Chas Fenno Hoffman, 1st ed, resigns after 3 mo, Peabody and Co owners. SD Langtree next, 1 year and 1 month, Timothy Flint assisted him, May 1834 Lewis Gaylord Clark and Clement M Edson buy mag, charge $5 subscriptions, Willis Gaylord Clark associate ed until dies in 1841, signed his works Ollapod. John T Irving wrote as Quod.
Clark takes sole ownership 1840-41, John Bisco comes in 1841-42, John Allen 1842-49, and Samuel Huston 1849-57.
Artist Henry Johnson Brent, stirrup for Porter’s spirit of the Times, associate of LGC in editing Knickerbocker
1835 NAD review praises Chapman’s Washington series for JK Paulding, who is an American, heart and soul, like illus of native scenery by Durand, Weir, Mount Ingham Bennett. have a xerox of the whole thing.
May 1837: Robt U Lang and CF Daniels have charge of NY Gazette, Lang has been doing it, and Daniels known as associate ed of C&E, replaced by Edw Wm Johnson of So Carolina.
Knickerbocker Jun 1837 p. 617 Editors’ Table
“Exhib of NA”
modeled on that of Engl, exhib to defray expenses bring names before public, secure advantages of crit, compet and comparison benefit ea other
highly creditable results, receipts sufficient not only for exhib expenses but to create a fund liberally and judiciously employed in acquis of models and other requisites, distrib of prizes, and advancing character and usefulness of the institution
this yr 115 exhibitors, 304 artworks, more than a hundred more than any previous yr. can’t notice all, conspic deserving praise or blame, try to notice as many exhibitors as possible. Follow catalog directions and begin at left of entering large saloon.
1 Port in wc, SH Gimber, correct drwg, freely tho not carelessly handled, tone somewhat washy, 12 the companion same.
3 sm port oil G Linen, v clever, coloring firm clear too smooth, 14 170 194 equally laudable. presume young artist, bids fair become v gd, wants softness of outline and shadow.
4 View of Little Falls, WJ Bennett, at disadvantage among straight lines and angles of a coll of houses, has made a v pleasing pict, sky gd, persp gd, trees and foliage beaut worked up, foregrd and distance excellent atone formality and unavoidable common place of hses occupy centre of pict, couldn’t be made picturesque without ceasing to be likenesses.
5 Cottage Dr, Rosanna Purcell, 10, Literary Retreat, v fair attempts presume by a beginner. 7 and 9 Charm and Instruction by E Purcell, vide Rosanna. 42 Braddock’s Defeat, ambitious but not successful attempt by a v young artist deserves praise of zeal rather than discretion, strange assemblage of incongruous tints extravagant attitudes, will do better when ten yrs older provided will learn rudiments of the art.
6 Ruins of Monastery, JB Kidd, pencil, gd drwg, not by hand of master, correct and careful, but not free. 16 Bogle Abbey by same, too much uniformity of tone.
18 W Eppie, Boy Fishing, same fault, outlines hard rigid.
19 Port J Whitehorne, gd if coloring weren’t faulty, lady’s complexion wants clearness, drapery gives idea of linen standing much in need of washing
20 G Harvey, Morning View nr Pittsburgh, all gd, except foregrd, persp correct, distant lights shades well managed. Has several lscapes, most better than this, some v gd, 58 really v clever pict tho puzzled ourselves in vain to account for the patches or dabs of white on the water in foregrd.
21 View Indian Falls, JB Beaumont, too many straight lines, trees look like bean poles
22 Scene on Sea Coast, J Shaw, vgd, sky natural persp excellent, lights shades clear well defined, finest thing is the bold relief in which the rin stands out fr distance beyond it
23 Grp of Children, Inman, a lovely pict, free unconscious grace of attitudes, life and spirit of expression, admirable clearness of coloring, esp in flesh tints, gems of exhib. has 4 other ports, one of Dr Mott, of Pres Duer, a v pretty young lady, a gman unknown. likeness of Mott more than speaking, might alm say it is amputating. coloring of face unsurpassably fine, so clear, firm flesh like.
24 Port Gman AB Durand, his ports not so happy this year as in past, lack of warmth and force in coloring, handling timid. 43 full length of ldy best in pt of color, bu pict v stiff and formal, hands beaut drwn colored
25 Port FR Spencer. gman’s ports coldly correct, seem finished with care, have the fault of tameness, coloring not clear and fresh. Except those of Morse, Inman, Ingham and Linen, these are the faults of all the ports in exhib. flesh does not look like flesh but stained ivory, tints want transparency, have dull unlifelike appearance
26 Scene on Mohawk, WG Wall. water beaut as alw is in his, but pict not equal to his ability. want of distinctness in shadows, foliage too much in masses, wants working up, pict seems to need varnish. 109 infinitely better, indeed perfectly lovely. no man who paints water like Mr Wall, in his picts it is water, transparent cool flowing, in all others, reminds beholder of paint, but in his never. his two other lscapes both of hi order.
129 View on Mohawk, v gd, drwg correct, colors freely tho carefully ld on.
28 GL Brown View nr Hartford, lscape considerable merit, tho censurable for affectation of roughness, freedom of handling carried to excess. 62 hazy Morning Androscroggin, v gd lscape, but too much grn, haze in distance well managed also deep shadows in foregrd.
29 Park Scene, D Roberts, one staring mass of green.
30 Bohemian Girl, Mrs Unkart, v pretty piece of coloring, outlines rather sharp and hard, sky patchy, on the whole v creditable ptg, esp if lady but a tyro
32 Por officer, JG Cole, coloring muddy
38 Wreck of Bristol, GA Ludlow, v gd sea piece, well drwn colored, artist succeeded, rarely the case in sea pieces, in repress tremendous power of the waves. 95 Wreck of Bristol, J Pringle, vigorous well colored, too much rectilinear formality in waves, every one like its brother, even to shooting of spray fr crest.
39 View of Florence, T Cole, pict wonderful excellence, bears long close exam, new beauties constantly appear, peculiar pts of merit are richness and harmony of tints, perf beauty of sky, pleasing disposition of light, aerial persp which cannot be exceeded. as truly remarked in one of daily papers, it is evidently an atmosphere, the peculiar atmosphere of a city, thru which you lookover the towers and domes of Flo to lovely hills beyond. strong opinion Cole gd liberal use of ultramarine in sky, a color the excellencies of whicha ren’t suff appreciated by our artists. 2 other ptgs 44 and 119 not less admirable.
47 Port Ldy W Page. gman has in exhib 3 ports, lscape and holy famiy, the latter is best, ports smooth well colored but lack freedom in handling. lscape 69 is bad, tints too exclusively blue and green, effect is icy coldness
48 Scene in Prussia, G Grunewald, artist whose name is new to us, no v clever lscapes oil and wc, of v equal merit, raw lk abt them detracts much fr effect
51 G Marsiglia, Port Young Grl with grapes, brilliant coloring but a v distressing pict, compassionate the pr girl who has been starved to death judging fr her fig, as was remarked by a medical gman, she is safe fr dyspepsia, being entirely without that portion of the body
52 First Ship JG Chapman, pict full of faults, yet likely to please many eyes. desperate uniformity of tints, so often noticed as peculiarity of Chapman remarkably conspicuous, the Indian, cliff on which he stands, skin depending fr his waits, tree behind him, all precisely of one hue, that not copper but medium mulatto yellow. fig utterly without relief, lks like an Indian cut out of pasteboard, face not in the least Indian, nor is he looking at, but away fr, the ship supposed to excite his wonder. so total a want of strength and character in attitude and expression, that in one review the red or rather yellow man is spoken of as an Indian maiden! no less than 10 other picts, principally 64 Christ walking, 79 Fisher Boy, 83 Christ Healing, 266 Flight of Sergeant Champ, last decidedly best, vigor of design execution which all others want sadly, action of horse and wild, eager excited expression of rider excellent.
56 J Brennan Lscape nr Dublin. Never seen more outré assemblage of colors, eye dazzled with brightest scarlet, orange, grn, yellow blue, may pertain to Ireland, but have never sent he like in any country. merit in the pict esp drwg, has another lscape and port favorable specimens of his skill.
71 Port Morse, exceedingly fine, eye rests long often increasing pleasure. graceful ease attitude, genl harmony of coloring, clearness firmness of flesh tints, not exceeded, sky objectionable in coloring strangely coppery and disposition of clouds moulded up into queer globular patches, never seen in nature--maybe Morse has. even with this, uncommonly fine. 3 other prots, all v gd esp coloring.
75 View on Roundout, D Huntington, not so gd as his 76 Lake on Shawangunk mtn, in first, water lks like paint, persp faulty.
80 Port boy blowing soap bubbles. JH Shegogue, hung too hi for our myopic eyes, pleasing composition
84 view in Switz, Geirgon of Geneva, elaborate compos, wrought up with much care, but like most modern continental picts, hard, stiff and liney.
