« 99% Invisible

200- Miss Manhattan Redux

2018-03-13 | 🔗

All around the country, there stands a figure so much a part of historical architecture and urban landscapes that she is rarely noticed. She has gone by many names, from Star Maiden to Priestess of Culture, Spirit of Life to Mourning Victory. Now nearly forgotten, Audrey Munson was once the most famous artist’s model in the United States.

In and beyond her time, she has represented many things, including truth, memory, seasons, the stars, and even the universe itself. Immortalized in iron, marble and gold, Audrey remains perched on high, quietly watching over cities from coast to coast.

Miss Manhattan

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
As we are approaching. Our three hundred episode of the show that nine p, I grew to couple days to go on a retreat up the coast and listen the audio that inspires us and talk about the future of the show, because all the time it took to plan and execute the retreat. We have one of our rare re broadcast this week and I am happy to revisit it because this is a pivotal episode for ninety percent of visible and one of my personal favorite. It was a really ambitious story for Avery at the time, and we knew it was gonna be important, so we commission And in original score, for the first time from Sean Rio who laid came on staff to be our full time composer. If you haven't heard this episode for a real treat, and we have You should listen again because I think it gets better each time I stay to the end, because we have a brand new interview with Sean that I can talk to the late last night on the foggy California coast. Score for this episode in the process of composing music for nerds to talk over a year ago.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars, all over New York City. There are similar clothes or nude women, and they are so baked in architecture that we don't even see them But when you entered the New Republic Library on the left hand, side, there's a scope, of a young woman, leaning against dollars on fifty nineth and fit theirs. Statue of a woman holding a basket of fruit, seventh street in Broadway. There's a woman reclining on a bed. That's cool, Yorker, Avery, Chauvelin, Britain Riverside, drive, stone woman sits in a chair with a child in a varied of the New York Municipal Building. Theirs golden woman. Holding a crown and these women are actually the same woman, Audrey, Munson the most famous artist model in the United States
thirty statues at the met or made in her likeness and she adorns dozens of memorials and bridges and regal buildings all over New York City. She may Italy was the equivalent of supermodel at the time. This is under a guire, an artist herself and author of queen of the artist studios, the story of We Munson everybody knew who she was. Her picture was in the papers and if one a sledge and, like every boy, had a crush on her and she was a very desired young woman in her lifetime. She would go unto decorate buildings and memorials all over the United States. Before becoming movie star an event we're getting embroiled in a sensational murder scandal. And although Audrey Munson body has been immortalized in iron and marble, her name is mostly forgotten, but she so prolific. Writer intended series of articles telling her life in her own words sometimes aim a third person. Where is she now? This
who was so beautiful has been her reward. Is she happy and prosper? or she sat and forlorn her beauty gone. Leaving only memories in the wake like so many super that would come after her Audrey Marie Munson was scouted and the streets of New York City in nineteen o six Audrey's, mother and father were divorced, which was very unusual at the time and her mother decided to get a fresh start in the big city. Audrey was fifty enrolled in music school and one day She was picked up on the street by a photographer when she after round with her mother does photographer gave Audrey his card and asked if she would pose for some portraits. Her mom was invaded too. So intentions were good. These photos were fully clothed affairs Audrey bite you hence, was picked up as a model and then in the studio proved that as somebody who was very good the camera very good in creating and generating poses this role
therefore recommended that Audrey meet a friend. It hits the famous sculptor Isidore Conti at First County, but he didn't really need by, but as Audrey self leader recalled. Suddenly, he rose from the table walked about me asked me to stand and walk and then said but he thought he could use me but said Mister Carter. You will have two posts in the altogether posing in the altogether meant posing naked Audrey's, are consented if they would have been wealthy people I dont think her mother would have led her posing the nude from that encounter. The reserve, thing. Sculpture was the three muses three you'd women with their arms around each other, all three modeled after Audrey for I the sculpture, was in the lobby of the hotel Astor. Recalled this statue quote as with of my mother's consent- and this was the, first of many sculptures that she would model for his door, accounting, began to work for many other famous artists in New York. As a rapid
