|"The Dinner Party" by Henry Sargent, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|
Presented to the Club by Ronald Trabulsi on Monday evening, April 27, 2015
A few years ago, Ann and I were wandering through Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts when we noticed a handsome painting of a group of 18 men at what was clearly a nineteenth century dinner table, attended by two man servants. We jokingly commented that it looked like an historical version of our Monday Evening Club.
Well, be careful about speculation! Some research showed that the painting was of a dinner meeting of Boston’s Wednesday Evening Club. The artist was Henry Sargent, a Boston artist who was born in 1770 and died in 1845. The painting was done in 1821. Sargent’s paintings are known for giving intimate glimpses of Boston’s homes in the early 19th century and this painting certainly does.
All this, of course, then led to curiosity about the Wednesday Evening Club of Boston – and that is the subject of my talk tonight for it is a fascinating look at our forebears and the similarities with our Club that make for what seemed to me to be a captivating story.