85 Detected Love letter. TT Fowler, spirited ocmpos, full of glaring faults and striking merits. freedom of design boldness touch gd coloring strong expr, but inaccurate proportion coarseness of finish. ldy if standing up be a head taller than dad. several other free spirted picts all betraying want of care. 97, Toilet of Olden Time, might be a beaut thing with study and careful finish, now only a rough tho clever sketch
92 Port Geo Jones J Frothingham, staring vacant face, well colored, rather wanting relief, told a gd likeness.
96 Historical lscape, Feeding of 5000, H Pratt, ambitious attempt by youthful tyro we presume, trees v like brooms, tone of color disagreeable. promise in it.
104 Genevra, FS Agate, accessories more worthy of notice than principal fig, as a pict of a fine old Gothic apt, ample dimensions rich in architectural decoration, beaut. ldy wants expression in face and attitude and seems petite and insignif in contrast with scene and accessories, fatal chest shd be open, as is, pict does not tlel story. coloring gd.
108 Newtown LI J Evers, gd lscape, rather too green, persp not v well defined, genl effect pleasing, can trace difficulty experience by an artist accustomed to work in large scale so out of element among minute effects
120 Genl Marion’s Swamp encampment, JB White, clever composition,a ttitude expr of swamp fox and dragoon quite gd, rought partisans of former well grouped
123 Child and lap dog, SA Mount, intolerable fright of dusky red black, child appearance of being two thirds roasted before huge fire.
130 to 166 inclusive are chiefly miniatures, engr, drwgs in wc, etc, nothing particularly worthy of notice, the minis by Cummings are as usual by far the best.
Must now confine our remarks to chefs d’oeuvre among remaining 150.
268 Farmers resting at Noon, WS Mount, gem of first water, compos exceedingly clever and intelligible, figs carefully drawn, accessories well finished, whole effect uncommonly pleasing, fig of sleeping black excellently foreshortened
273 Santa Claus, BW Weir, droll idea, drolly carried out, coloring excellent, stockings preternaturally huge, made so we presume to diminish the fig of the jolly Dutch saint, but effect is he appears of a reasonable size while stockings fireplace seem gigantic
278 Healing Possessed, Durand, clever compos, distraught amazement of Possessed exceedingly well depicted
282 Lscape CC Ingham, wonderful specimen of finsh ever, grass finer than Genoa velvet, cattle elaborated minutely as miniature, v leaves of trees cracks in bark individ perceptible, water clear gd tho rather blue
28 Lscape WM Oddie, perfect contrast to preceding. That is all minuteness and delicacy, this all freedom and genl effect. A world of industry and professional knowl in first, yet to our taste more of the artist in the second. Ingham’s lscape astonishingly beaut, but Oddies’ most pleasing, bcause most like nature
284 Boston Harbor, Gl Brown, clever sea piece, distances well defined, sky natural
285 Raffle, WS Mount, another admirable pict of rural life manners, attitudes expressions gd, tho faces too much family resemblance
298 Devil’s Deacon, FS Agate, descr in cat as sketch, wants a deal of finish, don’t like it much, figs too numerous and confusedly grouped, demons ridic rather than fearful as they shd be to justify intro, deacon well imagined. altogether, wants clearness expression, won’t condemn execut as regards drwg and color as but a sketch
Besides, in small saloon 10-12 cabinet picts by C Mayr, more creditable to industry than skill, tho 2 or 3 show consid improvement fr last year. excessive muscular devt in faces, before noticed, continues to be his fault, alm every instance heads too large for his bodies, picts all sadly objectionable in persp. F Williams gd specimen 239 The Skinner and his Domine Sampson reading has v considerable merit, attitude of Laird esp deserving praise.
267 Sunset Parade West Poitn Liety Eastman v clever for an amateur, many picts by pros in exhib far fr as well drwn or colored. 296 Young Thieves by F Fink, also a deserving pict.
We must close, tho we have actually a gd deal more to say.
1837 Jun Editor’s Table, Exhib of NAD: praise the institution and its achievements, comment just on those who deserve either praise or blame can’t do them all. Gimber washy but correct. G Linen very clever, too smooth, wants softness of outline and shadow. WJ Bennett, v pleasing, beau worked up foliage, distance excellent, formality and unavoidable commonplace of houses occupy centre of pic that could not be made pictque, straight lines and angles. Rosanna Purcell beginner attempts. Kidd careful but uniform. Effie hard and rigid. Whitehorne coloring faulty, linen needs washing, complexion wants clearness. G Harvey all of his v gd, some v clever. Beaumont too many straight liens. J Shaw natural excellent bold relief. Inman lovely free unconscious life spirit gems, other ports of Dr Mott, Pres Duer, unsurpassably fine. Durand ports lack warmth and force. FR Spencer coldly correct, tame, true for all but Morse, Inman Ingham and Linen, flesh looks dull, unlifelike. WG Wall water alw beaut, ut wants distinctness, others of his hi order. GL Brown merit, but affectation of roughness, excessive freedom. D Roberts staring mass of green. Mrs Unkart, sharp hard outlines, but pretty coloring, tyro. JGCole muddy. Ludlow power of the waves. Cole Florence, wonderful excellence, new beauties, peculiar atmosphere, good use of ultramarine. EB Purcell ambitious but unsuccessful, incongruous and extravagant. W Page lack freedom, his landscape is bad, too blue and green and icy. G Grunewald v clever lscapes but raw look. Marsiglia, v distressing pic, starved to death. Chapman’s first ship, full of faults yet likely to please, desperate uniformity of tints, Indian all of one hue, medium mulatto yellow, cut out of pasteboard, wants strength and character, one review even called him a maiden. Has 10 other pics in exhib, best is Flight of Sergeant Champ, has vigor of design and execution, all others lack. Brennan outre colors. GL Brown, v gd but too much green. SFB Morse, exceedingly fine, graceful ease, general harmony, clearness and firmness of flesh tints, sky strangely coppery and clouds queer globular patches, but still uncommomly fine. D Huntington lscape mixed reviews. Shegogue pleasing composition. Geirgon elab but hard, stiff and liney. TT Fowler spirited, bold freedom, but inaccurate and coarse, lady to tall, wants care. Frothingham staring and vacant, a gd likeness we are told. Pringle vigorous, well colored, waves too similar rectilienar formality. H Pratt ambitious, disagreeable. Agate Genevra accessories beaut, but lady wants expression, does not tell the story. J Evers too green, but pleasing. JB White Marion, clever composition, attitude expression and partisans well grouped. SA Mount intolerable fright. Cummings miniatures are the best. WS Mount farmers nooning, gem of first water, compos exceedingly clever and intelligibel, whole effect uncommonly pleasing, sleeping black excellently foreshortened. Weir’s Santa droll idea, drolly carried out, stockings preternaturally huge. Durand healing clever compos, expr of amazement. Ingham lscape wonderful finish, grass finer than Genoa velvet, cattle elab as minutely as a miniature, cracks in bark individually perceptible, water clear and gd tho blue. W Oddie lscape, all freedom and genl effect, to our taste more of the artist in this than Ingham, more like nature. GL Brown Boston Harbor clever. Mount’s Raffle admirable pic of rural life and manners, attitudes and expressions gd, faces have family resemblance. Agate Devil’s deacon wants finish, don’t like it, demons ridiculous nto fearful, figs confusedly grouped, wants clearness and expression. C Mayr series of cabinet pics don’t show skill, excessive muscular devt in faces, heads too large for bodies, bad perspective. F Wms has merit. Lieut Eastman v clever for amateur. F Fink also deserving.
Smithsonian Library: The Knickerbocker
Volume 11 1838
January no. 1 p. 9 “An Oak by the Way-Side,” by Ione, Ny November 1837. Seems pretty clear to read it as a political statement: thou has battled with the storms of old, thou all change defied, the urchin rout screaming whoop poured wildly out, to bring thy high fruit down, shouldn’t have stood forth from the forest upon the world’s highway
Followed by a William D Gallagher poem from Ohio, and one about the Chieftain’s tear, vanishing of the people; from Wieland on the sympathies
p. 36 The Likeness—a joke, that it wants but a tongue, the spouse thinks is the principal merit. P. 63 OPQ signs a review of a book of poetry by Wm Thompson Bacon. p. 64 Sonnet Written Upon Seeing the Portrait of a Lady, Painted by CG Thompson. Signed PB, dated December 1837. Sweetness upturned eyes, tearful Madonna lustre, soft surprise, flowing hair, forehead fair, bright smile casting mellow radiance; did you the artist try to beguile gazer of his reason and thrall his senses, make this phantom unconsciously? Nothing real lives that can thus charm the sight.
