More Victorian than the Victorians, or Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash

I have no idea what that last bit of the title means except that it's the name of a 1973 Michael Nesmith solo LP. Yes, the Monkee. I ran across this cultural artifact in the attic of my Aunt’s house and discovered that it’s not a bad country rock record— the Monkees were a talented bunch. The highlight for me is the Nesmith penned “Some of Shelly’s Blues” which was originally a Monkee’s tune. But what does this have to do with the Victorians? (I’ve buried the lede here).

Apparently there is a bit of a scandal at the Manchester Art Gallery this week. The center of which is an 1896 painting depicting Hercules’ Argonaut warrior sidekick, Hylas, and a group of unclad pond women saying, “C’mon in, the water is fine!” Hylas and the Water Nymphs by JW Waterhouse has been taken down, temporarily, to much brouhaha. According to the museum’s curator, it was done to spark debate. You can read about it here.

I still haven't answered the question, have I? Here you go—this is the gatefold art of the aforementioned Michael Nesmith record:

And here is the original JW Waterhouse painting which the supposedly prudish Victorians had no issue with.

And of course, enjoy the song!

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   John Norton is a raconteur, a flaneur, and a fan of Guy Lafleur. A career expatriate with long stretches in Prague and Seoul. He currently resides in Buffalo, NY with his cat, Chopper.