Correction time

From the NYT Magazine 4/7/13:

A March 24 article on preparing a holiday feast misidentified the state from which Cheerwine, a cherry-red soft drink, originates. It is North Carolina, not South Carolina. And an accompanying recipe for braised lamb omitted instructions for three ingredients. An onion, roughly chopped, along with a tablespoon of minced garlic and a tablespoon of minced ginger, are to be included when the dried fruit is added to the pot containing the meat in Step 1. In addition, an accompanying feature transcribed incorrectly a comment from Callie Khouri, creator of the television drama “Nashville,” about what she would put on her Easter playlist. Khouri said she would include music by Pops Staples, the late patriarch of the singing family the Staple Singers. She did not say she would include “pop staples.”

An entertaining mishearing / misinterpretation: the article is labeled as being by Callie Khouri, but clearly she spoke her comments (on the telephone or in a face-to-face interview) to someone who then turned them into text, rather than writing her comments up herself.

The article as it originally appeared:

How to Make an Easter Playlist

I would start with the Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir: ‘‘I Want to Ride That Glory Train’’ or ‘‘He Stays in My Room’’ or ‘‘Sweet Jesus.’’ The Johnny Paycheck version of ‘‘Amazing Grace’’ would be fun. Radney Foster’s version of an old hymn called ‘‘O Sacred Head, Now Wounded’’ is absolutely beautiful. You have to include pop staples. I would just go with the good old-fashioned ‘‘I Shall Not Be Moved.’’ There’s a song by the O’Neal Twins called ‘‘Jesus Dropped the Charges.’’ I would definitely play that.

I was reminded of a story that appeared in the Stanford Daily in 1994 about the defacement of a “seagull statue” on campus. I puzzled over this for some time, and Jacques and I tried (without success) to recall such a statue — when I realized that the reference was to a Segal statue, the Gay Liberation statue by George Segal. Presumably the story had been called in, and whoever took it down didn’t know about the Segal, so heard the name as seagull.

The statue:

On the sculptural technique, from Wikipedia:

In place of traditional casting techniques, Segal pioneered the use of plaster bandages (plaster-impregnated gauze strips designed for making orthopedic casts) as a sculptural medium. In this process, he first wrapped a model with bandages in sections, then removed the hardened forms and put them back together with more plaster to form a hollow shell. These forms were not used as molds; the shell itself became the final sculpture, including the rough texture of the bandages. Initially, Segal kept the sculptures stark white, but a few years later he began painting them, usually in bright monochrome colors. Eventually he started having the final forms cast in bronze, sometimes patinated white to resemble the original plaster.

Then a bit on the twisted history of the sculpture, from gltbq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, & queer culture:

In 1979, pop sculptor George Segal was commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund, a private Cleveland-based foundation that supports public art, to create a work that would commemorate New York City’s Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 riot that conveniently (if somewhat simplistically) marks the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement.

The result was the first piece of public art commemorating the struggle of glbtq people for equality, predating Amsterdam’s “Homomonument” by some seven years.

Tellingly, Segal’s sculpture has, from the very beginning, been at the center of controversy and suffered the kinds of assaults and bashings that glbtq people themselves have all too often experienced.

… Segal’s aim in his depiction of the couples was to normalize and domesticize homosexual relationships, rescuing them from the sensationalized, over-sexualized images so common in the popular media. At the same time, however, Segal emphasizes the physical element of relationships. The partners’ soulful gazing into each other’s eyes symbolizes commitment and communion, but their touching represents physical intimacy.

… Given the reaction against the statue by the residents and governments of New York City and Los Angeles, the decision was made to seek an alternate site for the sculpture. It was decided to offer “Gay Liberation” for installation on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, a campus famous for its public sculptures.

After much wrangling, and the approval of two faculty committees and the president of the university, the Stanford Board of Regents finally voted to accept the sculpture as a long-term loan.

Less than a month after the sculpture was installed in February 1984, the work was attacked with a ball-peen hammer. The vandal(s) struck the figures about 40 times, gouging the faces and torsos, and inflicting an estimated $50,000 worth of damage. The statue was removed from display and placed in storage.

The assault sent a chill through the glbtq community at Stanford and across the nation. That such a violent attack, so reminiscent of hate crimes almost routinely visited upon glbtq people, could take place on the campus of a major university, in the shadow of San Francisco, with its large and active gay and lesbian community, underscored the vulnerability of the lesbian and gay movement.

The day after “Gay Liberation” was attacked in 1984, members of the Stanford community began placing flowers at the site. A week later 200 people gathered in White Plaza to denounce the crime. Segal issued a statement, remarking that his point in “Gay Liberation” was “a human one regarding our common humanity with homosexuals. I’m distressed that disagreement with the statement took this violent, brutal form.”

After being repaired the sculpture remained in storage for over a year, then was quietly re-installed. Less than a year later, however, it was attacked again. Someone spray-painted the word “AIDS” on the male couple.

In 1994, the sculpture was again vandalized, this time by several drunken members of Stanford’s football team, who splattered the white statue with black paint and wedged a bench between two of the four figures, resulting in approximately $8,000 worth of damage.

… The other casting of the sculpture was installed in a public park in Madison, Wisconsin and occasionally exhibited in galleries. In Madison, where it resided from 1986 until 1991, the sculpture was also vandalized on at least one occasion, though it was also beloved by many residents, who would sometimes place hats and scarves on the sculptural figures in the winter.

In 1992, however, New York City finally agreed to place Gay Liberation in Sheridan Park, just across the street from the site of Stonewall Inn.

The 1994 restoration story, from the Stanford News Service (9/16/94):

Restored Segal Gay Liberation sculpture to be reinstalled

STANFORD — Gay Liberation, the bronze sculpture group by artist George Segal, will be reinstalled on the Stanford campus Friday, Sept. 23, after a two-week period of conservation. The sculpture was damaged in an attack by seven Stanford students in the early morning hours of May 16.

The sculpture, comprised of four painted figures and two benches, was removed from its site at Stanford on Sept. 6 and taken to San Rafael for extensive restoration. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 23, the four figures will be secured to the benches and to the cement pad that serves as the sculpture’s base. It is anticipated that the reinstallation will be completed that morning.




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