Gives Miss Sedgwick’s children’s bk gd review; loves Stephens’ Incidents of Travel in Egypt; Harper’s edition of Lamb. Editor’s Table: won’t publish Howard’s letter critical of a positive essay about slavery in the south. Positive blurb on a dinner for Forrest in Phila.Loves mdmlle Augusta, did Somnambule. Like JW Wallack and Natl Theatre generally, but recommend buffooneries of Jim Crow,despite the applause of the groundlings and gallery 85 Park Theatre: Forrest not very good, all the defects in his personations present. Doesn’t capture spirit of the characters, acting is physically and morally false. 85 Likes Mrs Shaw, who despite her western tour has not picked up the pernicious cant and fustian clap trap that prevails through all the western theatres. Manner chaste and subdued, not popular passion-tearing enormities of some actresses. 86 Miss Cushman is sometimes effective, and natural, but guilty of enormity of pantaloons. American Theatre, Bowery: praise for Mr Booth, excellent manager Dinneford
Feb. no. 2
Long article on American Antiquities—mostly Mayan et al ruins ought to be explored and recorded, govt should pay. P. 137 GWC sonnet springing from Bunyan. Likes both the New York Review and the North American Review, agrees with the former in its review of the Burr bio and latter in its critique of Cooper.
March no 3
p. 205 poem by Thomas Campbell, first pub in Amer. Ione a montly contributor. 263 Ollapodiana no. 23. P. 294 praises New Yorker, increasing merit. Park Benjamin ed of Am MO Mag is supervising lit dept, city dept under Dr Eldridge. Portrait of Osceola, full length likeness by one of our first artists, soon be published from a sketch by a captain in the Army. Wm Hooper engraver. Also recommends 296 the NY Daily Whig and Morning Chronicle for lit and other merits, Mr Dawes of the former is a fine poet, and last has good typography. Likes the plate of Ellen Tree in the Albion, has been retouched.
April no. 4
p. 363 story by Col Wm L Stone. 374 reviews Martineau’s Retrospect of Western Travel. Don’t admire women becoming men, political philosophers. This bk ok tho. Like the Memoirs of Scott, and Neal’s Charcoal sketches—compares him to Mount. P. 377 Illus by Johnston are exceedingly clever, 379. Likes Sigourney’s bk for girls. Cooper writes about Scott, and support for copyright, which Knick agrees with. Promotes Stone’s and Cooper’s new books.
p.432 Sonnet on Bien Aime’s Statue of John, pure chaste beautiful thou’lt be thus in heaven. WC
p. 460 poem on Truth by CP Cranch. 471 succumbs and inspects the Great Western steamship, moral sublime, Power. P.474 “CG Thompson, the Artist” praise to young but gifted artist in some of the public journals, deserves it all, richness and fidelity of his coloring, grace and ease of his drwg and positions, esp lady-portraits and children. AGG writes Stanzas suggested by the nursery Scene, A Picture by CG Thomson, representing the head of a boy resting on the bosom of his sister. This moment of closeness will be forgotten. Art poesses the power to elevate and purify the heart, won’t think about the future of sorrow. 475 National’s Ernest Maltravers is immoral but doing well and exciting, effectively got up, good taste should eschew the Bowery school, in favor of chaste and classical. Reviews David Reese’s Humbugs of NY, think he is one too in his attack on Dr. Brigham. New poem by Geo Morris orig in Knick. Likes the Albion, New York Review. Epes Sargeant Jr joining Mirror, in place of Hoffman. Spirit of the Times, deserved celebrity. 480 notices opening of NAD, here mentions large lscapes by Cole, superb by Durand which has no superior, small sketches by Mount, fine heads by well known Inman, Ingham, Chapman, CG Thompson, Page, Huntington etc.
May 1838 p. 474 CG Thomson The Artist, glad to perceive praise awarded young but gifted artist in some of public journals, deserves it, justice of encomiums for his first intro to lovers of art, fully acknowl by public, richness fidelity of coloring, grace ease drwg positions, themes of esp laud, partic fancy ports and children. Latter stanzas fr esteemed corresp, Nursery Scene of boy resting on bosom of sister, ACG, elevate and purify heart, wo’t think of sorrow in yr future
Praise Albion, best mag, port Queen Vic. Likes Gallagher’s Western Monthly Mag. Recommends NY Spirit of the Times for lovers of fun. NY Mirror notes addition of Epes Sargenat of Boston as editor, replacing Hoffman.Notices opening of NAD at Clinton Hall, larger than last yr, among prominent features 2 large lscapes by Cole, a superb one by Durand has no superior in academy, small sketches by Mount, fine heads by well known artists, Inman, ingham, Champman, CG Thomson, page, Huntington etc. a fair coll. Promises a review next month, but in June says no room.
p. 432 sonnet by WC on Bien Aime’s statue of John, how beaut pure chaste, deep retirement, pure fellowship of heaven, perfect fair, soul apart fr foul leprosy of sin. Publish Greeley.
p. 487 Lines to the Author of The Oak by the Way Side” (Ione”, Robt W charlton of savannah Georgia, in person of the tree, doesn’t regret time. P. 532 story by H Greeley abt Shakers. Notes a Dunlap book, Campbell’s poems, a New panorama in Prince st by Catherwood of Jerusalem, 572, and NAD well attended, don’t have space to review.
Contrib to Knick include Hawthorne, John Inman, LELandon, Wm Leggett, Chas Hoffman, RM Bird, James Brooks, Park Benjamin, Fanny K Butler, Catherwood, Lewis Cass, Williis Gaylord Clarke, JH Cranch, Orville Dewey, Duer, Dunlap, EF Ellett, Theo Fay, Marryat, Geo P Morris, JK Paulding, Geo P Putnam, WH Seward, Sedgwick, G Verplanck, Noah Webster
July 1838 no 1
55 Osceola’s soliloquy, 62 A reply by Ione to lines addressed to the author of The Oak by the Wayside, sorrows of the mighty, what kindred soul may share. Likes Dewey’s new book, Caroline Gilman’s travels, and Judge Hall’s writing, love No Amer Review. 84 Catherwood’s panoramas, deserve extensive encouragement, first order of excellence, esp Jerusalem, Niagara missing sound and water. 85 Weinedel’s gallery, many of the pictures at 200 Broadway are of superior merit, head after Titian, Herodias after Carlo Dolci a gem, after Cignani is a voluptuous effort and belongs like Adam and Eve to the class of ‘great moral pictures!’ (Potiphar’s Wife). 87 Sketches of Paris sometimes tinctured with grossness.
August 1838 no. 2 178 Editors Table likes Nicholas Nickleby, Dickens’ descriptions are perfect paintings; his graphic limning acute. Albion unsurpassed, engraving charming portrait of Mlle Celeste
Sept 1838. Excerpts that Diary of a Bookworm that the Constellation ran all the time. Urges kindness toward Cooper. 272 Editors Table “The Fine Arts” regarded by few here, except those who’d been to Europe and acquired “exotic taste.” Reviews the professional portrait painters, starting with Smibert, and that portraits were all that were done. Notes great change since then, and even in last 25 years. Painters of distinction and talent no longer rare, nor are pictures confined to the houses of the few. Taste obtaining among all classes, though only a very few competent to speak of pictures learnedly, large proportion of respectable town dwellers may be amateurs. In no part of the world at present so generally diffused and correct a taste for pencil and graver as US; lack galleries, but have books, which European nations do not. Progress could be made if intercourse between public and artists rendered more constant and easy, need a place all year round to see or purchase pictures. 273 The Apollo in Broadway under management of James Herring, artist and editor of Natl Port Gallery, will be such. Will include work from artists of remote cities, amateurs can buy, parents can take children. 273 praises Frazee’s work on Custom House at Wall and Nassau. Contemplates their ruin. Admires Saml Slick. 282 “Portraiture” CG Thompson’s recent portrait of Rev Cyrus Mason of NYU is striking likeness, boldly chosen pose, effectively rendered, chaste and imposing, opening of the sky as if after a gentle summer shower, accessories exhibits gd taste and graceful execution. Saw another portrait of lady in young gifted artist’s studio, backgrd Italian twilight scene, Etruscan vase, statuary; correct eye, refined taste, will win high rep. 283 “Mr Catherwood’s Panoramas” illusion is perfect, superb specimen, correctness of drwg, boundless horizon. Niagara Falls soon replaced by mexico. 284-5 praises the New-Yorker for no exaggerated weekly puffs or cheap woodcuts but taste, EB Fisher an associate editor 286 singles out some reproductions of Chapman in 1839’s Token
Oct 1838 long review (by Cooper?) of Scott’s bio by Lockhart, doesn’t think much of it. 377 Portrait of Boz—large and finished in window of office of this magazine, Wiley and Putnam on Broadway. Only one in America, expression of melancholy surprising. Mouth is expressive. Full-rounded nostril inevitable accompaniment of talent. Happy with Power at the Park, and Mdme Vestris (now Mrs C Mathews), has utmost finish of art, though stock company there is bad. Celeste gd at Wallack at National; Simpson benefit fashionable, Epes Sargeant’s address spoken by Miss Tree
Nov 1838 opening essay wishes for an American school of poetry; we are too imitative of British models. Must seize on sublimities of nature. From Podrida in Phila. 409 The Dying Artist: what does Fame’s laurel matter now that his muse and model is dead. Review of Sketches in London by James Grant concludes 453 with picture of work-houses, celebrated etcher, Quiz, ample justice, more eloquently than words, most painfully true to nature (sketch of interior of an asylum), can’t recall a more spirited etching from any living artist. 455 likes the Gift, notes ptgs engraved by Chalon, Sully and Collins, Parris. Best writers, includes John Inman. 463 “Miniature Painting” we hear sometimes of some young native artist bursting into reputation; West has sent some, Powell taken rank at once, now Geo H Hite fr Kentucky, experience, study with Frazer, Malbone. Style is free, bold and rich, taste refined and chaste. Portraits of well known fine finish and truth to nature. At Astor House. Likes No Amer Review, but ought to have given Morris’ new collection more praise, as So Lit Messenger did. Oriental Annual for 1839 rich embellishments. 471 notes that Park Benjamin is ending the Am Mo Mag, editor comments that he disapproves of mingling politics with lit, periodicals shld maintain neutral ground, and Benjamin agrees, saying that when the Mag became political, it went into epilepsy, it is vain to wed poltiics to lit, they have no similarity of taste or inclination. Will join the New-Yorker. 472 likes Wm G Simms’ new book of poems, 473 Appollo Gallery exhib attracted admiring visitors to 400 specimens of native talent, 200 for sale, many by most eminent painters
Dec 1838 more Wm Gallagher, reply to Cooper’s attack on Scott by Wamba. FWS likes rural cemeteries, sentiment better than marble. 539 dislikes Cooper’s satirical Home as Found, too anti-republican. Likes Webster’s new history of the US. 545 “American Institute” a correspondent liked Tallmadge’s address on progress of manufactures. 553 Exhibition at Barclay-street Academy, Dubufe’s fine pictures of Don Juan, Cirassian etc, deserved praise, Giraud’s ptgs added. 554 “The Fine Arts” Dunlap exhib at Stuyvesant Institute, upward of 200 pictures fr eminent masters, modern artists, plus 18thc, profits to go toward his history of New Netherlands. “Painting” Hite’s exquis miniatures of children admired by all, Powell is advanced beyond his years, portraits deserve encomiums, picture of Miss Tree at Stuyvesant Institute excellent
1838 support James Herring’s permanent gallery at The Apollo in Broadway, former editor of the National port Gall of Disting Americans, 30,000 to native artists, for exhib and sale of art and books
Mar 1839 notices Geo Platt who paints window shades
Jun 1839: Editor’s note, the review of exhib of NAD that appears elsewhere is fr pen of an artist who claims to “have the honesty to acknowledge the merits of his rivals, and courage to make a temperate opposition to popular errors.” six years study at RA in England, knows its most disting members, won’t conceal his name, his freedom of animadversion has no sinister causes, no indiv wrongs to avenge, no personal pique, no slight from NAD, claims to be candid and disinterested critic.
