Tag Archives: Artist Colony

Stolen Abbott Fuller Graves painting recovered; now on auction block

The Silent Partner aka The Organ Grinder by Abbott Fuller Graves 1894
The Silent Partner aka The Organ Grinder by Abbott Fuller Graves 1894

The Silent Partner”, by renowned Boston and Kennebunkport artist Abbott Fuller Graves, goes on the auction block next Thursday. From the fate of its involuntary title subject to its theft and subsequent recovery by the Santa Rosa California Sherriff’s Department, the 116 year old painting has an intriguing history.

By the time the heart-wrenching picture was completed in November of 1894, Abbott F. Graves was a household name in New England art circles. Best known for his artistry with flowers, Graves was making a good living for his family selling paintings and conducting his own school of art. His botanical design “The Eden” had appeared in Thomas Strahan & Co’s 1893 line of wallpapers and the painter had just finished illustrating a book, “Wildflower Sonnets by Emily Shaw Forman, his second. He had illustrated New Castle, Historic and Picturesque by John Albee, in 1884.

Graves displayed a growing interest in painting the human condition; the drama of simple country people engaged in their mundane daily lives.  On September 23, 1894 it was reported in the Boston Daily Globe, “Mr. Abbott Graves has taken a studio in Studio Building, which he has fitted up with an eye to the artistic and attractive arrangement which the instincts of an artist suggest. His sojourn at Kennebunkport, ME, the past season resulted in his securing some charming sketches of that picturesque locality.”

The first public exhibition of the painting was announced on Nov 11, 1894 in the Globe:  “The Boston Art Club will give its 51st exhibition, from Jan 18 to Feb 16, 1895.”

“Mr. Abbott Graves of the Studio building has just finished a large canvas which he entitles “The Silent Partner.” The picture is an original composition and surprisingly artistic; in fact the best piece of work in this line which the artist has accomplished. It represents the interior of a tenement, an Italian organ grinder sitting upon his instrument, the tambourine girl resting upon the floor with her hands to her face, both bemoaning the fate which has deprived them of their active partner, the dead monkey. The composition is well managed and the color scheme admirable.”

Preeminent Graves biographer, Joyce Butler recalls a story about the monkey in the painting, told to her by Miss Dorothy Buhler, whose father, artist Augustus Buhler, occupied a studio in the same building when “The Silent Partner” was painted.

“Graves “got” the dead monkey from an organ grinder. After completing the painting, Graves paid a “man on the street” to dispose of the animal’s body. It was not “done successfully” and the remains were traced to Graves causing him “some difficulty with the authorities.”

Comic actor, singer and playwright, Francis Wilson, who would later become the first President of Actor’s Equity, was moved by Graves’ new painting. The plight of the organ grinder whose grief is clearly combined with consternation over the loss of a business asset, reminded him of his own lean years as a player in a minstrel show.

“It is rare that an artist nowadays paint a pivotal picture – one that will turn the minds of people, make them reflective and more considerate of the common phases of life,” wrote a reporter for the Boston Post. “Surely Abbott Graves has touched a chord of nature which makes the whole world kin in a work that is destined to make a national reputation for him. Graves is an artist and is known far and wide for his flower paintings, but he sees and studies all sides of life, and in this recent work, entitled “The Silent Partner,” has struck the most pathetic incident that he has ever undertaken.”

“No wonder,” the reporter continued, “that the comedian, Francis Wilson, when he saw it, was impressed with its sad and touching pathos. Several days after having visited Graves he returned and remarked: “Mr. Graves, ever since I saw that picture it has haunted me. Whatever your price, I want it.”

Wilson still owned the painting in 1899 when it was exhibited in Chicago and Boston.

Almost 100 years later the “The Silent Partner” was in the news again but this time with a new name. An Abbott Graves painting identified by the owners as “The Organ Grinder” was stolen July 11, 1997 from a private home in Sebastolpol California. Nothing else was taken by the art thieves.

A report in Maine Antiques Digest valued the stolen painting at over $100,000 and a reward was offered for its safe return.  Detective Jose Avilla of the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department handled the case.  In 2001, your “Old News” columnist reported the theft and posted a photograph of the painting on the Abbott Graves page of mykennebunks.com. After an unfruitful investigation the painting was declared a loss and Allstate Insurance Company paid the owners $65,000, the maximum amount allowable under the policy.