fishing grew she's recommended studio, studio and slowly likeness appeared mostly naked or half naked, all over the city in nineteen thirteen New York son dumped her Miss Manhattan, but Audrey is not always recognisable and sculpture. Her figure is different, indifferent, artists, eyes, sometimes she's live sometimes She's, fuller from sculpture, Sculpture. There are no obvious giveaways that you're looking at Audrey's body, the clue Our inner it's the expressions the eyes and the mouth and nose like once. You know how she looks. You can see her everywhere. It's really asking. I would like look at sculptures in the mat and be like that looks like her and then research and be yeah be right. That was her before it was easy for artists to snap a reference picture Audrey could pose in a that could evoke a mood she met. Have been a very empathetic person. She could really true It's late, emotion, fully into
her body we can hold the same, pose for hours, sometimes for an entire day and she work, Firstly, with the artists learning their temperaments familiarizing herself with their past work He thought of yourself as a collaborator. He told the New York Herald in nineteen. Fifty steady Yes, indeed, I do. Every model, who is a real success must study the work of the persons she is with Audrey's unique set of skills, earned her a decent salary about thirty. Dollars a week which today, It would be like eight hundred dollars a week. She made enough give a day's salary to the suffragists movement, which was in full swing around her out It was an independent, confident woman at a good time to be a sculpture model, because the architecture that was in vogue in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century, through world war, one was the boughs aren't style and style required a lot of sculptures and detailed ornamentation. A wise time in many ways to be an artist. This is architect
draw historian Karen Macneil, whether you an architect, a sculptor, a painter across person making Lamb you seem Mozart, style architecture. Virtually all state capitals run the style that image of an authoritative building, with Collins, that use all around. Maybe a big dome. That's Mozart's! the style is a cross between like stately, Greek, Parthenon and flowery french Versailles. So, Those are building into Greek Temple, but and you do have the sculptures on it, you do have the freeze work. You do have all of this ornamental detail that is integral to the building. An architecture and sculpture are really bound together in this movement. When you take them creative elements and off of both our building it. Sir. It looks weird the dimensions dont quite work anymore, but also the sculptures are signs of the buildings purpose. The very overly representational like in a private home,
statues are of domestic scenes were on a market thereof, harvest and eating for govern. And building saying San Francisco City Hall. It all going to tell us about this. Is this. If governments in California so great and fabulous, and but it's all gonna be allegorical in a government building. Find a statue of a woman holding an olive branch or the scales of justice representing the state liberty. Truth, you name it just women placed on this pedestal of virtue, morality, mother, nurturing strength. Women decorated the seat of power they didn't set in life. It got a daily because women are pure You know a woman with a spear. She would only use that spirit and really defend her. Kids right has to be asked. Female for several years, this pure uncorrupted symbol of virtue in the U S was Audrey Munson. She was, at the wheel.
Fair in nineteen fifteen, held in San Francisco Odd Repose for three quarters of the statute is on the premises face, and body appeared everywhere throughout the ground That's errand, Garcia of California, historical society he created and exhibit about the nineteen fifteen Panama, Pacific Expedition in San Francisco, where Audrey unseen was dubbed the exposition girl forty four seas and she was the seasons she was at the base of the thumb of energy. She was rain. She was the priestess of culture at the palace. A fine she paused for ninety. One figures meant to represent the sty. She was all over the place, but about Four years old Miss Manhattan had won the west and there was a new form of art entering the seed cinema. The obvious next stop for Audrey Munson was Hollywood, and Hollywood was unfortunately the beginning.