JKF’s review in same issue: not so good as the 4 or 5 preceding, because best conterib like Cole have sent nothing, and because most have been corrupted by manner encouraged by public taste, orig among degenerate Italians of this century, has spread to other Euro humbugs who have come here, superficial observers think they are very natural, and very striking.
Sully’s Mrs Wood hung in bad light, varnishglistens, genl effect of chiaroscuro not fine, wantb rightness and depth, too much red, not rich and mellow, fresh dry, drapery sullied, dark masses dull, relied too much on scene painter, hands and feet defective in drwg. His child still more these defects, air of gentility and dignity tho makes him best port ptr in country.
James Freeman, boyish char but not v refined, bright flesh but soft, hands well done, hair too much like gray wool stocking as is drapery. TC not George Healy portrait of a man, but not a gman, muscles turn up mouth mysteriously, face is unfleshlike, few worse. HC Hows lscape, merits and defects of English school, spirit and boldness in exec, chiarascuruo, imitation but cold, too much red in shadows, too blue in sky, light weak, may be painted for gas light, which is bad. Managers of this feeble ape of the RA should know this. But too blue and cold, should study optical treatises and Titian Claude and Dutch not his contemporaries.
Ingham Marsiglia Gambardella and Mayr: possess the modern manner of excessive brightness, smoothness and minuteness, total absence of mellowness, freshness, tone and richness, arises fr bad taste and false theories, narrowness of mind. In fine art of ptg, the spiritual predominates and phys is subord vehicle, ea phys element keeps its rank in bodying forth emotions of soul, but never is an element shown for its owns ake. Fine art is essentially ideal, has nothing to do with facsimile. Trade of copying these men mistake for art, never thinks of soul or character. Ingham’s ports appear feeble, affected and ungraceful, false, idol of silly women. None of these artists pictures when viewed without reciprocated puffery possess dignity refinement beauty dewy freshness health, discriminate betw substances.
Durand:portrait possesses gentility grace even beauty, carefully ptd, chiaroscuro effective, best in room. But suffers fr exposure to Ingham and company, worries will degrade to mere twaddler. Weir’s Indian Captives: of course a treat, female good, male tolerable but feeble, statuesque, dry and dirty like a wooden fig. Expression I won’t speak as have little symp with those who ascribe virtues of civ to these half stupid barbarians. Soldier v gd, great truth in accoutrements but shld be more subord, unity of force and simplicity of effect but coloring lacks richness, chiarascuro monoonous, he has seen too much of flourishing Ital school in this city.
WH Powell port severely disagreeable, no resemblance toflesh, a spoiled child, may become mere tradesman, deluded by puffery of honorable friends who are not competent to judge art, suffered with respectably mediocre instruction, men not well taught themselves, should have gone to Europe or to Morse. JT Harris, color better than most, gman sitter thinks of the utilitarian. W Hamilton girl made of unglazed crockery. FE Spencer v creditable except flesh. Whitehorne colors glaring substances hard, manufacturer of portraits. D Dickinson: one of chief vices of our artists is species of theft fr prints ptgs anything and palming them on the public to win praise fr journalists. Should expose imposture, this Hylas and Nymphs copied fr H Howard RA, with figures added, and some figs in worse positions, coloring and execution wretched. Committee should guard against copies.
E Mooney port tolerably good, but compos faulty, material not subord to mental, see to distinctly and feel but vaguely, should be no incongruity. Livingston v agreeable. JB Flagg, woodeny, young, highly creditable. Rossiter v clever sketch, agreeable, should study, has perception of beuaty in form, but needs drawing, should study in RA, only safe school/
H Inman: doesn’t deserve the praise he usually gets. Gray as good as him. Inman’s children more artist like, genl effect v clever and far better than most, tho children not well proportioned, becomee a toy shop better than a Nat Acad, pompous name, but coloring delightful esp comparared to Ingham. necks of kids too dirty. F Alexander, deep tone, some mellowness and harmony, well composed and exec but because not in the NY manner, poorly hung.
W Page port best colored of his, as good as any in room, forehead turned in lathe, hard, hands overwrought, others worse. Doughty lscape v pleasing, one of his best. A Richardson lscapes, composes with facility, clever little pics.
Great Adirondack Pass, daub, destitute of all poetical feeling, doesn’t capture twilight, abominable not awful, tame monotony. Frothingham portrait, hero looked surly, flesh brickdust, unskilfully composted, false. Hite’s miniatures the best, Fanshaw has a pretty one. Condition of art here low due to demand for quantity and toleration of inferior quality. Need to be vigilant in testing our taste against nature, preserve it from fashion, popular opinion, even if that opinion coincide with one’s own.
Knickerbocker 1839, Jun p. 553
Crit upon NAD: proper that the review of exhib appears elsewhere proceeds fr pen of artist who claims to have honesty to acknowledge merits of rivals and courage to make a temperate oppos to popular errors. He has the advantage of having been for upward of six years a student in RA of Engl, benefit of intimate acquaintance with many of its most disting members. Having used all plainness of speech, writer desires no concealment of hisname, only affirms that his freedom of animadversion fr no sinister causes, no individ wrongs to avenge, nor personal pique to gratify, no slight fr NA, having never been a candidate for its titles or applicant for its benefits. claims a candid disinterested critic, leave public to confirm or annul his pretensions.
Jun 1839 p.545 Fine Arts: NAD (signed JKF)
exhib not so gd as four or five preceding, partly bcause some of best sent nothing, inclu Cole, and most of artists corrupted by manner grown up of late, prompted encouraged by aberration of public taste in which the artists sympathize to extent and yield fr want of manliness. manner originated among degenerate Italians of present century, brought here by some our own ‘enterprising’ spirits, fancied country of artists of Leo’s age wld furnish ample instruction, whether underst it or not. worthies traversed Italy France with expedition of money collectors, peeped at Engl thru spyglasses, sundry Ital Fr Germ humbugs among us to astonish natives with picts enuf likeness of nature to appear ‘very natural’ to superficial observers and sufficient villainous contradiction of nature, to be very striking to all who have the misfortune to see them. wretched manner has infected nearly all NY artists, and several in other cities, and has done more than all other causes to destroy the power of pleasing otherwise possessed.
69 Mrs Wood as Amina, T Sully, bad light, cant see its prominent effect, varnish glistens on upper part, face possesses consid beauty of forma nd character, coloring abt neck has purity and transparency, genl effect of light, dark and color is not fine, lights want brightness, shades want depth and purity, too much tinted with vermilion, and other red redish brown colors. pict not intended to be brilliant, as it should not be, but shd have been rich and mellow, backgrd more like nature. flesh seems dry as if perspiration were obstructed, drapery sullied, dark masses genly not transp and rich but powdery and dull. relied too much on actress and scene painter, not enuf on himself to a dramatic repress of Somnambula, but much agreeable and even beaut. fig well drawn, saving hands, foot, somewhat defective.