Last winter the Santa Rosa, California Sherriff’s department got a phone call from a man who claimed to know the whereabouts of a Graves painting titled “The Organ Grinder”.  He anonymously returned the painting to the Allstate Insurance Company, who in turn sent it to Mo Mansur of Insurance Asset Recovery, LLC, in California,  in hopes that some value could be realized from the painting.  Mr. Mansur shipped the painting to Shannon’s Auction House in Milford CT to be listed on their website for auction sale on April 29, 2010.  They assigned it a surprising sales estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

International Interpol agents in London England, who frequently scan the internet for stolen art, had not received an update about the status of the painting when they came across the auction listing. They contacted the sellers demanding proof that the painting had been legitimately recovered.

Mr. Mansur in California, being aware of the mykennebunks website listing, contacted your columnist with the rest of the story.  After the discovery of the previously mentioned newspaper articles, it was concluded that the legitimately recovered painting was actually Abbott Graves’ famous work “The Silent Partner.”

Meanwhile, Kennebunk Historian and author, Joyce Butler, an Abbott Fuller Graves expert, had already contacted the auction house about the erroneous name associated with the painting.

It is our most fervent hope that next Thursday, a museum buyer or private Abbott Graves collector will bring “The Silent Partner” home to New England. We would also appreciate learning about the next chapter in the history of this poignant painting. Please email Sharon Cummins at sharonlynn@roadrunner.com

The Lincoln penny designed by Ogunquit artist

A numismatist’s delight.
A numismatist’s delight.

The obstacles sculptor and medalist, Victor David Brenner, had to overcome to see his design for the Lincoln penny — finally minted in 1909 — were minor compared to challenges he faced in his native Lithuania before emigrating to America.

Near the end of his career, Clara Whiteside, wife of well known artist Frank Reed Whiteside, interviewed Victor Brenner at his Ogunquit studio overlooking Perkins Cove.

He had been born Viktoras Barnauskas in Shavli, Lithuania, in 1871. At the age of 13 he began an apprenticeship in his father’s metal shop and quickly displayed a precocious gift for engraving. At the tender age of 16 he went into business for himself.

Victor arrived in New York in 1890 with no knowledge of the English language, but his superior engraving skills quickly earned him a comfortable living. After eight years, he felt creatively unsatisfied by the work. “I gave in to the discontent that was troubling me — threw up my work and sailed for Paris,” he told Clara. There he studied with accomplished medalist, Louis Oscar Roty, and entered Academie Julian. Upon his return to New York, his artistic talents were recognized by well-placed numismatists who encouraged his concentration on commemorative medals.

Brenner’s proposed design for the Panama Canal service medal was selected by President Theodore Roosevelt, whose flattering likeness was to be depicted thereon. While the President posed for the artist, the two men developed a comfortable rapport, so much so that Victor felt within the bounds of propriety to suggest that the Indian head on the United States penny be replaced by his sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln.

Roosevelt was persuaded, much to the chagrin of the Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, Charles E. Barber, who tried every unctuous trick in the book to discredit Brenner and the quality of his work. Nonetheless, a Victor David Brenner design for the new coin was finally approved by the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, with one minor change. The name “Brenner” that appeared on the reverse of the coin was reduced to VDB. By the time the first coins were released to the public on Aug. 2, 1909, the administration had changed.

The new Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, saw the finished coin and believed, as did some vocal members of the public, that the foreign-born artist had given too much prominence to his own initials on the back of the coin. A decision was made to stop the minting. The vindictive Chief Engraver Barber advised Secretary Macveagh that it would be technically impractical to reduce the size of the initials on the die and convinced him that the most prudent course of action would be to remove Brenner’s initials altogether.

The public rushed the Treasury Department for the limited first minting and by Aug. 9, 1909, the supply of Lincoln pennies bearing the artist’s initials had been exhausted. The price of the coins went from 3 for a nickel to 25 cents apiece. Recently, one such penny, of the rarer San Francisco minting, was valued at more than $6,000.

Victor David Brenner’s initials were re-introduced on the front of the Lincoln penny in 1918 just after Charles E. Barber retired from the U.S. Mint. During the same year what could arguably be described as Brenner’s masterwork — the Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain, also known as A Song to Nature — was unveiled at the entrance to Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. The magnificent 30-foot public sculpture in bronze and granite portrays a reclining Pan being serenaded by a graceful female companion. Carla Whiteside’s enlightening article was widely published in 1920, but it did not reveal the circumstances that led to Brenner’s departure from the motherland. Numismatic expert, David W. Lange, uncovered the particulars in his 2005 book, “The Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents.”

Victoras Barnauskas’ work so exceeded that of his rival engravers in Lithuania that they resented the number of commissions the teenager took from them. He was accused of counterfeiting. The police, frustrated in trying to obtain evidence of the crime that had never occurred, came into his shop and asked him to duplicate an official seal. Unaware that it was illegal to do so, young Viktor made a perfect copy and was thrown into jail. With the help of some friends he managed to escape and fled to the United States.

When Victor Brenner died in 1924, at just 53 years old, his name was well known. The controversy over the temporary removal of his initials from the Lincoln penny brought him more notoriety than if he had been allowed to sign his whole name to the design.

Henry Strater’s Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Henry Strater's Masterwork
Henry Strater’s Masterwork

As a member of the “lost generation,” landscape and figure painter Henry Strater was frequently interviewed about his relationships with literary icons, Earnest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce. He was frustrated that he had achieved more notoriety for his friendships than for his art.

At the dedication of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in 1953, Strater explained that he had built the museum to showcase his own contemporaries in the visual arts. “The works of writers are reproduced by the thousands,” he told the appreciative crowd, “whereas an artist makes only his original.”

Henry Strater, who was known to his friends as “Mike,” was a bit of a rebel during his years at Princeton. He started a movement to alter the undemocratic system of social clubs at the school and he protested American participation in World War I. Classmate F. Scott Fitzgerald modeled the rebel-pacifist character, Burne Holiday, in “This Side of Paradise,” after Mike. “I taught Scott not to be afraid of the devil or the dark,” the painter once said of his influence over Fitzgerald.

Strater was a writer then, too. During his freshman year he won out against some pretty stiff competition to edit the Daily Princetonian. Robert Taylor of the Boston Globe once asked Strater how he chose between visual and literary arts. He responded, “I had to answer the question, did I want to spend the rest of my life looking at a beautiful typewriter, or did I want to spend the rest of my life looking at a beautiful woman?” He chose beautiful women, repeatedly.

Strater’s draft registration card lists him as a conscientious objector, but in 1917 he volunteered for Red Cross service in France. While on leave near the Swiss border he fell and injured himself, ending up on crutches. After suffering the humiliation of being treated like a war hero by women in the streets of Paris, he signed up for the Belgian Army in an effort to legitimize the perception.

While awaiting transport back to the States after the war, Strater studied art at l’Ecole Julien in Paris. He continued his artistic training at the Hamilton Easter Field School of painting in Ogunquit, during the summer of 1919. Strater spent the next five years honing his skills in exotic places. He and his first wife, Margaret Connor, travelled in Europe where they frequently dined with author James Joyce and met Earnest Hemingway at one of Ezra Pound’s afternoon teas.

Strater and Hemingway became very close. They boxed, fished and philosophized together for years. In 1936 the two men had a falling out over a 900-pound marlin. Mike had landed the giant, but when Hemingway allowed a photographer from Time Magazine to mistakenly assume he had caught the fish, the friendship fell apart.

After Hemingway died in 1961, Henry was flooded with questions about his former friend until he told a reporter for the Boston Globe to spread the word that he was “Hemingwayed out!”

Mike’s passion for competitive tuna fishing near his summer home in Ogunquit was rivaled only by his love for beautiful women. When not busy painting or fishing, he gleefully offered his services as judge of the annual Miss Ogunquit bathing suit pageant. Henry Strater and all three of his wives spent and worked tirelessly for the betterment of Ogunquit area organizations including the library and York Hospital. The Straters were also active supporters of the Ogunquit Art Association.

The more famous his “lost generation” literary friends became, the more fervent was Henry Strater’s wish that visual artists of the same era be similarly recognized. On Sept. 18, 1951, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art was incorporated. Henry Strater purchased the land on Shore Road and hired Charles Worley Jr. to design the museum. Jarvis Shibles of North Berwick was hired to oversee construction, which began in September of 1852. The 3,600 square foot building was completed halfway through the following summer.

On July 8, 1953, the Portsmouth Herald published a description of the new museum. “The low simple lines of the building give an unobtrusive yet modern appearance. The white pine pillars supporting the terrace roof were cut by Henry Strater and Joseph Weare from the old Weare woodlands.”

Mike and his fellow trustees filled the four exhibit rooms with works by Strater and his peers. A large Ogunquit crowd turned out for the dedication ceremonies on Aug. 1, 1953. Henry H. Strater gave the museum to the people of Ogunquit in memory of his parents, Adeline Helme and Charles Godfrey Strater. His realized dream is, to this day, one of Ogunquit’s crown jewels.

Proprietors of the Dan Sing Fan

The Dan Sing Fan Ogunquit by Frank Handlen

The pagoda-like buildings of the Dan Sing Fan Tea House and Gift Shop had overlooked Perkins Cove for 75 years when it was deliberately burned during training exercises by the Ogunquit Fire Department. The curious landmark is gone but the Coolidge Family, whose proprietorship made it the center of Ogunquit’s summer social life, will not soon be forgotten.

Brooklyn, N.Y. credit broker Paul Coolidge and his wife, Mary Mountfort Coolidge, purchased land on Shore Road from Ethel Perkins in the fall of 1920. Their sons, Harold Mountfort Coolidge and Richard Burton Coolidge, were both artists. They had studied with Robert Henri in New York and Hamilton Easter Field at Perkins Cove. The creative sensibilities of Ogunquit’s summer society suited Mountfort and Richard — and along with their sister Dorothy — they each set about making contributions to it.

Richard Coolidge and his partner, Italian born actor Luigi Balestro, built the Dan Sing Fan on the Paul Coolidge lot overlooking Perkins Cove. The Tea Room first opened, by invitation only, on Tuesday, June 28, 1921. The gala event was reviewed in the Ogunquit and Kennebunkport Bulletin. “In response to an attractive invitation about 60 of the summer guests and residents of Ogunquit gathered at the tea room where sandwiches, cake, Chinese fruit punch and tea were served by Messrs. Coolidge and Balestro.” The editor went on to describe the festive decor. “The porch, with its Chinese wall decorations painted by Mr. Coolidge and which for dancing can be opened into the stormy-day tea room with its stone fireplace, suggestive of good cheer, was most inviting. A fine time is the verdict of the guests present.” Later that summer the editor reported, “The ‘Dan Sing Fan’ continues to be the center of Ogunquit’s social life at tea hour,” and “The fame of the ‘Dan Sing Fan’ fudge cake has travelled abroad and Mr. Coolidge and Mr. Balestro have approximately 100 guests daily.”

By 1927, the tea house was in every Maine resort guidebook. Coolidge and Balestro had built their own summer cottage next door and the Dan Sing Fan had been expanded to include a gift shop. The men often wintered in Italy but spent the next 35 summers together in Ogunquit serving tea and entertaining summer sojourners.

While wintering in Italy on Jan. 15, 1957, Richard Coolidge legally adopted 30 year old, Osvaldo Riva of Genoa. The waiting list for Italian immigration was long so Osvaldo entered the United States on a visitor’s visa two month later. When the young man’s visa expired after several extensions, Richard Coolidge contacted ex-governor Edmund Muskie to request that a residence visa for his son be expedited. Muskie began his first term in the U. S. Senate in 1959 and one of the first bills he authored was S2164 — Relief of Osvaldo Riva Coolidge. Letters from Richard Coolidge were included in the report for Congress. In them, he explained that as a 66 year old single man with considerable means and a long established business in Ogunquit, he had wished to find an heir to whom he could leave his beloved Dan Sing Fan. His partner of many years was no longer associated, and young Osvaldo Riva, whom he had known since 1949, had few job prospects in Italy.

Osvaldo Riva Coolidge, who had placed fifth in welterweight Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympic Games, was awarded permanent residency in the U. S. 1960. Ozzie married an Italian girl, just days before his father’s death in 1964. Much to the delight of Richard Coolidge, the ceremony was performed at his bedside.

Dan Sing Fan became Cove Garden and the menu changed to northern Italian cuisine. Ozzie was as much of a fixture in Ogunquit’s social life as his adopted father had been. After 38 years in Maine, he sold the restaurant and retired to his homeland. On his last visit to Ogunquit he learned that the Dan Sin Fan had gone up in smoke to make way for the new owner’s home, and with tears streaming down his face, watched a neighbor’s film of the controlled fire.

After word reached Ogunquit of Ozzie’s death in 2004, good friend Mike Horn remembered him to York County Coast Star reporter, Jennifer Hagan, as a passionate character who loved entertaining his patrons with stories. “You didn’t want to mess with Osvaldo, either,” Horn said. “As long as you praised his food, you were a life-long friend. But if you didn’t like it and said so, you never stepped foot in the door again”.

Perkins Cove: Result of patience and persistence

Perkins Cove  Frank Handlen
Perkins Cove Frank Handlen

Ogunquit’s Perkins Cove, one of the most photogenic spots on the Maine Coast, has not always looked as it does today. When Charles H. Woodbury opened his art school on the banks of the Josias River in 1898 there was no boat basin, just a stream that bordered a mostly marshy area called Flat Pond before running out to an unprotected half-moon cove.

The Fish Cove Harbor Company had dug a channel between the pond and Perkins Cove about 1880 to provide shelter for the fishermen’s dories but keeping the channel clear proved to be a losing battle.

Within 20 years nature had had her way with the handmade canal and it was navigable only by small boats at high tide.

An appeal for federal funding to improve Perkins Cove in 1910 was denied as was a 1928 plea.

Members of The Ogunquit Village Corporation were interviewed for an article in the Portsmouth Herald in 1928. “About 50 years ago a channel was constructed by means of bulkheads and piling which ran from Perkins Cove up to Flat Pond. As a result of this helpful, though crude improvement, a thriving fishing business sprung up. It is said that 26 whaleboats and 10 dories were engaged in business at one time. Since then the natural course of the sea has washed away the channel and the fishing business has practically died out as a result. The association wants the harbor rebuilt.”

Finally, with the passage of The River and Harbor Act of 1935, the United States War Department sent engineers to Ogunquit to survey Perkins Cove.

Their findings were detailed in a 13-page report published in 1939 complete with sketches of the recommended improvements. The plan was to dig a 900-foot-long, 40-foot wide channel from the cove to the pond and then dredge out the marsh to create a 5-acre boat basin. The plans exceeded Ogunquit’s original request by several acres but the town committed to contribute $22,000 to the project with an additional $10,000 possible through private subscribership.

An old stationary footbridge spanned the Josias River but the War Department declared it to be unsatisfactory.

“A small fixed footbridge owned by the Ogunquit Village Corporation crosses the Josias River 550 feet from its mouth. This footbridge has a horizontal clearance of approximately 30 feet and a vertical clearance of about 5 feet at mean high water. No Federal permit was issued for the construction of this bridge. The proposed improvement would necessitate the reconstruction of the span to provide a draw opening of sufficient horizontal clearance for navigation.”

Just as work was scheduled to begin on the boat basin, Ogunquit received word that appropriations had been deferred in light of impending U.S. involvement in World War II.

In typical Maine Yankee fashion the village of 600 inhabitants didn’t complain. They simply took it upon themselves to complete an abbreviated version of the War Department plan by floating a $35,000 bond.

The basin was dedicated on Thursday July 3, 1941. The Biddeford Daily Journal reported that 3,000 spectators watched as Maine’s Governor Sewall motored up the new channel in Henry Strater’s tuna cruiser, the Bluefin II and cut the ribbon that was strung across the Josias River.

The draw footbridge required by the War Department was soon completed in the location of the old bridge but at a meeting of the Ogunquit Village Corporation in June of 1942 it became clear that their bridge failed to meet muster.

The Portsmouth Herald reported “A letter from the war department stated that the bridge at Perkins Cove prevented a Coast Guard patrol boat from entering the cove and improvements or changes would have to be made.”

The point was made moot the following January when the Biddeford Journal reported “The high winds and rain of last Wednesday loosened the ice to such an extent in Perkins Cove that it broke and started out to sea. On its way it took bridge and all with it. There is now only a small portion of the bridge remaining on either side of the river. The draw and parts of the bridge went out. Workmen were able to rescue part of the bridge however and fasten it to a point about a hundred yards or so below the original location.” Necessary improvements were made to the drawbridge in 1944 and the Cove was expanded by the War Department in 1951, 1960 and 1993.

Picturesque Perkins Cove took Yankee perseverance and over 100 years to complete.

Dada Baroness exposed at Perkins Cove

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

“The Maine summer colony at Ogunquit professes to be shocked. Women have been posing nude for art classes on the Perkins Cove rocks,” claimed a correspondent for the Portsmouth Herald in August of 1915. “Ogunquit lobstermen, plying their humble craft on the nearby waters have been distracted. Wives of the lobstermen think that model gazing is no part of a respectable lobsterman’s business and they don’t hesitate to say so.”

Hamilton Easter Field defended his employment of nude models at his art school to a reporter for the Boston Globe a few days later.

“For work from the nude Perkins Cove is perfect because the nude contains soft, undulating lines which are brought out by the hardness and roughness of the rocks. Nowhere else on the coast can this be done as well as at Ogunquit. Farther east there is too much fog and farther south the sunlight is stronger and burns the flesh.”

One of the models, identified as Baroness Elsa von Freytag, enjoyed the liberty of nudity and at times wandered down to the sea to bathe between poses tormenting the local boys to such an extent that Field had to hire guards to protect the children from their own curiosity.

Else Plöetz was born in Prussia in 1874. As a young woman she discovered her exhibitionist tendencies while performing at Berlin’s Wintergarten vaudeville theater. Her first husband was German Artist, August Endell. She fell in love with Endell’s friend, Felix Paul Greve soon after and followed him to America in 1910.

When Greve deserted Elsa on a farm in Kentucky a year later she began supporting herself by modeling for artists in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York.

Her third husband, Baron Leopold von Freytag-Loringhoven was 28 years old when she married him in Manhattan. Elsa was 39 years old but lied on her marriage certificate, claiming to be 28.

The 1913 union lasted but a few months. The Baron left for Germany to fight in World War I and was soon captured by the French. He later killed himself in protest of the war. Elsa told her friends that Leo’s suicide had been his bravest act. No evidence can be found proving that she had ever divorced any of her husbands.

The Baroness reinvented herself yet again. She returned to modeling for New York art schools but this time with a royal title. Brooklyn artist Hamilton Easter Field hired her to pose for his Ogunquit Art students in the summer of 1915.

The Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven has been dubbed “The Mama of Dada.”

Dada was a short-lived rebellious movement in art or rather anti-art that started in Europe and found its way to Greenwich Village in response to American participation in WW I. The goal of the Dadaists was to shock the bourgeoisie. The more shocking and dangerous the movement seemed the more chic it became: early 20th Century Punk, if you will. Elsa was deeply involved in the movement as a poet and an artist. Her friend, conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp, known for the purchased porcelain urinal that he ceremoniously titled Fountain, inspired her sculpture God that prompted the headline, “Plumbing or Art?”

The Baroness was the subject of Man Ray’s first film in 1921. A well known spectacle on the streets of Greenwich Village for her performance art, Elsa was viewed by her contemporaries with a mixture of revulsion and awe. Her face was frequently adorned with postage stamps, silverware and black lipstick making her less of a spectacle naked than fully clothed.

Philadelphia artist, George Biddle described his first meeting with Elsa in his 1939 autobiography: “With a royal gesture she swept apart the folds of a scarlet raincoat. She stood before me quite naked—or nearly so. Over the nipples of her breasts were two tin tomato cans, fastened with a green string around her back. Between the tomato cans hung a very small bird-cage and within it a crestfallen canary. One arm was covered from wrist to shoulder with celluloid curtain rings, which later she admitted to have pilfered from a furniture display in Wanamaker’s. She removed her hat, which had been tastefully but inconspicuously trimmed with gilded carrots, beets, and other vegetables. Her hair was close cropped and dyed vermilion.”

Of all the nude models spied on by Ogunquit youths, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven was by far the most memorable.