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American Monthly Magazine

American Monthly Magazine

Mar 1 1833 p. 61 Am Acad of FA

Many rising artists, Newton and Leslie in Engl, collections of old masters in Barclay st, recommend our rising ptrs get rid of woolliness of outline and indistinctness in their distances, greatest merit is clean and firm outline. Dubufe does a striking pic of a bad school and vitiated taste, some credit for management of lights, but story ill told and style exagg and unpleasant. In other pic, nothing of any sort to admire, coloring of male absurdly effeminate and out of char with dark manly countenance, mere ptg of a man and woman, no poetry, no intellectual felicity, worry it’s getting more viewers than the old masters. P. 62 Likes Hughes’ Bishop Hobart’s monument, dying eyes turned up, refinement, observed human nature, uplifted arm of female fig unfeminine, too thick, drapery too heavy for her spiritual slightness


Urges importance of classical education.

June 1 1833, p. 262, Tam o Shanter and Souter Johnny. Hail with satisfy these invaluable specimens, long admired, love Burns, kindred spirit illus them. Self taught so naturally correct and classic taste, more perfect than those who are artistic, no model, Scotch stone, design redolent with rustic mirth, academic process would have deadened it.


Loves Verplanck.


July 1, 1833 p. 329, Am Acad FA holds highest place among liberal inst of our land. Highly injurious to arts for them to be rivals/divided, venting itself in critiques equally unjust and illiberal. Lawrence’s port of West has gravity and harmony, could learn from, vs gaiety and flashiness of tints in modern pictures, glaring and gaudy appearance inconsistent with truth or nature. 6 Lscape, Willis, wellptd well imag sketch of Engl scenery, young man promising. 7 port by Waldo and Jewett gd. 8 Gipsey mom by lady amateur, clever. 13 ports children, Shegogue, slight sketchy but v clever. J Frothingham port gman 17 as a pic not of much importance. JV Dixey 18 View, nature has no such tints, uniformly brown. 19 FR Spencer port, all his are hard and cold. 26 port lady by him is v gaudily and ill colored, flesh cold, effect of whole patchy. 42 also.


21 JC Ward’s Valley of Wyoming lent by Clover, hardly a fault, gem of Acad, woolliness of last year vanished, have seena  critique on this beaut dictated we fear rather by jealous envy of a rival than impartial spirit. Likes TC Ward’s other pics, 22, lscape, pretty little scrap, and 28 Catskill Falls, lovely but bad wolf.

30 Quidor Money Diggers, v palpable improvement fr last year’s Bold Dragoon fr Irving, raw and deficient in drwg, this many degrees superior, near a gd pic, negro scrambling extremely well done, light ably managed, genl effect skilful, don’t like grotesque not hideous visage of red capped buccaneer


Doesn’t like Hoyle and Badger or De Rose or G Cooke, who does  a bad picture. Miss Ann Hall’s miniatures nearly a gd ptg, should imitate Robertson. Likes Birch. Jane Stuart a clever study.


Artists not gd at drawing, portraits deformed, hands like lobster claws.


  1. 331 NAD, masterpieces by Morse, Cole, Richardson, Mount, Durand, Inman Twibill and others, classic and cultivated taste. Need to watch for mannerism, redundancy or slavish adherence to set of rules for every performance.

            1 Thompson gd impression, lscape, but in others imitates president’s chiaroscuro.

            30 Moore, Brigand alarmed, well conceived expr, just accessories; his 33 Calabrian pifferari, nothing striking

            3 Port Durand soft mellow expressive elasticity animation highly finished

            13 Dead Fish agst wooden partition SA Mount the best by the Mounts, care and consistency. 75 full length of Onderdonk obj to likeness, too young, not sufficiently filled up, dignified position ok.

            18 Cole Tivoli, most excellent, mind lost in magnify extent, regret that in all his works his hand is perceptible, abounds with mannerism, 76 too crowded and 97 Ftn show the same. Remind of Glover and Prout in England who fatigued the public taste in the same ways. But likes 104 his Christ.

            40 Twibill’s port JH Payne, capital miniature, next to it in qual is Pingret’s.

            31 Metamora, Agate, most prominent, Indian chiefs recently visited, well drawn and colored with strength and command, but char is wanting, decidedly European.

            26 Miller Plague of Thunder nad Lightning, like his 35 Earthquake at Sodom,  grouping excellent, dismay, but dimness thruout, melodramatic, no laws of gravitation, or moral sublime. 145 his lscape v fine finished delightful effect

            Richardson’s 88 Scott’s home beaut morceau, his 96 even better, chaste and skilful, finest pieces oflscape in whole exhib.

