Beyond Midnight reveals a complex Paul Revere
by Miriam Silverberg
You remember Paul Revere? Well, he didn’t just go galloping through Boston shouting “the British are coming, the British are coming.” He was also a highly skilled craftsman working with copper, gold and silver. The NY Historical Society on CPW is having a wonderful exhibition on Revere and his work. On view until January 12, Beyond Midnight (remember Longfellow’s famous poem about his ride?) separates fact from fiction revealing Revere as a complex, multi-faceted figure at the intersection of America’s social, economic, artistic and political life in Revolutionary War-era Boston as it examines his life as an artisan, activist and entrepreneur.
There are more than 140 objects on view. These include engravings, silver tea services for prominent clients and important public commissions such as a bronze courthouse bell. There is also some lovely gold jewelry on display. Among the silver are two rare wine goblets possibly used as Kiddush cups made by Revere for Moses Michael Hays—a Jewish client. Also grand tea services, teapots and toy whistles.
Revere was a member of the Sons Of Liberty, a secret group opposed to British colonial policy that kept track of British troop movements and warships in the harbor. He also engaged in espionage on behalf of the Colonists, reporting back what he heard of the British. I loved it. I’ve always been an avid student of the American Revolution but I think this is something everyone would enjoy seeing.
The Historical Society has another very enjoyable exhibit entitled Panoramas. As soon as you enter there is a panorama of Moscow painted in the round from the 1800s. You walk into it seeing a 360=degree vista. You feel you are actually in the city. Another wonderful panorama is a Red Grooms painting from the 1960s of Seventh Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets. It’s great! And there is a 48-foot photomontage of Canal Street. This you’ve got to see. But don’t delay, I think it’s ending soon.
Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of MiriamSilverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.