57 Child by Sully still more defect of dryness feebleness of color, no redeeming qualities of much consequence. this artist gives air of dignity gentility to his prorts, and tho defective in color, the best port ptr in country.
58 James Freeman, boys heads with boyish character, but not very refined. flesh v well colored, possesses brightness, without sacrifice of softness genly made for getting this quality in excess. hands well imitated, light on hair is bad too much like piece of gray wool stocking,d rapery of same character.
68 TCRA Healy (not Geo Healy) port of man, but not a gman , if pict is to be trusted. right hand v moderately well drawn, for a port ptr, don’t know what muscles can turn up corners of mouth this way,or what flesh bears much resemblance to substance of this face. many better picts in the upper tier, few worse any where, unable to see why it shd be in so gd a place.
63 Lscape HC Hows. pict has many merits and some defects of present Engl lscape ptrs, gd management of light and dark, gd imitation of objs in fore and middle grd, consid spirit boldness of exec, but tone of color is cold, shadows in flesh and some other objs are made impure by excess of red and other colors. Sky is too blue when seen by common daylite, clouds proportionably cold, light in foregrd, intended for weak sunlite, is in same proportion remote fr warmth of real sunlight. When illumined by gas, prob even too warm, but this kind of light fit only for such picts as are ptd expressly for it, andhas been applied to others only by the well enuf for the public policy of Amer exhibs. Clear daylight is much inclined to blue, and pure white and gray pigments, when illumined by it, reflect same excess of blue, therefore cool enuf for azure tints of sky, but when orange colored light of gas is applied, a grt excess of blue paint is necessary to compensate for the diff of color in the light, and beside this intolerable evil, gaslight makes yellow, orange and red tints appear much lighter, and blue tints much darker than they do by daylite, thus changes the effect of light and dark and often impairs the harmony of coloring.
Some yrs ago an Engl obtained a patent for mode of qualifying gaslite for panoramas by transm it thru blue glasses of such thickness as to absorb the excess of red and yellow rays, and if there were not more quacks than men of science among the managers of this feeble ape of the RA, this method would have been adopted here, if known, or invented. But to return to Mr Hows, whose name has been misspelled in catalog, he paints skies v blue, and clouds distances etc of corresp coldness, conseq the genl hue appears much colder than nature, which may be a grt improvement, but seems to me a grt defect, and in this he agrees with most of his countrymen and nearly all the French and Americans who study ptgs of their contemporaries more than the optical treatises of Newton and Brewster or the ptgs of Titian, Claude andDutch, or source of all beaut art, Nature. The other two by him are better than this, indeed v clever, tho I can see defects in them perceive excellencies afford me grt pleasure. The light and dark chiaro-scuro, he manages well,a s Engl artists genly do, this alone will make a pict pleasing if not prevented by offensive color or other disagreeable quality
188, 45, 23, 36, Ingham Marsiglia, Gambardella, Mayr. These gmen possess in perfectionthe manner I alluded to, may be much better than any thing in Titian, Correggio, Veronese or celeb masters of color or even in nature, but I can’t see in any of those authorities. Consists in ecessive brightness, smoothness and minuteness, total absence of mellowness, freshness, tone and richness. could I say what it results fr, shd expose chief cause of corruption of taste and decay of art, render most impt service to world, but only conjecture it arises fr bad taste false theories narrowness of mind which pursuing some gd qualities tramples on all others, pushes to offensive excess few it notices at all. In the fine fine art of ptg, or beaut art, the spiritual predominates, the phys is subord, as its vehicle, ea phys element keeps its rank gives its proper aid in bodying forth the emotions of the soul, but never shown for its own sake. Beautiful art is essentially ideal, it makes compos subord to expr, imitation to compos, copying to imit, has nothing to do with facsimile. Trade of copying, which these men mistake for art,s ubjs all things to itself and never thinks of soul or character. ask any sensible person if Mr Inhamg’s ports don’t genly appear feeble in intellect, affected ungraceful expr and action, without just resemblance in subst and color and false even in mere shape? and others of this sect, more who might be named, not much more or less disting by merit or by vulgar popularity than is this idol of those silly women who chalk their skins until they produce the delicate whiteness of kid gloves. Take any of their picts, regard them with your own eyes, unaided by reciprocated puffery, see if they possess dignity, refinement of character and expr, beauty of form or the dewy freshness bloom of healthy flesh, see if they discriminate betw the substances of vegetables and minerals, the juicy flower and sapless rock, transp atmosphere and ptd wall, liquid and dry,or mark the degrees of transp which distinguish fleshg fr images of crockery ware or ptd wood, marble fr plaster, muslin fr paper, don’t allow excuses on score of defective pigments, for Titian Bassano Veronese Correggio etc materials less varied efficient than we possess made to rival every beauty adorns visible creation.
110 Port Ldy Durand, possesses gentility, grace even beauty, qualities don’t abound in show room. dress tasteful neat carefull ptd, chiaroscuro effective unobtrusive. best of Durand’s no port more lady like in char or more pleasing in genl effect, prefer this for all Ingham ever ptd. But grieves me that Durand’s taste suffered by exposure to pestilent manner of Ingham and co, even as an accom scholar, despite habit care, will sometimes catch and repeat vulgarisms of rabble, or very refined people in the last century cld endure even admire powdered wigs, or ancient Lombards charmed to see heads shaven behind and ancient Britons ptd blue, So Sea islanders with tattooing etc, so this artist many others and most public have beheld drt, feeble, insipid manner until they tolerate even like it. At hazard of appearing vain, advise them to go to Nature, look at her in morning, dew gives moisture and freshness to color, noon when splendor is greatest, vaporty twilight when all things idealized mellowed by shadowy gleam soothed eyes of Titian Carracci and Reynolds, subject eyes feelings to genial influences and cured of a corruption of taste which will degrade fr artists to tradesmen, fr amateurs to mere twaddlers for fashion’s sake
40 indian Captives, Weir. Something historical, of course a treat. female has gd action,d rapery light and shade, male tolerable drapery, but feeble drwg and somewhat statuesque esp right leg foot, color has dry dirty appearance, somewhat hard, like a wooden fig. of the expression, had better not speak, as have little sympathy with those who ascribe the virtues and lofty sentiments of civiliz to these half stupid barbarians. Soldier is v gd one, not remarkable for mellowness of color. armor weapons and log hardly ptd with greater truth, but shd have been more subordinate, conside tone unity of shade gives simplicity of genl effect, but coloring lacks richness mellowness and force, and chiaro scuro is feeble, monotonous and unsatisf to eye. Weir has seen too much of present Ital schl and its flourishing branch in the city.
42 Port WH Powell, look severely disagreeable. no resemblance to subst of flesh, hands shocking to anatomist, coat etc not so bad, but not so diff to paint. young quite as well as expected, but a spoiled child, in a way to miss art altogether and become mere tradesman, woefully deluded by puffery of several v honorable warm hearted friends not competent to judge of art, or his progress in it, and instr under which he has suffered has been ofmost dangerous kind, respectably mediocre with merit enuf to win confidence of inexpert but not enuf to be of any essential service to a truly ambitious student who desires to feel possess those excellencies by which grt masters won admiration of ages. wasted his time under no instru at all, or that of men never well taught themselves, who know of art only so much as busy ingenuity cld catch fr inferior productions and the casual hints of such as themselves, when he shd have been in schools of Euro or under instr of Morse, best educ artist in this city, most likely to make a young man sensible of beauties of nature. Powell will not feel offended at apparent severity of my remarks, or my singling him out fr many in same predicament to whom my censures apply equal or greater force, chose him bcause most promising.
91 JT Harris, port gman, thinks more of utile than dulce. if color resembles orig much better than majority of ports being less hard and dry
59 W Hamilton port little girl, made ofsomething like v fine unglazed crockery, and a little dog, of mix of plaster and pip clay
49 Port by FR Spencer, v cred to him, tho flesh too much like Signor Ingham’s
47 J Whitehorne, port ldy, if artist wld take as much pains to get tolerable expression as takes to make colors glaring, his substances hard, might be a respectable manufacturer of ports. fear does not possess a v artist like ambition
34 D Dickinson, Hylas and Numphs. one of chief vices of our artists is a propensity to that species of theft consists in purloining materials of picts fr prints, ptgs or anything else and palming them on public without stating whether orig in order to win praise fr incautious journalists. But suc deception whether mean dishonesty or ignorance of impropriety cant but excite doubts re orig of works of artists who would scorn to receive credit not their due, proper all concerned shd be admonished and imposture exposed. This pict is copied chiefly fr one by henry Howard, RA, engr for Chas Heath’s annual, the keepsake, several figs added, whether orig or not can’t say, and some heads and limbs put in diff and worse positions. his other pict, Oberon and Titania, much in manner of Howard, and must suspect it taken fr him, tho coloring and execution so wrtetched that one shd be slow to think they came even indirectly fr that clever artist. Accord to publishedrules of this acad, copies not admissible, public right to presume what appears is orig, don’t impugn motives of Dickinson or committee, presume free use of intellectual prop is considered by him as by public at large perfectly excusable; committee shd be more guarded
73 Mooney, port tolerably gd imitation form subst, color, excepting flesh, with approach to unity purity of shade, but compos faulty, red curtain too conspic, general material not subord to mental. see too distinctly, feel but vaguely, tho port gives but slight opp for manifestation of vital principles of art, still alm every respectable person has moments of activity of spirit, ptr shd watch for,e xpr of which shd catch, and adapt to it the whole compos of his pict, so no incongruity and vehicle, form color etc not draw to hitself attn due to subj, mind.