            60 lscape, Weir, faithful, delicate, chaste

            83 Boonton Falls NJ, exquis fresh vivid, finish. 127 Birch marine faithful

            110 Port ldy, Ingham, chaste spirited; 133 Inman port of J Audubon, throw mind into countenance; 208 Inman’s Chief Justice Marshall, calm contemplative intense thought and benevolence, a chef douevre


Aug 1 1833 p. 401-404 continues review of Am Acad FA:

Is generally skeptical of supposed old masters on loan. Repeats praise of previous artists, Ward, Stuart, Birch, Shegogue

            J Haskill port 51 faulty coloring, too uniformly black and white;53 Port Lady w Page, much originality highly creditable. ADO Browere, 55  Peter Stuyvesant, lamentable to see such miserable specimens of inability to draw, color or compose, prefer blank spaces

            63 Cole Lscape lent by Clover, can’t paint ill or moderately, don’t admire his manner, less fantastical than his others. 65 Subsiding of waters, a misnomer, no desolation and misery, not agreeable or well told or natural, prefer views to compositions. 74 Expulsion lent by Hosack, remarkable, very well ptd and poetical, but not a gd pic, utterly impossible, division gives it a piebald appearance, destroys harmony and reality. We have seen v handsome men of color and still more v handsome whites, but no one individual could unite the tints of the two, divided by a perpendicular line and yet preserve their comeliness. Sorrow that he won’t paint our vast country but fantastic combos as this, his success in this line will only make him an imitatorof Pandemonium Martin (says farther down in review that We detest these wild, thunder and lightning ptgs of Martin’s school)

            77 De Rose gd inport, but not in hist ptg of Israel Putnam, not such a mere holyday soldier; Weir does a gd cabinet pic

            Dislikes Towne’s and Davis’s architectural designs, but likes SH Gimber’s engrav and Durand’s.

Urge more severity in admission of pics to exhib, many serve for tavern signs.


  1. 404 NAD: lscape elevates by contemp of beauties of creation, pervades studio of Am artist, but no hist ptg, which is higher. Wish more of mind be thrown into portraits, not auctioneer’s inventory of Item, two blue eyes, Item, one qcquiline nose, etc.


Oct 1 1833 p. 137 Fine Arts—Opening of Sixth Seal, F Danby, solemn and beaut, wish thous who went to Adam and Eve of Dubufe, forgetting its indelicacy, flock here, severe chastity in moral lesson

            Fine Arts: Gall of Ptgs by old Masters at Chambers st, excellent, goes thru them one by one, Rubens alleg of peace undoubted orig.


November? 1833 review of Nat Port Gall of Disting Am, likes it, re leslie, if reports current are true, course with respect to him is in highest degree outrageous and disgraceful, proud he was coming to West Point, glad he didn’t submit to bad treatment. With political parties we have nothing in common. Weir’s ptgs liable to heavy charge of mannerism, not of the same rank.


Loves Forrest.


Reviews ptgs of Rome in Am Acad of FA, regret that worthless daubs get public approbation not exquis beauty, very long descriptions


Jan 1, 1834, p. 346, Misc Notices of Fine Arts et al, Am Gall of FA, no catalog, praises J Evers, Trumbull Holy Fam, WS Mount view of the Sea (tho dislikes style adopted with touch ofDubufe in strong ray of light on main fig to bring it out, like Adam and Eve, meretricious and cannot stand for it is not natural, trickery, Claude can do it with modesty, along with a number of old masters, ptgs lent by H Brevoort, J Quidor scenes fr Leatherstocking, dismay and laughter well contrasted, dog, well conceived, but clouds dumplings, not masterpieces but show vigor of conception highly meritorious


May 1 1834, 212, Sculpture, Ball Hughes at Acad Fa of Uncle Toby, Hughes ever been with us a favorite, first sculp in America


  1. 246 Misc Notices, Genl Hamilton by Ball Hughes, exceedingly clever, attitude extremely gd,simple, decision of character, head large, intellectuality, asperities and uncouth outliens of modern dress kept down, cloak, exquis lower limbs, arm short though, noble statue, wish marble was whiter.

            Coll of Ancient Masters, Acad of FA offered to congress and rejected by only a sm majority, finest pics, masterpieces, regret dismembered, don’t like putting them in Astor’s hotel as barroom ornaments. Praises Adam and Eve by Otis, Arcade Baths, promising countryman


June 1835, p. 312 Fine Arts in America NAD 10th exhib,312-318: too much habit of our critics to lavish indiscrim encomiums, but this exhib really excellent and little absolutely bad, talk of patronizing art is loathsome humbug.younger artists kept down though by tendency to only admire great names, a proof of this undue partiality rather grossly exhib even in this very exhib, all the beaut works of a v rising artist stuck into corners, to prevent him outshining, artists shld have nothing to do with disposal of their own or rivals pics, nor in commenting on faults and merits thru columns that affect impartial crit.

            Defends old masters agst strictures on them and deference to them.

            GW Flagg, 2 Female Head, amaz improvement, drwg v perfect, touch gd, colors grave rich harmonious. 7 Gold Fish family group SFB Morse, v clever little cabinet pic, finish high, little girl on ground not by any means so happy as the others.

            8 Bechamber of GW, JG Chapman, altogether most remarkable if not best, greatest skill, taste, know persp and chiaroscuro, most lovely, sentiment of tranquility, bright relief.

            10 port child Inman, most beaut v talented perfectly orig, not equal in strength to others but prefer for excellence

            19 Richard and Kenneth, W Dunlap, wish to avoid works of slight merit, regret author shld shipwreck his rep by daub void of drwg taste effect, blot on walls. Dunlap written in such a strain of bitterness re superior artists, he can’t complain.

            21 Ingham port ldy, at head in females delicacy and laborious finish, prefer Inman for men, 26 also gd. 34 is his masterpiece, grace, meaning in features and careless abandon of fig, finish.

            24 Lscape sleepy hollow, Cole not up to his rep this yr, may be true to nature, but nature in her wild freaks and fanciful caprices, must copy her in familiar garb of everyday loveliness, choose not truths but acknowl and admitted truths, as shocking otherwise as coining grotesque fr imag. Absolutely disagreeable, monotonous prevalence pea green hue. 25 Summer twilight, in his old style, so beaut. 37 Autumn Twilight, true but unsuccessful and unpleasing, effects lovely in nature don’t transfer.

            33 Port of wife, T Sully, v model of a port, rich speaking chast and strong


Continues, p. 391, July 1835, same title

            38 RW Weir, Washington’s HQ, cold, deficient, view to engraving, why exhibit.  Rebecca, fr Ivanhoe, 51, one of his worst pics, she is dumpy and devoid of dignity. 65 Bob  and Blucher, dog admirable, boy too Herculean, good natured expr in dog, lscape not v happy.  142 lscape autumnal twilight, some opinions cry it as unrivalled, others doubtful, has poetry, sentiment, effect and meaning but not nature, his genl fault, if clothed in rich garb of mellow light, crimson sun, or deep shadows, don’t care if trees resemble brooms or cauliflowers. Dazzling contrasts, but too much, Italian falsification, rich Ital sunsets don’t happenhere in same way. 209 Mtn Lake autymn, germ of 142, already engraved for NY Mirror, lovely effect kept subservient to scenery, his best in exhib. 223  Hendrick Hudson, unfin.

            47 Inman’s JG Watmough, superb male port, his masterpiece of yr, char energy. 148 lady, spirit, keeping. 152 Rev Bishop Doane, don’t think it equal to Watmough or Colonel Webb, beaut simple work. 163 strongest possible likeness, harmony taste. Inman Port ldy, sd to be his fav, but not the best judge. 225 Bride fo Lammermoor, exquis, but some figs not equal

            Ingham 48 Lscape over Hudson, debut in lscape, has beauty and faults, exquis finish, foregrd destroys persp. 182 port ldy, sweet, soft delicate, must ignore injudicious praise of friends who compare him to Carlo Dolci

            Studious Boy, WS Mount 55, excellent cabinet pic, hardness still remains, but enuf truth of drwg char and genuine nature to Am Teniers, inferior in some pts to his other exhib pics, but chiaroscuro here masterly. Bar room scene, 141, nothing more felicitous in this vein, truth and life, verisimilitude, humor, drwg exquis. Faces all int heir way perfect. Tells story of nation and Long Island. Too uniformly lighted. 187 Sportsman’s Last Visit, clever and graphic, but not quite equal.

            63 JG Chapman Yorktown, beaut cool natural, best lscapes of the year, ptd for priv coll so want the forcing and dashy effect captivating to most genl observers, nature sunny every day garb, free tho we’ve seen it stated otherwise, fr trick or meretriciousness of any kind. 71 Tomb of GW, dark and effective, lovely and cool as nature. 156,157, Washington pics, atmospheric, calm. 171, 172, Dr Francis, David Crocket, seen in atelier, above average, don’t admire gigantic style ofCrocket, but all cld be mad has been done, not too bulky. 199 Wash mom’s house, v little requisite to make up a lovely pic, attn. to detail. 204 port sketch and pendant 197 face to fall in love with. 212 Mt Vernon, lovely lscape, set of GW belongs to Paulding.

