As a mild diversion on this festive season I bring you Bazalgette the Whale……
It is just possible that you have come across references on the web to a sculpture in Yachats, Oregon which bears this name. Well, I finally got round to asking why it was so named.
Here is the reply I received.
Thanks for your inquiry – oddly the first I’ve ever had (in 18 years) about the name of the whale tail sculpture.
The sculptor Jim Adler says that he named the sculpture “after a crazy French artist friend” of his named Leon Bazalgette Russell. Leon Bazalgette Russell was an avid painter of nature. He was named after Leon Bazalgette of France, who was a biographer and literary critic who wrote about the great thinkers of his time, including Whitman and Thoreau…
So – the whale sculpture was named after some interesting cousin of yours!
Here are some additional pieces of information from Jim Adler…
Long timers in Yachats remember Leon Bazalgette as “the old dude who terrorized the town on his bicycle and occasionally left $100 tips at the Adobe causing fistfights in the kitchen.”
And importantly, Leon Bazalgette Russell’s father was Marsden Hartley.
All the best,
The statement: “Leon Bazalgette Russell’s father was Marsden Hartley” doesn’t sound right unless that was a pen name of Charles Phillips Russell, who appears to have been Leon’s actual father. Charles was a friend of Leon Bazalgette so this is why L.B.R. was so named. Leon Bazalgette was descended from Louis Bazalgette’s elder brother Georges.
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!