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00:00:14Ok, events are important, people are important,
00:00:17so at one point they came up with the idea,
00:00:20pretty much in the 1940s, sort of post-WWII,
00:00:26to honor great men from the state of Ohio.
00:00:30So who are some of these great figures?
00:00:32I mean, clearly, the, you know, Perry's Victory,
00:00:36and the Greenville Treaty are moments in time.
00:00:41But about the, instead of moments of time,
00:00:44but actually people, great Ohioans.
00:00:47And so they kind of started working on this idea
00:00:49of commissioning paintings of great Ohioans.
00:00:51And one of the first here, this is Thomas Edison,
00:00:56and I can tell you, if you're not from Ohio, people go,
00:00:57"What? Ohio has nothing to do with Thomas Edison."
00:01:00But we can claim him. We actually, both of
00:01:02these paintings are about people that we argue
00:01:03with other states about, which I actually like.
00:01:07We, Thomas Edison was actually, he spent the first
00:01:13seven years of his life in Milan, Ohio.
00:01:16And before going to Michigan, he's spent some time
00:01:21in Michigan, but thankfully we don't really fight
00:01:25about Edison with Michigan, we fight with Edison
00:01:27with New Jersey, because, of course, Thomas Edison's
00:01:31great lab in Menlo Park was in
00:01:33Menlo Park, New Jersey, so we fight with New Jersey
00:01:36about Mr. Edison.
00:01:39Now, again, for those of you, it's hard to see it from here,
00:01:43and what I encourage you to do after the tours is
00:01:45to run up the stairs and look at it, but again,
00:01:48how do you conceptualize someone's life? What do you emphasize?
00:01:52How do you imagine that?
00:01:55This paining is actually also by Howard Chandler Christy, and again,
00:01:59remember I told you he spent a lot of time as a portraitist?
00:02:02Well, this was a portrait commission for him.
00:02:05It was painted, it was completed in 1950,
00:02:08so after the WWII sort of idea.
00:02:12Now in this, what we've got is, it's hard for you to see,
00:02:14but in the far left, what he did was give you three moments,
00:02:19three versions of Edison.
00:02:22On the very far left, in the lower left-hand corner,
00:02:24you see Edison as a young boy.
00:02:26We need to get that in there because that was
00:02:28the part of time he spent in Ohio.
00:02:30And I think, actually, he's got, you know, he used to sell newspapers
00:02:32on the railroad, and I think he's got a newspaper in his hand,
00:02:35as I recall, and then on the far right is the Edison,
00:02:40you know, the wizard of Menlo.
00:02:44These are the years he spent in Menlo Park, when he, you know,
00:02:47invents the phonograph, when he invents the electric light,
00:02:50you know, all the things that Edison invents,
00:02:53so you've got that famous image of Edison with his hand
00:02:58on his temple resting, thinking, you know, the Menlo Park.
00:03:02And then you have the Edison, Thomas Edison, of history.
00:03:08The moment, the old genious, I mean, he's in his 80s at this point,
00:03:12you see this great mane of white hair, and at this point,
00:03:16when he's 82 years old, Edison had one thousand and
00:03:22ninety two or ninety three patents to his name.
00:03:27He was a busy a guy, I mean, what have I been doing in my time?
00:03:32But this guy has this many patents.
00:03:35So, the whole, the idea of Edison as a genious, and then there is this
00:03:39strange angel thing going on over here, this winged figure, and for me,
00:03:43I immediately thought, "Oh, you know, the idea of inspiration!"
00:03:46This winged figure of inspiration.
00:03:48Well, actually, and I mean, you can take it that way, and I think you
00:03:51can read it both ways, but actually, it's also, the artist based it on
00:03:56a sculpture that the French had given as a gift to Edison, which was
00:04:01called "The Spirit of Light." So, it's interesting that it's actually
00:04:06based on a real sculpture that Edison owned, as a gift, and then also
00:04:12it functions in this way as, sort of, this lighting,
00:04:15you know, the light of progress.
00:04:17And the painting is actually called "Dawn of a New Light."
00:04:20So it sort of plays with the title.
00:04:25So this idea of conceptualizing, you know, a life.
00:04:29Now, it's kind of interesting - you remember I talked about taste,
00:04:31and how taste changes?
00:04:34Well, this one, we took it down at some point.
00:04:36After the 1950s we went "ewww!" Ok, so we went,
00:04:39"Who is Howard Chandler Christy again?
00:04:43Who is that?" That's the kind of thing that happens.
00:04:45It happens in art museums as well, not just in historic places.
00:04:48So they took it down and they rediscovered it in 1967
00:04:54actually the Ohio Arts Council discovered it in storage,
00:04:59with a number of other paintings.
00:05:00But interestingly enough, it wasn't in the first group to come back.
00:05:04It was sort of left down for a while and it really hasn't been returned
00:05:09to us for all that many years.
00:05:11But it's really exciting to see it.
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions