Book #17—Eiffel’s Tower

Much to my surprise, Thomas Edison, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, James Whistler, Annie Oakley, and Buffalo Bill were some the colorful characters who were included in this story about the Eiffel Tower. Built for the World Fair of 1889 in Paris, France, the Eiffel Tower was the “brain child” of Gustave Eiffel. He designed and oversaw the construction of this massive monument. Initially, he had to fight tremendous opposition from many Parisians who thought that it was a monstrosity that would be nothing more than an eyesore. However, Paris and the world grew to love this metal icon over time.

People from all ‘walks of life’ clamored to visit the tower after it was completed in time for the fair. Average citizens, princes, politicians, nobility, and Indian chiefs alike were awed by the construction elements, the height, the elevators (built & designed by the Otis Brothers in America), and of course, by the view of Paris from the top.

On a personal note, I learned about a French artist that I had never heard of before—Rosa Bonheur. She lived in man’s world, baby, but she didn’t let that stop her. Because she typically painted livestock, animals, and outdoor scenes, she petitioned the court to be granted permission to wear pants when she was working. Yes—she had to get the “green light” to wear pants! Known for realism, her paintings almost look like photographs. I’d like to learn more about her and her artwork.

One of her well-known paintings is called, Horse Fair” and it’s housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Either it’s serendipity, or we just notice what we notice, because now we’re aware of it. I’m staying in a cute little Airbnb near San Francisco this week. This picture was hanging on the stairwell. I JUST finished reading, ‘Eiffel’s Tower.’ I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have given this print a second glance, but I took my suitcase to my room and then came back and studied it with interest.

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