with Books offers decorating ideas for home libraries, home offices, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms and my favorite chapter hallways and odd spaces. You’ll learn how to use books to add warmth and color to your home as well as how to use books as art.

The author also provides information about the care and maintenance of books and DIY instructions on how to build six different styles of bookshelves.

If you enjoy Living with Books you might also want to take a look at House Beautiful Decorating with Books by Marie Proeller Hueston and At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis.

 

You’ll never look at your books the same way again………

- Karen

Book List: The 2015 Reading Challenge

By , January 17, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

 

Since New Year’s is all about making resolutions, I think one of the best resolutions a reader can make is to diversify what they read throughout the year.

That being said, POPSUGAR has created a 2015 Reading Challenge, check out their post and see the POPSUGAR list. They even offer a handy printable version, which you can hang up on your desk or near your favorite reading spot to keep track of the books that you have already read.

Here are a few highlights of the list, plus a few suggestions (from my list) about what to read for them:

A book with more than 500 pages -

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance

The second book in the Stormlight Archives, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, doubles this page count! I’m really hoping to getting around to reading it this year, before the third one comes out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book your mom loves -

The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl

My mom is a huge fan of historical fiction, so for this one, I’ve picked The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I know this is one of her favorites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book that made you cry -

Imajica, by Clive Barker

Imajica

Clive Barker has always had such beautiful imagery in his works, and Imajica has several moments throughout that usually have me reaching for a tissue or three.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A memoir -

As You Wish, by Cary Elwes

As You Wish

I think this counts, right? It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and Cary Elwes sits down to tell us behind-the-scenes stories you haven’t heard before in As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A book with antonyms in the title -

Memory and Dream, by Charles de Lint

Memory and Dream

Trying to figure out what to read for this one was a bit of a tough choice, but I’ve been putting off reading Charles de Lint for a while. For this one, I’m going with Memory and Dream. Don’t worry! There are a ton of possibilities for this challenge.

 

 

Check Out the List

If you want to find a more complete list of my suggestions, check out the list on the library website here: 2015 Reading Challenge

Tennessee History Through Maps

By , January 12, 2015

 

Map of Tennessee 1854

Tennessee, 1854

As a new year begins, I tend to find myself reflecting back on the previous year. What did I do? Where did I go? Who did I meet? So I thought this would be the PERFECT time to look back on a larger scale, way larger – try a few hundred years larger! How about the whole history of the state of Tennessee?? Ok, well maybe not that large – but it is definitely worth looking back to see how we got to where we are, how we have changed, and maybe even envision a new future (our “resolutions” if you will).

The Special Collections Division has so many wonderful resources that talk about Tennessee’s history but the Ann Harwell Wells Tennessee Map Collection gives a unique perspective on the evolution of the state. The collection contains 146 antique Tennessee maps, some published as early as 1584. In these maps, Tennessee changes from a frontier land to a territory to the state we know today. This is one of the most comprehensive collections of Tennessee maps in existence and can be a great resource for anyone interested in Tennessee history.

Map of Tennessee

The State of Tennessee, Mathew Carey, 1814

Let’s start with Mathew Carey’s Map of Tennessee from 1814. Although this particular map was printed 200 years ago, it is a revised version of an earlier map and represents Tennessee before statehood in 1796. One of the most interesting characteristics of this map is the Indian boundary line that runs across the middle of the state. Early English settlement stopped at the Appalachian Mountains. It wasn’t until after the American Revolution that many frontiersmen ventured over those mountains and began settling in the Tennessee Territory. You can see some of the American settlements highlighted in East Tennessee.

Map of Tennessee

A Map of Tennassee Government Formerly Part of North Carolina, From the Latest Surveys 1795

B. Tanner’s Map of Tennessee also gives extraordinary detail about the settlement of the Tennessee Territory. This map is based on a survey taken in 1795, the year before Tennessee gained statehood. The Indian Territory line is still visible as the dotted line through the middle of the state but this map gives the viewer a clear picture of where settlements flourished. Try to find Nashville and note how most of the settlements are along major waterways – Nashville and Clarksville on the Cumberland River and Knoxville along the Holston River. With few roads and other trails, rivers were the easiest way to travel in the 1700s. They were also important avenues for transferring goods – whether that meant the raw materials produced in Tennessee or the refined products brought in from other states.

Map of Tennessee

Tennessee, 1889

Over the next 100 years, Tennessee expanded its boundaries all the way to the Mississippi, as you can see in this 1889 map. The Cherokee Indians were relocated as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy in 1838 and Americans expanded into the whole state. New cities popped up including Memphis and Chattanooga. These cities continued to be along waterways for ease of transportation. Henry Ford wouldn’t invent the Model T Ford (which made car ownership possible for the common man) until 1908. This was also a time of war in Tennessee. Our state was the last to secede from the Union and the first to return at the end of the Civil War. Tennessee waterways were important avenues into the South during this war, which made Tennessee a frequent battleground.

The physical landscape of Tennessee hasn’t changed much since 1889 but our state continues to feel the impact of the decisions of these early settlers. Just 5 years ago, the decision to settle on riverbanks caused millions of dollars of damage when those rivers broke their banks and flooded many Tennessee cities. Our past  – whether personal or collective – is a part of us, whether we like it or not. But a new year brings new opportunities and new ways to examine the past.

If you are interested in learning more about the Wells Collection, there will be an exhibit of selected maps on display from January 22 through January 29 in the Nashville Room. And, as always, these collections are open to the public during regular library hours.

Happy 2015!!

-Amber

 

Christmas Tradition from Nashville’s Past

By , December 26, 2014

CentennialNativity001The Nativity scene at Centennial Park is a favorite Christmas memory for many Nashvillians.  I’m sorry I never got to see it.  The display began in 1953, a gift to the city of Nashville from the founder of Harveys Department Store, Fred Harvey, Sr.

 

According to articles in the Nashville Banner, Harvey got the idea for the display while on a tour of Europe a few years before.  He saw a permanent Nativity scene in a village in the Bavarian Alps and thought “how beautiful a larger replica of the scene would look on the mall beside the Parthenon in our own Centennial Park.”

CentennialNativity002

Centennial Park Nativity Scene – December 3, 1956

The Centennial Park Nativity Scene was a popular sight in Nashville for about 15 years, attracting a hometown crowd as well as visitors from around the country.  The original cost was $150,000 for the sculptures created by Italian sculptor Guido Rebeccini.  There were a total of 123 figures (45 people and 78 animals), and the space covered by the display was 280 ft. wide and 75 ft. deep.  The amount invested by the Harvey family by 1967 was said to be close to $250,000.

Centennial Park Nativity Scene, Nashville Banner Archives December 5, 1955

Centennial Park Nativity Scene – December 5, 1955

Sadly, before the Christmas season of 1968, many of the figures were badly damaged in storage.  Fred Harvey, Jr. announced that the Nativity scene would not be installed that year and it was sold soon after to an advertising firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A crowd enjoys the Centennial Park Nativity Scene  December 3, 1956.

A crowd enjoys the Centennial Park Nativity Scene, 
December 3, 1956.

All photos courtesy of the Nashville Banner Archives, Special Collections Divison, Nashville Public Library.

 

 

Off the Shelf is powered by WordPress. Panorama Theme by Themocracy