This month in Mailbox: Radio Prague in Contact magazine, Prague' astronomical clock, monthly listeners' quiz. Listeners quoted: Jonathan Murphy, John Novotney, Hans Verner Lollike, Ian Morrison, Kajari Chattopadhyay, Kristina Fallin, Charles Konecny, Mary Lou Krenek, Colin Law.
Our long-time listener Jonathan Murphy from Ireland was among those who campaigned against Radio Prague leaving shortwave over a year ago. Now he sent us this message:
“It has been a busy month at university but today I finally found a chance to send in four reports on programmes I enjoyed during March. I wanted to send you a copy of the short piece I wrote about Radio Prague for the February issue of my radio club's magazine. We have members all around the world and publish a circa 50page magazine, Contact, each month. My intention has been to encourage shortwave listeners who have not tried listening via the internet to do so.”
Thank you very much, Jonathan, for reminding listeners that Radio Prague continues broadcasting and bringing up-to-date information from and about the Czech Republic to listeners the world over, albeit via a different medium. As you write in your article, we continue to issue QSL cards. The 2012 series features notable Czech painters. And as Mailbox listeners know, we still run our monthly quizzes. And we’ll get to your answers in a moment, after this:
John Novotney from Prague sent us this question regarding a news story concerning the return of the statues of the Vain Man, the Miser, Death, the Turk, the Philosopher, the Angel, the Astronomer and the Chronicler to Prague’s astronomical clock:
“I thought the statues in the Astronomical Clock were of the 12 disciples of Christ, with Judas Iscariot shaking the money bags as the last one seen. Have I been misinformed or have they been re-named? Thanks for your summary, a must-read every night before bed.”
You are right in that the astronomical clock features the twelve Apostles who appear in the two small windows above the dial on the hour every hour. But there are another eight statues above and below the dial which are exposed to the sunlight and wind all the time. Those are the ones that have just undergone renovation.
And now for our monthly competition. Hans Verner Lollike from Denmark sent us this answer:
Ian Morrison writes from China:
“This month’s mystery man is the noted sculptor Caspar Buberl, famed for his American Civil War monuments... He is also famous for the 370-meter-long frieze on the Pension Building in Washington, DC.”
Kajari Chattopadhyay from India wrote:
“Caspar Buberl is known for his Civil War monuments; at least 10 stand on the Gettyburg commemorating the valor of various New York State units. The New York monument stands atop Cemetery Hill. Caspar Buberl is perhaps most famous for the 1200-foot-long frieze that adorns the National Building Museum in Washington. Originally called the Pension Building, it was the facility in which Civil War pensions were administered.”
Kristina Fallin from Illinois wrote:
“In addition to creating many notable monuments related to the civil war, he also contributed in sculpting for the Garfield Monument in Cleveland, Ohio. I had the chance to view his work on this particular monument several years ago, and the detailing is exquisite... very reminiscent of something you would see in perhaps Prague, or Vienna (coincidentally, where Buberl studied art).”
“Buberl's early studies in art served him well. He arrived in the United States as the country was in the run-up to the Civil War. And as an artist living in those war years, it gave him an insight as to how to commemorate the sacrifices and bravery of the Union and Confederate forces. There were huge losses of life in many of the battles. Buberl created dozens of Civil War statues and monuments and he also designed terra cotta friezes on many public buildings. His work was artistic and flowing, with great attention to detail. So one can say, wherever Caspar worked... he left his mark.”
Mary Lou Krenek writes from Texas:
“It was quite interesting to learn that one of our renowned nineteenth century American sculptors was Czech-born Caspar Buberl... He came to America prior to the vast wave of immigration that occurred from the Czech lands to this country in the late 1890's to make his contribution and leave his legacy in this great land...
“Although most of his statues and monuments were in the Northern States, he did create some Confederate memorials in Virginia. Among his creations was a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln. After a productive life, Caspar Buberl died on August 22, 1899 in New York City. He did not live to see the twentieth century where his quality work endured even into the twenty-first century.”
“After having studied Art in Prague and Vienna, Buberl emigrated to the United States in 1854 and settled in New York. There is little record of what he did for the next 10 years, but in 1866 he exhibited sculptures at the National Academy of Design. Then from 1870 there was a stream of dedications of dozens of Buberl’s Civil War statues and monuments. His work included a bronze bust of President Abraham Lincoln and several for New York veteran groups to be placed on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
“Buberl designed the 29 metre high New York State monument at Gettysburg which was modelled on Trajan’s column in Rome. Dedicated in 1893 the bronze and granite monument features a 5 metre tall bronze female figure, representing the state of New York, placing a wreath on the graves of fallen soldiers. A bronze relief which circles the base of the column carries four scenic panels depicting four of the Generals killed or wounded in the action at Gettysburg in July 1863. Other panels list the names of over 6000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing in the action.
“Caspar Buberl died in 1899 and was buried in St Raymonds Cemetery, Bronx, New York.”
Thank you very much for all your answers. This time the prize goes to Kristina Fallin from the United States. Our congratulations and here is a new question for the month of April.
This month we would like you to send us the name of the Czech artist who was born in 1871 in the east Bohemian town of Opočno and is considered to be one of the pioneers of abstract painting.
Please send your answers as usual to email@example.com by the end of the month along with your questions, comments and reception reports. We are looking forward to all your feedback. Until next time, stay tuned and take care.