Of the end for Audrey Munson. She is cast in a few films after the exposition, but in every case she has cast as a nude model, as an artist model, and she appears nude audrey- was actually first leading woman in Hollywood. To appear naked on film, Audrey may have been a good model, but the honestly wasn't much of an actress in a few of her films, she actually had an acting double. Who would basic do everything except the naked, posing an These demands are really being worth it for her financially. She has paid very little. And none of them seem to have been critical successes that might have been ok Her career might have survived that, but then Unfortunately, she was involved in a murder scandal, Audrey and her mother had an apartment in New York and their landlord Doktor Wilkins fell in love with Audrey. Her landlord apparently became obsessed with her and
killed his wife so that he could be with our dream. Being with Audrey was a one sided. Delusion lottery had nothing to do with the murder or any kind of romance without Wilkins. She and her mother had actually moved out of their home. Before this happened, but they were question they had to testify in court and they were sort of dragged through the mud and the press. The so called Wilkins case became a phenomenal media scandal as You told the daily variety and nineteen twenty, though ok case ruined my career, I'll, never account for anything again from loving and admiring me. The public seems to have grown to hate me. Audrey couldn't find any work in film or an artist students, but the decline of arteries career wasn't just because of the Wilkins scandal. She was, after all, totally innocent girl just a lot. Factors changing in the culture around her, for
and the boughs I'd style wasn't very popular anymore. The boughs, our style came out of Europe, and there is this thing called world where one where Western Europe kind of fell apart, and so there is a questioning about whether or not we want to be using that kind of symbolism. Both european and american architects were trending towards modernism away if in the old world both President's also the economics of both our style were impossible, it became the design of the elements of the building and install it. The architectural world didn't need Audrey like it used to, and also at thirty, she was aging out of the business Audrey's fifteen as an artist model had come to an end and money started to run out. She moved up stay with her mother who clean homes to support them, both as they try to carve out a place for themselves in the small rural town of Mexico. New York put them both as they try to carve out a place for themselves and the small rural town of net
The Co New York, its northern kind of open, easy going Andrea Guire went up there to talk to people about Audrey. Nobody was unfriendly to me, but there's The thing about these close knit communities whereas the stranger you don't feel welcomed, Audrey could not get used to small town life. Her whole adulthood. She had been travelling around the country studying art working with this engaging in intellectual discussions and wearing and clothes, and suddenly she lost at all well. She's still had the clothes people told me she was very flamboyant. She liked to dress up been colorful garments. I mean I'm sure she had a pretty impressive wardrobe that was very outlandish for small community, but it wasn't just Audrey's style that set her apart. She would drive
up on that and in part of her work out routine in the city. Was roller skating, so you know you can imagine a beautiful woman with long hair and a turban on her head. You know, try to roll escape on a country, unpaid country, road that was quite a scene The town knew Audrey as that crazy woman who used to get naked for money parents closer windows whenever she came rollers getting by the kids of course were totally fascinated with her, but There was a general consensus that she was crazy just because she was different. So it's not here, To imagine why she would have fallen. Depression, Eight, twenty seventh nineteen, twenty two Audrey Munson attempted suicide by swallowing poison oh, how committed her suicide attempt was maybe it was just an expression of being some her at the end of her line after her failed suicide attempt several years, one,
by and arteries mother, was struggling to provide for her depressed daughter, and she just couldn't do it anymore, on Audrey Munson, fortieth birthday June, eighth, nineteen, thirty one, her mother, checked into the state mental institution. At that time it was extremely common for families to put relatives into these institutions. In moments of of financial hardship where they felt they couldn't care for a person. Audrey remained in the institution into her nine. These then she has put in a nursing home about thirty miles up the road. But this home for the elderly was situated on this little for lay in high way and on the other side of the highway, with a little Strip mall which, on a bar and she was known to at, out of the home for the elderly and sneak across the floor, lean highway to see and her evenings at the bar order.
Drinks and telling stories of four times as a model and as an actress they could not stop this night These something elegant, older woman, from running across four lanes of traffic to go to the bar sadly meant that they put her back into the mental institution where she you know, spent the rest of her life. Audrey Munson live just short of a one hundred and fifty birthday. She D, I one thousand ninety six miss public body that once represent a truth city? Fain memory, the universe The stars was hidden away for nearly two thirds of her life, but that one third that glorious third immortalized and placed her all over American Citys perched high quietly out of sight staring down I'm wondering if many of my readers have not stood before a masterpiece of lovely sculpture or remarkable a young girl and ask themselves the question. Where is she now this
Who was so beautiful? has been her reward? Is she had in prosperous or she sat and forlorn her beauty gone. Leaving only memories in the wake in interview with ninety nine percent of his will composer Sean Rio right after this we often don't think of winter as a time of growth or creation. But if you think about it, it's the perfect time to greet your own website, cooped up your thinking about being productive and now square space can help you do it. Whiskers based can take your cool ideas. You ve creative content, your services, goods and you can turn them into a beautiful website. In just a few clicks. Does it because there is to use templates, are created by
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rousing game of Dixon and Bennigan's. It thinks it anyway and asked them how they came about was in my car, I was walking dogs as a job and he caught a text. Remember that just said, would you want to compose music further show, and I like had to pull over because so excited it was felt like a dream. Come true. Do you remember anything specific about the music from this episode? The Audrey Munson episode in particular that you were really proud of One of the challenges I was having was I really wanted to get like the right time cheers for it because it felt it felt like such as whole story and it felt like there was this architecture. Was coming to life that like had life in it Audrey months since personality that was like infused in these sculptures and one the things that I felt really Tat is fight about. Was
this one sound I got when I was trying to think like what is like down and marble and those kinds of things were kind of texture would feel representative of that- and I have this thing, the glockenspiel it's like a little xylophone, that's made of metal, and it's more like a chinese kind of a sound and usually hit He heard a lot of India, folk bands and stuff, so I like took it, and I've like done this before just taking a bow, legged, cello, bow and just seeing what it does with pretty much anything So I had served thinking of like those kinds of exercises, the cello and I put it on the guy Conseil and it had a very kind of like texture to it, while still like maintaining it's a beautiful town like it had like a very like specific tone, and so I like She took to boughs and I was able to like make harmonies there's one specifically that ends the peace before the credits come up.