202 E Livingston, Lscape, lower part v agreeably colored,w ater transp and well managed, sky rather too flat unbroken.
200 223 Ports JB Flagg, first v bad, other consid merit too pinky in color and somewhat defective in subst, esp nose, which is woodeny. v young, consid less than 20, performances highly creditable to him
22 T Rossiter,v clever sketch, chiaro scuro and color v agreeable to eye. if a young man, hoped will become excellent artist if but study, for has gd eye for color effect and some percept of beaut in form, but by another pict of his needs severely drilled ind rwg. if can muster $200 yr for five yrs, go to London, study in RA, best schl in world and only safe one.
64 Inman. if this resembles subst and color fo flesh and shape and constr of lady’s shoulders and neck, resembl is not sufficient to deserve such elab praise as this artist is accustomed to receive, dress is better ptd, easier executed. Gray, mere lad, without v extraord feat, ptd a head, 71 as gd as this, and hand consid better. Inman’s pict of children 185 is much more artist like in compos and genl effect, which are very clever, and far better than most things here. But children not v childlike in expr nor very well proportioned. arms and hands partic too small, become a toy shop better than a Nat Acad, a name sopompous as to remind one of over a dingy hole in paris, Café de l’Univers. But coloring of drapery,c arpet, cushion, basket ribbon v gd, quite delightful to eye, after brainless, boneless fleshless libels on human subst and mind on either side by Ingham. Why did he paint the necks of these little folks so dirty, why not first wash them, and wipe them moderately, made skin more transp and freshness of color sadly needed.
231 port, F Alexander of Boston. artist happens to paint in a deep tone, some attn to mellowness and harmony of coloring, consid necessary to incline his pict a little more than the one next to it, which diminishes the light fr the proper direction, and to place around it plenty of bright frames and staring colors, makes flesh appear too dark. light fr floor makes slight but v mischievous glistening over surface of varnish, producing grt disturbance andirreg of effect. but v well composed exec, yet flesh wants dewy freshess see when atmosph moderately humid and persp unchecked. If hung in tolerable light, prob appear sufficiently bright in flesh, but not ptd in NY manner, so not found favor with committee
254 Port W Page. the best colored of his picts, as gd as any in the rm, so far as hue. face below forehd well drwn, v much subst and color of flesh, but forehd too indiscrim rounded, as if turned in lathe, not free fr obj on score of hardness. hands carefully ptd with tolerable color, but a little overwrought ahnd hard, and right one not anatomically correct nor drwn with much skill. others are inferior to this in subst and color, 117 decidedly hard and dry.
74 Lscape Doughty, v pleasing pict, one of best if not v best seen fr artist. genl effect of color chiarascuro agreeable, trees other objects well grouped, imitation gd,coloring of individ objs much truth.
31 32 Lscapes A Richardson, has several v clever little picts here. composes with facility, gd feeling for chiaro scuro and color. sm size, better hung on walls with space.
20 Ingham, Grt Adirondack Pass, ptd on the spot, NA. If any persons of taste not convinced of justice of my remarks, lk at this daub. In the description which he quotes it says shadows veiling awful precipice in backgrd, but with spirit of mere mechanical delineation, destitute of all poetic feeling, failed to give obscurity of evening shade and glow of evening sky might have imparted magnitude and effect to this precipice made more abominable than awful. Such Lilliputian minutiae, sch tame monotony such absence of all true subst color space and atmosph I never saw
97 Port Adm Walton, J Frothingham. suppose hero loked as surly as he cd for sake of his own dignity, when he sat. At mod distance, this flesh appears v dry, mix of chalk and brickdust, but near dryness alm disappears and perceive v curious patching or penciling or whatever else itmay be called prob designed to contrib. some desirable quality seems quite unnnecssary, F does better without it. unskillfully composed, spotty in light and color, somewhat fantastically false in hues of backgrd.
Of minis, Hite’s seem best, tho Fanshaw has v pretty one. Hite deserves grt cred not only for talents but for perseverance agst most adverse circumstances, his first miniature ptd from colors gatherd on his thumbnail in trying quality of box of paints he couldn’t afford. Several others deserve commendation, many demand severe censure, no space.
The condition of ptg in this untry is low, sculp has as yet scarcely a being. Causes of this may be genl diffusion of weatlth, moderate circumstances of many, v ltd no of those who can afford to pay stimulating price for best, conseq demand for quantity and toleration of inferior quality fr which necessarily a retrogression of taste and farther toleration, farther superficial dispatch, farther action and reaction of taste on production cont until common sense is startled fr its dream by the hideousness of the objs imposed on it. impress on public mind is that taste, our sole guide to the beaut, is modified by every boj we contemplate, corrupted by every error we imbibe, shd be vigilantly guarded by reason, subj to whatever test reason may decide is the true one, probably nature, if united and unanimous voice of all who have survived ages it to be relied on, as rational grd of proabaility, in oppos to a temporary fashion, a popular opinion, tho that opinion shd coincide with one’s own.
Jul 1839 Thomas R Hofland gives long history of art, defends idea that a republic can have art, says modern Italian school is tame and affected, proverbially bad, degenerate in arts and arms, but hand of tyranny will lift and storm salutary will burst and art will revive. France and England only nations with fine schools of art now. Dubufe a good example, respectable, interesting, admirably correct drawing, tolerable coloring, but no dignity of sentiment or poetry, no originality or sublime. Adam good looking, with orthodox whiskers, Eve merely a pretty woman, not like Milton’s. Then goes back and gives history of Dutch and German schools, Russia also can’t produce an artist while under despotism, artist can’t be a serf. History of Brit school, it is quacks who dismiss West. Turner, Westall Reinagle and esp Martin artists of merit, and Leslie and Stuart Newton the Americans. In US have seen young uned western artists with orig and freshness of genius delightful, inspired by pure teachings of nature, but need study to great results, land teems with poetry and romance, nature has a long history that gives it grandeur, and has had human feeling too in Indian incident despite present degraded condition, but also revolution, Washington. Need art schools. But lscape already disting, Cole, Doughty Fisher vie with Europe, fresh bold brilliant and grand, Doughty esp his autumn pics, Cole for grand poetical conception. Allston and Remb Peale in hist ptg. Many portraitists, Sully Harding Alexander Inman Nagle Otis. Greenough Hughes Powers. Govt should follow france and lend influence to art with a National Gallery and a National Academy, no one hates England anymore, they will help us.
July 1839 p. 39 Thomas R Hofland, The Fine Arts in the US
only ones with schools of art are France and Grt Britain, Italy a shadow, modern Italian schl tame and affected, esp Roman artists, degenerate, genius slumbers with her liberties, but hand of tyranny will one day be gone, brooding storm will burst, art will revive
France the best except in coloring. no great names since Vernet and Lamartine, Le Brun Berthe Poussin, not their sublimity of conception and power of excution, artists of respectable merit, avail themselves of oldmasters, but mighty minds that originate styles and schools, no. Dubufe exhib here gd specimens, alw respectable and interesting, correct in drwg, estab principles of compos, never essentially orig or sublime, Adam And Eve so liberally praised and celebrated, has merit only of exceeding neatness gd drwg tolerable style of coloring, no dignity of sentiment, poetry. a gd looking man with orthodox whiskers, eve a pretty woman, no ethereal exquis loveliness of Milton, or anyone with common ideality. need Virgin of Correggio, holy chaste perfect loveliness, brightness of soul not sense. Likes Roscoe’s crit.
French middling respectable chara, no remarkable excellence, flagrant defect, govt encourages taste, even lower classes have their savants and cognoscenti, throng exhibs rather than rioting in taverns
Germs imag ingenious, no school of art, no access to old masters, stiff unnatural style of Gothic manner. Dutch a decided schl of inferior order, no exalted attrib except gd coloring, no grandeur conception or poetic feeling, but correct mechanicalimit of nature, lscape as represent actual scenery, no beaut poetry grace refinement, nature in lower more degraded forms, facisimile of a cabbage or boors, truth power marvelous, perversity of taste. low grotesque Rembrandt too, so despite chiaroscuro, no sublime conceptions Raphael Guido Domenichino Correggio. expressions lead mind to mourn debasement of human nature, low groveling taste, but consummate skill. Likes Descampes crit. Today Holland retrograd, Merys and Dietrich only names, others of only respectable merit in inferior dept
Sees Sully rltd to Flemish schl, Lawrence too, oldness freedom of touch, lack delicacy grace, effects gorgeous vivid rarely sweet pleasant, hi order of merit in contem exhibitions in Flanders.
