Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black & White Wednesday ~ Philosophers

Most often remembered as the “Father of Little Women,” Amos Bronson Alcott is usually forgotten as a leader in educational reform. He was not only a teacher and Superintendent of Concord Schools, but also a founder of one of the first adult education centers in the United States, The Concord Summer School of Philosophy. The idea of having a place where adults could come together to learn had been Alcott’s life-long dream; the first summer session was held in 1879 within Orchard House itself. By 1880, Bronson had constructed the building he called "Hillside Chapel" 
to house future sessions of his School. For the following eight summers, adults from around the country came to participate in Alcott’s vision and to interact with some of the greatest thinkers and educational pioneers of the 19th century.

"Friends...they cherish one another's hopes.
They are kind to one another's dreams."
Henry David Thoreau

"A friend may well be reckoned
the masterpiece of nature."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I toured the buildings and grounds of Orchard house this past weekend,
I was fascinated by the thought that Emerson and Thoreau spent time
in this home, in this school of philosphy and walking in these gardens.
These men were good friends, 
and, along with Bronson and the Alcott women,
shared many, many, many hours of deep conversation.
I mean, can you imagine?!!?

"Our friends interpret the world and ourselves to us,
if we take them tenderly and truly."
Amos Bronson Alcott

My Memory Art


  1. Your images are especially gorgeous Adrienne, and I loved the quotes. Thee are so many beautiful things we could say about our true friends!!

  2. Love your b&w serie this week, - gorgeous!

  3. That really is an amazing thought. I learned something new today! Thank you so much for sharing. That must have been a wonderful tour!

  4. Fascinating! As well as a gorgeous series of b&ws!

  5. I did not know this!!! Wow!
    I so need to take a trip out to here.

  6. Wonderful historical post and excellent BW photography ~ Living in MA ~ I too had the same response when I visited Concord about Thoreau and that whole transcendental group ! ~ xoxo


  7. Such a cool post! I can only imagine the conversations and how rich they must have been. I did not know this little bit of history! Love your series on B and W shots!

  8. So fascinating! Oh, to be a fly on those walls.

  9. That window photo is SO lovely! Looks great in black and white! :)

  10. Wonderful photos and a great tribute to an educator! Love this.

  11. I can't imagine...how neat! Did I miss in the post you saying where this is?

  12. Great post! Another blogger pointed out recently that transcendentalism was originally a rather derogatory term. Edgar Allen Poe called them Frogpondians!

    BTW, have you read March by Geraldine Brooks? It's a different view of Mr. Alcott's life during the Civil War.

  13. Truly, I can NOT imagine. All that talent, so much wisdom all gathered in one place at one time. I envy your visit.

  14. One of my favorite black and white serie!! You are amazing!!