The Grandest Madison Square Garden tells the non-fiction story of the fabulous 1890 “palace of pleasure” designed by Stanford White and the nude sculpture of the virgin goddess Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, set on the Garden’s and America’s tallest tower. While revealing much new information, dispelling long-held myths, and proposing controversial new theories, the book conveys a sense of on-scene immediacy and excitement as this remarkable amalgamation of architecture, art, and spectacle rises amid the Gilded Age.
Dr. Hinman will be reading from the book’s prologue, which places the reader vividly at the 1891 dedication of the tower and the sculpture that topped it, while annotating the story with illustrated “footnotes” that dramatically link the Garden with Boston’s heritage, from the first collaboration of White and Saint-Gaudens on Trinity Church, to architectural borrowings from the Boston Public Library, and to their various professional and private connections with the city of Boston itself.
Suzanne Hinman holds a Ph.D. in American art history and has been a curator, gallerist, museum director, professor, and an art model. She owned an art gallery in Santa Fe and then served as director of galleries at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the world’s largest art school. Her interest in the artists and architects of the American Gilded Age and the famed Cornish Art Colony in New Hampshire grew while associate director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. The author continues to reside near Cornish as an independent scholar.