            140 Oddie lscape, decided merit, strength natural colors persp gd, figs not and skies harsh.

            167 Mom and child, GW Flagg, many far above him in knowl and skill, has improved on crude and glaring ptgs of last year, now deep rich gravity of tone and harmony, except gaudy butterfly a blot.

            181 Shaw, not a pic of char (Carthage, Dido and Aeneas) we approve of in genl, but shows talent, air, tout ensemble not true or pleasing. Twibill prot of Trumbull creditable. G Oakley view Petworth, not v gd.

            213 Capture Major Andre, Durand, clever but not so much so as we shld expect, wants spirit.

            219 Page lady and child, like Flagg, vast improvement fr comparative mediocrity, richness of Rubens, tone and breadth, defects of proportions, but light fleshtints exquis, real ripe flesh, bolder and roughter when viewed closely which you shouldn’t, so less elab smoothness  more volup natural. Regret faulty outline drwg, without which mot showy pics only bad.


Jan 1, 1835, EC, The Fine Arts vs Spirit of the Age (utilitarian) p. 242

Apr 1835 p. 159 Niblo’s Diorama, Exodus of Israelites the most perfect deception and exquis ptgs, but Feast of Belshazzar pretty gd; also Durand’s Ariadne good old fash copper plate engr, no ptr of the day anywhere a pic equal to this, masterpiece of engr forDurand, subscription at Clover’s in Fulton st. Much chaster than Dubufe’s Eve. 160 However Cleopatra under guise of artpanders to most degraded feelings, wretched paltry doll cried up by half our periodicals as a sculp deserving patronage, gross disgusting animal nudity, remote fr antique in smallness of waist fr modern corsage, pinched slenderness of ankles, meretricious air of countenance, entire absence of muscle, coloring and details minister to brutal appetite

November 1835 p. 213 Essay on Condition and prospects of art of ptg in USA, Bh Chas Fraser of Charleston SC for Am Lyceum. Ought we to have academies or let genius find own way?  Continues in Dec 1835 issue p. 31


Memorial to Mrs Hemans, approves Sigourney (nation of sharpers, women a corrective)


Jan 1836 p. 53 Greenough; The sculptor, praises his indiv of design and exec. Mentor was Allston. HTT.

May 1836 p. 435 long article on Allston the ptr, loves him

Oct 1836 p. 357, The Sister Arts, F. gives  a history of poetry ptg sculp

Nov 1836 p. 513 Cole’s Pics of Cof E, 513

Disting artist says will mark a new era in hsit of ptg, grand moral epic (Cole wrote the leading article for January 1836, p. 1 his Essay on American Scenery for American Lyceum), gives Cole’s description.


July 1837 p. 98 3rd annual exhib of Artists’ Fund Soc, likes Studious Artist, Inman’s port of Sully, astonishing resemblance, Sully’s of Mrs Wood inspiration. V fine artist Shaw, often at loggerheads with other artists, has 9 ptgs, simple palette, atmosphere. Likes birch, Sartain, Weir is admired, younger artists.

Aug 1837 p. 161 Design for a Picture Gallery, Henry J Finn, poem, addressed to dear O----, will have no Old Master, will be at him with the handling of Birch, have Morse, a Venus fr Frothingham, Chapman a pedlar with ware,Swain a love sick Noddy, Durand a graver and Mayr the heads of a corporate body, ports by Harding, Davy Johnston shal dish a scrap, kittens by Dunlap, Cole’s ills of Burns, a Coyle scene ptg, Fisher watercolor, Salmon marine, Wall’s ruin, Inman kinman, Agate boxing, Jocelyn, Mount on a horse, Jane Stuart, Sully, Weir, Spear, Alexander, Osgood, Leslie, Richardson, Vanderlyn, Sargeant, Newton, Harvey, Darley, Colman, Shaw, Watson, Doughty, Pratt, Trumbull

Sept 1837 The Times, p. 209, partisan character of politics wholly changing, attacks past and present admin for saying Democracy while enforcing Despotism, encouraging Foreign polit influ while vilifying Monied institu, opened eyes, believers in true Whig principles see need to carry into action, check Exec, pro state rights, stop foreign vote, separate bank fr state.