Russia can’t produce tolerable ptr while people ground under iron heel of oppression, bonds of ignorance;; diff in how free man vs serf views nature, her free divinity, he a brute
Engl schl fr RA, chiefly port. admire West, tho the fashion of flippant critics is to depreciate, they say he won’t do, there’s a kind of a something that is really not the thing, can’t justly perceive beaut sublime and true. Quackery that find fault but can’t say why; pests settle in London and Edinburgh andhere too.
today likes Hanfield, Turner, Harding, Westall, Paris, Reinagle, Martin’s gorgeous conceptions, Linton, Shee, Leslie the Amer, late Stuart Newton.
in US already Stuart Trumbull,that school, out in the wilderness works by young uneduc western artists exhib originality freshness of genius perfectly delightful, know nothing of technicalities and manners of schools, inspired by pure teachings of nature, true generous unconfined inspiration. Genius must study tho, its dry and tedious rules. Lack poetical associations, but it teems with romance, ancient natural grandeur, native wars and legend, revolution, forget prevailing cant. but we lack means for art ed, visit toEuro, schools, want of encouragement.
present Cole Doughty Fisher etc vie with Euro contemporaries, peculiarly orig, fresh bold brilliant grand, esp Doughty of Boston, master and founder of a new school, autumnal scenery in spirit of free untrammeled genius, unhackneyed scenery, Euros wouldn’t lay aside orthodox principles of schools to portray dazzling variety of color even tho he sat in in nature. London agrees, grand poetical conception, Cole, epic sublimity grace, Claude and Rosa
Allston still first for hist ptg, Cole, R Peale. Many port ptrs Sully Harding Alexander Inman Nagle Otis; Greenough Hughes Powers. wants a govt sponsored national gallery and academy
(substitute name of Selous for Hows in notice)
Nov 1839: The Fine Arts, not anxious to see an Amer school of art, schools are wedded to partic styles, we want excellence in every dept of art, no requirement to be peculiarly American in char and execution, it is too democratic for our notions. Already Indians have surfeited us, tawny uncounth etc weary refined. Those who advocate for Am school constantly cry paint fr nature, but two ways of doing so, with cultivated and uncult eye. Lscapes of Am scenery recently pub in London, and views of same pub by our artists here, unlike ea other, one like a map, the other a glowing pic, one gives Nature unadorned in everyday dress, other in richest enticing apparel. Genius puts Nature before us in happiest moments, needs long study to do so, principles of sublime pict and beaut. A superficial manner is so universal and alluring, leads to pursuit of phantoms. To study nature without principles is pernicious.
Ptr must paint for all human character of all ages and places, like Shakespeare, addresses human heart, must know art history, master what they did, then won’t become part of a school or manner. Public must know this too, to offer incentives to artists, as in Europe. Here, if a pic’s violent contrast of color, or assoc of childhood, or novel execution means we are enraptured, walls are crowded with wretched and vile (and cheap). Need to stop puffing. Artists and press must lead public taste, writer for 15 years been close observer of fine arts, struck by new candidates for fame who disappear thanks to too much applause for first efforts. All the journals of the day have extrav article on tyro, ignorance or good nature don’t know, but pernicious, should be written only by those fully competent to judge well and truly, in style that demo their knowledge, won’t use general terms like beaut or bad but point to specifics.
Artists too shouldn’t administer to groveling fancy of ignorant and pedantic by ptg inferior imag, portraits and unmeaning fancy pieces, not elev subjects. Indolent.
Art should be heirlooms for patrons, not auctioned at death with furniture. Need a gallery like Boston Athenaeum here, best of ancient and modern masters, a standard that would not vary with every change of public opinion, shame public of their appreciation for gaudy, superficial and extravagant. Influential men should subscribe shares, patrons not artists, so no jealousies
November 1839 p. 420 The Fine Arts
not anxious to see an Amer schl of ptg, apt to be wedded to partic styles, our artists shd perfect every dept of the art, nor shd every piece be peculiarly amer in char and excution, too democratic for our notions, will narrow efforts to small compass to derive subjects fr this source alone. Lead to tedious chilling monotony, already Indian subjects alm surfeited us, tawny complexions, uncouth drapery unvaried expr offer novelty but refined mind becomes wearied.
those who advoc Amer schl cry out Paint fr Nature, as if all true excellence consists in it. 2 ways of looking at Nature,with cultivated or uncultivated eye. eg lscapes recently pubd in Engl of Amer scenery and views of same scenery pubd by some of our artists in this country. both same attn to drwg, outline, persp but oppos in tone,color and effect; one a map, the other arranges light and shade for a fascinating glowing pict; Nature in everyday dress unvarnished unadorned unattractive, the other in happiest moments richest enticing apparel. prerogative of genius to do this, refined by long study and intimate acquaintance with principles of pictque sublime beaut, intense app to leading principles of taste is repugnant to great majority, whya superficial manner so universal and alluring, but can’t give substantial rep. must study masters in order to be timeless, understand their principles, as shd the public. In euro many connoisseurs, here if a pict strikes the eye by violent contrast of color or awakes some assoc of childhood or is novel in manner of its execution, we are at once enraptured. houses crowded with wretched ports and viole copies of old ptgs purchased cheap, not few works of choice rare character.
public press and artists must lead public taste, discountenance puffing. every journal has some extrav article on work of some tyro in the arts, destructive to their prospects, can tell not a puff but by competent by avoiding general terms of beaut or bad but point out why. Artists of rep must stop administering to groveling fancy of ignorant pedantic ptg picts suited only to inferior imaginations, even if they alone find a purchaser, for then ptg becomes a trade, ports and unmeaning fancy pieces may find buyers, elevated subjs alone honorable. artists indolent, absence of competition and works of old masters, don’t study and improve, as in life and antique schls. Want a city public gallery of ancient and modern masters, artists could compare to an unvarying standard, give public a way to judge the gaudy superficial extravagant against the chaste, elevated beaut. Run by patrons, not artists, to avoid jealousies
Dec 1839: singles out Giovanni Thompson’s port of Rev Mathews, chancellor of NYU, noble, imposing, robes of office, hand on table with rich covering, graceful cap, Gothic front of U, oriel window natural effect, perfect likeness, artist like execution p. 562
March 1840 p. 262 Pleasant Prospect: alluded recently to Mr Frankenstein, young sculptor and artist, bust and port of our esteemed friend Gov Seward and his accomp ldy had taken with other disting state officers and cits of Albany. gratif that in company with kindred mind accomp artist Rothermel, for more ample study of better portions of human nature and gratif of passion for scenery, ab to travel thru the country, Phila thru Penn, commend them to our readers there.
HT Tuckerman writing poems for them. pro copyright law. Jun 1840 notice of NAD next month.
Jul 1840 NAD: only a few above mediocrity, will focus on the meritorious. T Cole White mts, truly an Am pic, boldness of scenery, autumnal, wild, character never see in foreign, no rival. Inman port of Biddle, one of best and carefully finished heads, character init, monotony of color a little snuffy. W Page the Whistle, remarkable beauties and faults, male credit, female and child lack gracedelicacy refinement, general tone does not please, foggy and artificial, man of genius but pursues novelty. Frothingham, Capital. VG Audubon lscape mixed, wants force. Powell portrait pleasing at first, don’t bear scrutiny, showy but superficial, injudicious advice of friends. Cole’s architect’s dream, beaut but subj not overly felicitous. A Richardson lscape, occasional mannerism, but clever, prefer more liquid brush. Jfreeman Indian girl, plastering style of execution, no truth in nature, volates good taste. Durand v fine lscapes, could have more force and less red, will soon rival Cole. Ingham lady remarkable grace sweentess finish. Mooney great care. Ver Bryck clever compos, pleasing, wants finish. Cruikshank worthy attn. Giov Thompson, boldly designed well colored, mouth exquisit. Rossiter talent in compos, lacks grace expression. Mount’s small cabinet pics, not his best, admirable telling a story usually, in color or compos little pretensions, happy conception of character tho no equal, but these pics don’t show his peculiar talent. Havill strange work , some gd qual, many bad ones, we dislike it. W Creighton, merit but may be a copy by a pupil. Ingham’s port of W Dunlap, excellent. C Deas 4th of July, observant for char traits of our countryman, requires discipline, looks half executed, all 6 seem hasty, heed advice of our friend Paff, paint the whole apple, he wants rotundity. W Oddie lscapes carefully finished cabinet pics. C Lanman lscape, amateur talent and fine feeling. D Huntington lscapes good. Petzel King Otho singular, highly finished, not enuf relief or effect, talent but not genius. Frothingham capital in every respect. FW Edmonds finished pics in scope and detail, whole story told, not omitted or slurred over, all in excellent keepin, masterly light and shadow. Only comparable to Wilkie in choosing same class of society and his attn to design, carries grand style into commonest subjects, an eminent merit, Edmonds same correct rules of taste. Departures from those rules have novelty, but are ficitious and false. LP Clover phrenologist, carefully finished, improves. FW Philip clever. SA Mount clever, Leslie port, study it for truth without effect and expression without affectation
July 1840, p. 81. Fine Arts: NAD
many works by native artists, few above mediocrity. those strike us possessing v decided merit, shall notice as much length as leisure space will admit. follow order of catalog, the first work of more than ordinary mrit is
49 View in White Mts, T Cole, truly an Amer pict, boldness of scenery, autumnal tints, wild appearance of heavens, give it character stamp never see in foreign schls, artist a master, without a rival among countrymen
52 Port Nich Biddle, H Inman, one of best most carefully finished head he’s ptd, a character in it, too rarely observe among our port ptrs. any objection isto monotony in color, too genly of a snuffy appearance, in flesh, drapery and backgrd
58 Whistle W Page, remarkable beauties and faults. male fig leaning forward do credit to any master, female and child tho carefully ptd lack grace delicacy and refinement, genl tone does not please us, too foggy and artificial for nature. prone to indulge his fancy in experiments, he mistakes, a man of genius unquestionably, but in anxious pursuit of novelty violates too often grand rules of art.
