PARIS IS IN BOSTON
This book was inspired by the Boston Public Library. Every time I looked at The Boston Public Library, I thought, "this could be in Paris. " Then, as I looked a number of other scenes around Boston, this same thought kept coming back to me and I began looking at Boston in a wholly new light.
The shoot was done 2007 and 2008 and I started to put the book together. It wasn’t until after the shoot was finished that I decided to do some research into Boston’s architectural history and discovered a tremendous connection between Paris and Boston.
My research revealed that during the Nineteenth Century, many of Boston’s most famous architects studied at l'École Beaux- Arts in Paris; so that Boston’s rich visual heritage includes many elements of the French Architectural Styles brought back from Paris.
The architect Charles Follen McKim modeled the façade of the Boston Public Library after that of the Bibliothèque Saint-Genevieve in Paris. Arthur Gilman’s plans for the wide boulevards of Commonwealth Avenue and Boylston Street were based on the Baron Haussmann’s plans for the Champs Élysées and the Avenue de la Grande Armée.
“BANNED IN BOSTON”
The statute, Bacchante and the Infant Faun, a gift to Charles McKim in repayment of a loan of $50, caused a huge uproar when it arrived from France in 1896 and was the origin of the term “Banned in Boston.”
In the book, I also try to interpret other views in Boston which called to mind scenes of Paris. The photograph of the pyramids at South Station that combines the glass pyramids with the unique opening in the Federal Reserve Building, evoked not only the Courtyard of the Louvre but also the Arche of La Défense.
The photograph of the Genzyme Building on the Charles River, with its spire of steam rising into the sky, reminded me of Notre Dame at night.
However, this is a photography book and whether you are familiar with the architectural history of Boston or not, I hope that the book will give you the feeling that "this could be in Paris" and that the images of both cities will stay with you wherever you go.
Limited Eition Prints are available from the Artist at www.icron.us