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257 Where would I look for the healing memories that had been uppermost in my brother’s mind during the dedication of the cornerstone of the Roofless Church in 1959? An unexpected opportunity came my way twelve years later in 1971: a ­ two-­ story­house on North Street in New Harmony was for sale between a corner lot that stored heavy equipment and a small structure that was more shed than ­ house, an uninhabited shell (48 on town map). Heavy equipment was removed from the corner lot, and the shed on the west side was demolished , once again demonstrating that preservation is as much about subtraction as restoration. Although I had to buy three properties, arguments in favor of restoring the 1860 ­ house to its former elegance ­ were not lacking. First of all, it resembled on a smaller scale Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois. Second, the faded corncob yellow of its exterior walls was a reminder of the original own­ er’s status as a “corn king” in town. His name was Levi Lafayette Lichtenberger, ecumenically ChaptER 29 Orchard House 258 New Harmony, indiana correct and in sync with my respect for Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant faiths. The antebellum ­ house would be an ideal repository for objects I had collected over the years because of their bearing on the paramount issues of all centuries—those of war, estrangement, and reunion. One of the acquisitions was a Picasso reproduction that, unlike his­famous Guernica from the Spanish Civil War, has received little attention. From my perspective as a southerner, the work poignantly combines his memories of the recently ended World War II and our own War between the States. In the print, against the background of a blue flag with red bars and white stars, similar to that of the Confederacy, we see a distorted , lean white ewer or pitcher, standard chinaware for Americans in the ­ mid-­ nineteenth century. Further down, upon a narrow, ­ lead-­ gray border, Picasso buried several horizontal white daisies, petals intact, a reminder of the countless young men killed in the flower of their youth during wars. This print by the greatest artist of the twentieth century is for me more heartbreaking than a painted or photographic rendering of an actual battle. Other acquisitions would contribute to my theme for the ­ house, including a northern wardrobe and a Confederate officer’s map. Biographies of Lincoln and Lee would lie on a table desk, and my Picasso print would adorn the entrance wall to the Lincoln and Lee Room upstairs. I had another object for a ­ house of reconciliation—a post-Civil War cast-iron hat rack. Our re­ united states are represented by the stars in a shield at the center below a small mirror. A pair of ­ cast-­ iron rifles point toward the shield; a sculptured green olive branch laces them together. From hooks on either side of the garland hang soldiers’ caps, one Confederate gray, the other a deep Union blue. Facing top. The framed print of an ewer against a starry background by Picasso hangs in the hallway. Photograph by Darryl D. Jones, 2013. The original work is at the Musée Picasso, Antibes: Pablo Picasso, L’Aiguière au fond étoilé, 15 septembre 1946. Huile, gouache et crayon sur papier doublé marouflé à la cire sur toile, montée sur support rigide. 65.5 × 50.5 cm. MPA 1946.2.8 © Musée Picasso, Antibes. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Facing bottom. The Lincoln and Lee Room. Photograph by Darryl D. Jones, 2013. Living room with the post-Civil War ­cast-­iron hat rack. Photograph by Darryl D. Jones, 2013. Orchard House 261 A few possessions that reflect my antipathy to war and my hope that the forces of life would one day outlast the wings of war, however , do not furnish a ­house. Other than Picasso ’s subtle, anguished reference to uncivil, fraternal wars and my ­ cast-­ iron hat rack, the wardrobe, and the map table, the ­ house that I had purchased and named for the Harmonist orchard it had replaced remained empty. My daughter Janie, who by this time was married and living in New York City, sensed that the Orchard House deserved professional oversight and introduced me to Mark Hampton , a young decorator who had helped her and her husband with their New York apartment. With her customary thoroughness, Janie had researched Mark’s background and shared her findings with me. During...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780253016638
Related ISBN
9780253016249
MARC Record
OCLC
903357020
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2015-03-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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