Jan 1838 p. 42, M, on The Newspaper Press. Pretty fair minded. Surveys field in December 9, 1837, can’t get a C&E only sell to subscribers. Evening papers have more orig matter to amuse and instruct.. Eve Post deeper sunk in party politics, fights more. CommercialAdvertiser has vein of quizzing, cuts at contemporaries, amusing but not influential, doctrines not sound in endorsing animal magnetism. Star—Noah a funny editor, not deep. The American has more weight than others. Condemns quack and other ads esp in penny press. Mode of ten dollar papers of putting down penny papers is wrong. Must offer something better for same price.

            Herald lived a long time on its Wall st articles, which have now lost its interest, but were extensively demanded,


March 1838, French  Ptg and Sculp in 1837, JA Jewett, Euro corresp fr Columbus Oh, p. 217-227. Here art is hand in hand with govt, in England, with wealthy noblemen. Free better than a charge, brings ptgs to bear on indivs who need their civilizing influ; good to popularize knowl. Crowded with people and art, as press is overflooded with trashy works from the pen.  Revolution of 1830 beneficial for feeling in art.

Notices Delaroche, delicacy of finish. German art edwBendemann, lessing, Oath of the Hussite, energy life determined fierceness face attitude gesture, Winterhalter, regret superiors Overbeck and Cornelius not here, nor Engl or Italian. Christ of Ary Scheffer, great merit. Delacroix, St Louis defeating English, alive with impetuosity and fierce thought, profound beauties. Ary Scheffer battle of Clovis popular, also immense Schnetz and Wagram, Conder is little to be praised in his Siege of Yorktown, only fine face of GW. Delaroche’s Strafford and Cromwell, admirable, several meanings, moving, Delaroche rightly has highest place.

            No school, various. Portraits wretched, miserably colored, stage artists seen in broad daylight without their rouge. Lscapes least satisfactory, not copies o f nature even, villainous, immoveable, flung together, not fr imag of rational man.

            Tainted by scenes of blood and vengeance? Shipwrecks, tortured by dream of aborted infant, only one suicide.Sculp lack finish of detail. Shabby Minerva, Bosio innocent nymph.


May 1838 p. 469 Exhib of NAD, surprise and regret that so much pretension and  handsome parade has no gallery, miserable dingy shadow in current rms at Clinton Hall. Least merit in shade? Don’t agree that portraits by CG Thompson ptd as any connoiss will pronounce in spirited, correct no affected coloring or humbug contrasts in worst positions, while v indiff things by Agate, Swain, Whitehorne and others, ill drawn void of expr and ridiculously colored in best lights? Bcause members of Acad? Public don’t care, trash is trash. Mus and Pic Gall just abt on a level in evening, visited by much the same sort of people, no lover of art enjoy pic in gaslighted showrm, wax images, stuffed monsters, and Dubuffe’s Grand Moral ptgs proper for such a mode.

            Consid portion of ports at Acad have cause to be hid, carrot colored young Florist 218 by JH Shegogue andhisBoys with Birds 96. Port of Girl 227 by Rossiter, black and pink. Port 21 by F Fink. Full length 66 by Fowler of unhappy lady and child with salmagundi backgrd of bad weather. Ports 8 and 284 by Marchant. 274  283 of dirty gray complexion, Whitehorne. Rhubarb colored ports 255 262 Swain. Port Young Lady with arms like sugar candy 306 by Agate. Won’t list those by ladies.

            246 Ingham’s best style, exquis delicacy transp finished like a miniature, but this is not a first rate style, of a  master, loses at a distance; 219 represents wax rather than flesh but figured dress pretty.

            Heads of Prof Ingraham by CG Thompson and Dr Foresti by Gambardella well ptd, Rembrandt like.

            Inman’s Forrest and port ldy 258 fine bold free style, action of heads v spirited and lifelike, also 298 Child. But why begrime complexions so sadly? Quantity of coal dust on face of lady in 201, head much too large, foot too small.

            Powell his pupil copying some faults or mannerisms, unwashed looking face disagreeable.

            99 Frothingham and 91 Thompson, clean charmingly much sweetness and sobriety, beaut stippled, half tint v happy

            W Page young man of genius, port ldy 315 not best but most orig, bold and successful, without deep color or shadows a beaut pic; 27 well, nothing commonplace. Figs faulty.

            Sully’s of Mrs Wood, and Neagle’s self port, eminent, Alexander of Boston port in sober rich accurate style, results fr studies in Rome.

            Mount does clear white skin or cambric prettily, 95 and 231 naïve and engaging, much we like.

Lscape next time, 2 gorgeous by Cole, 2 by Livingston definite vigorous masterly, but in extent and clearness remarkably inferior to old masters, don’t let eye travel to distant horizon across miles, Allston used to do.