It is the screeching marbles. It's a problem one of the most aim. Orfis things I've done for the show. It feels really good just to think that, like oh yeah, that's the Audrey Munson Peace, that's like the sound of Audrey Munson So what is the standard operating procedure for how you work? on the show and where you fit into the production cycle. So it starts out with me. Talking The producers about the stories that their working on their giving me like personalities of the people there interviewing and the bigger picture. Ideas of what they want to convey. And then, when there's a first draft, I'm reading it and I'm kind of like writing. Music, as I'm reading it and trying to like get an idea of pacing. But it's real the hard to lock
at, and I saw it make sketches basically. But it's hard to lock in, like. The timing and stuff until we have are read through at it where we all set and we read through the script, play tape. And then I record that and when I have that I can actually lake, do my recording and make Draughts of my songs to score the peace with and then from there We like make a rough mixed with music, with the music traps and everybody it's not so bad then from there? I like making changes We want and then do the final mixes when the pieces played out the first time. What is the most common peace, a feedback that you get from the producers of the show where things are too busy is its I have a very dense and some rhythm
kind of the way that my head works. I can't I can't do anything simply and it's real. Be helpful actually to sketch things out with. Maybe because I can like just like do a thing, cluster of notes, and then Canada go in and individually. I pick this one out pick this one I'll pick this went out and like create a rhythm that, like feels effectively the same but like isn't quite isn't gonna be like grabbing for our attention constantly when people are talking and trying to explain stuff One of the things about working with musicians for scoring is that some of them, this interesting stuff, that's going on the music is that same zone as the narrators voice, and you have to kind of scoop that out so that it doesn't compete filling it's like being in a band like hard to listen to music. When everything is like really active competing, and it's just, I think of it like
whatever is happening in the story. Right now is the lead, Mr Mann, and I'm there to support at the Their instruments aren't less important for not being like the centre of attention. It's all working together, so we're in the end this. What would be the competition you'd like to go out on as a proud moment from everything that happened? episode two hundred up to now, which is worrying, very closed episode, three hundred and so really wide spectrum preferable, the written so much music. One that I really I feel, really proud of is the credits music for into many one. It feels very l in this way that I don't always get to lock into quite quite the same way answered. It feels special to me. Rights and we're gonna go out means no accredits performed compose composed by shown real and MRS Roman Mars reporting from Dylan Beach.
At an hang on and presented visible retreat of twenty eighteen connected yeah Ninety nine percent of visible was produced this week by every truffles music by Sean Rio. Katy mingle is our senior producer. Kirkwall state is the digital director. Twenty hall is the scenery thrusting. Includes refused to admit that Gerald Terran, Massa and me roman Mars, all Audrey Munson quotes, unless otherwise noted were taken from a tell all serious, called Queen the artist studios that Munson wrote for the New York American in nineteen, twenty one Audrey Munson was voiced by Kara, rose to Fabio.
We are a project of ninety one point: seven K, L W in San Francisco and produced on radio row in beautiful, downtown Oakland in California We are part of radio Tokyo from paradoxical eight of the best most innovative shows in all upon casting beer supply. By our listeners. Just like you, You can find the show and joint discussions about the show on Facebook. You can tweeted me out roman Mars and the show and any p. I work one Instagram tumblr and read it to you. But we have more visual design stories and videos to an end. P. I dot org. Radio do.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.