63 Port J Frothingham capital re head strongly reminding us of Stuart’s best. 22o Port Gen Hamlton,another capital pict, bold and masterly in every respect, worthy of all praise
67 Audubon lscape, distance middle grd deserving all praise, foregrd wants force, figs not in persp
71 Port Gman WH Powell, ports by him pleasing at first glance, nto bear close scrutiny. style showy but superficial, dangerous fault in young artist. injudicious advice of friends caused him to pay too little attn to detail of his picts, closer attn to this partic will greatly enhance value of his efforts, give him standing in profession never otherwise attain.
93 Architect’s Dream, Cole, shown grt knowl of archit, preserved persp both aerial and architectural with more than ord success, a beaut pict, but subj not over felicitous
103 Lscape A Richardson, except occasional mannerism, artist paints a clever pict. composes with taste judgment, drwg correct natural, prefer however more liquid flow of pencil and foliage shd be pleased to see more grn less brown tint
114 Indian Girl JE Freeman, carefully drwn, pleasing expr arrang of color, alm ruined by plastering style of exec, partic flesh, no truth in nature, most clearly in violation of gd taste
126 133, lscapes, v fine, Durand. compos, tone correctness of drwg, do great credit. a little more force in foregrds and less red tints in earth much improve both picts, recently sailed for Euro, satisfied no one will avail more of privileges or return more richly laden. surprised every one by steadily progressive improvement, will rival Cole sooner than any other
132 Port ldy CC Ingham, remarkable for grace, sweetness expression, careful finish.
140 Mooney, ptd grt care, steady improvement
141 C Ver Bryck, clever compos, pleasing tone, only wanting careful finish
160-2, wcs F Cruikshank, drwgs grt merit, attn of our artists, easy attitudes of sitters, artist like flesh of heads
177 La Piete Giovanni Thompson, boldly designed well colored, expr of mouth exquis
179 Duenna, JP Rossiter, gd eye color, consid talent compos, lacks grace expr
183, 188, 242, sm cabinet picts by WS Mount, has not put forth his strength this yr. Grt beauty of his picts lies in admirable manner of telling a story. in color, compos, makes little pretensions, both as necessary auxiliaries to carry out his ideas, but in happy conception fo character no equal. Neither of picts under consid possesses in itself scope for the exercise of his talent, neitherattracts attn as former yrs. does not alw desire to keep us admiring. next yr something peculiarly attractive
185 Capuchin Friars, W Havill, strange work, some gd qualities, many badones, as a whole we dislike it
190 Parental Instruction, W Creighton, sd ptd in Dublin, pict grt merit, story told with grt truth, genly well drwn colored, totally devoid transparency, glaring faults in persp, half persuaded a copy by apupil touched up by a master
195 Port of late Wm Dunlap, Ingham, excellent head, exhib grtest care fidelity in drwg expr and color ever noticed in port by any Amer
199 4th of July, Deas, a young artist of grt promise, observant eye for characteristc traits of our countrymen, talent requires discipline by study, paints too many picts, all look only half executed. One carefully finished ptg would raise his rep more than six hastily imperfectly executed sketches in Cat. admires his genius, fear fall into bad habits, grave of early genius bright promise. heed advice of venerable friend Paff, learn to paint whole apple, not merely half of one. his objects want rotundity
204 210 Lscapes Oddie, carefully finished cabinet picts, shd paint more
205 Lscape C Lanman, another amateur, talent and fine feeling for beauties of nature
217 222 Lscapes, Huntington, both gd, second v gd
219 Greeks celeb arrival of King Oth, Petzl, singular pict, greater merit than fr casual inspection, examine minutely, much excellent drwg, highly elaborately finished, requires those masses of light and shade necessary to give a work of this character relief or effect. talent, not genius.
230 234, F Edmonds, commend to study of young artists, finished pictures in scope and detail, whole story is told, no part omitted or slurred over, as so many of our artists fail, become impatient, spurn severe requirements of detail, finish can’t become great. drwg coloring arrang here in excellent keeping, management of light and shadow in 234 masterly. has been compared to Wilkie, if this means he copies him, no compliment and far fr truth. only partic comparable is choosing his subjs fr same class of society, design, compos, light and shade, but in these respects W resembles old masters. one of few carried all the principles of the grand style into the commonest subjects, herein lies his eminent merit. Edm same attn to correct rules of taste, hope won’t depart fr them, to please by reason of novelty, but sooner or later discarded as fictitious and false, artist who paints for reputation must seek surer foundation than novelty
270 Phrenologist Clover, v carefully finished pict showing v grt improvement over works of former yrs, figs tho gd don’t think quite equal to backgrd and other objs, latter naturally and capitally ptd
254 FW Philip, v clever, not equal to another by same, previously noticed
259 The Appointment, SA Mount, clear well colored
247 sketch fr life excellent, rEnton, Englisha rtist
288 CR Leslie, let our artists study this port for truth without effect, expr without affectation
Last exhib in Clinton Hall, will move to Athenaeum bldg in Broadway, can display to better advantage, flourishing, character and stability in means and resources, increasing rep
Hot for sculpture generally, Sept 1840 p. 271 got letter fr friend H, supports account of Consul Greene of doings in Rome, genius of Crawford, Catching of the Stag by him ordered by Prince Davidoff, young ptrs doing grt credit, Huntington justly lauded in NA last season, ripening fine talents, Gray amere amateur, emulates his success, Roman Girl variety of positions so to speak coloring and expression, minor accessories, do credit to more experienced. Power too. at home, also advance, Clevinger several orders, accustomed success, Kneeland a NYer and companion to Crawford, pursuing kindred art successful, little group bought by Astor forhis mansion, fine genius, uncompromising determination, Brackett clever Cincinnatian bust of Genl Harrison some journals much commended, needs study. renewed testimony to improvement of CG Thompson, clerical scholastic dignitaries charming belles on canvass, fave ptr with fair in first metropolitan circles, Clover a promising young ptr will yet create a sensation, his Phrenologist much admired at recente exhib, his Idle Servant still higher excellence.
Sept 1840 Our Young Artists, our friend H indebted to him for info on genius of Crawford, , also Consul Greene, Davidoff has ordered Catching of the Stagg. Huntington commended in NAD last season sent home ripened pics, Gray recnetly an amateur emulating him, Roman Girl honor, Clevenger successful, Kneeland too, Brackett’s Harrison much commended only needs study, CG Thompson improving, we were first to predict his triumph, Clover Junior whose Phrenologist much admired recently Idle Servant still better
Dec 1840 delightful hours examinging Cole’s Voyage of Life, give press release summary, promise a future critical review, best of his previous efforts, for unity of design, truth beauty and sublimity, not approached by any modern artist. 2nd and 4th pics, for variety of grand and lovely scenery and atmospheric effects and other for sublime conception and adequate exec alone stamp him as first artists of mod times. (in 1833 also liked Danby’s Sixth Seal; 1834 praising Durand)
1841 say they’ve noticed Brackett’s Binding of Satan before. (Jan 1841 admire his bust of Orville Dewey) Jan 1841 Arcturus by Duyckinck and Cornelius Mathews, both pub in Knick. Duyckinck known in NY Review, cultivated taste, pleasing style. Mathews we’ve been critical of, still are
May 1841 will do NAD next time, General Marion superb engr by White for Apollo, does honor to American art. Stansbury Hoxie writes fantasy of conception of a pic named Echo, which we understand may be found at NAD. Pictor writes for them.
June 1841 issue has Cole lament and review of NAD, with just a few singled out: Happy Valley Jesse Talbot, many things to praise in execution, but is there much originality abt it? mainly made up fr works of others, esp Cole? Imitation—large. Gray port gman fully justifies praise in these pages. Jewett View on Hudson talented. Inman’s 10 Group of children, too green. 11 great merit, poetically conceived, decided promise, a little feebleness. Page port of lady, fine at great distance, but rough and lumpy manners renders near view disagreeable, censure such affectation in exec of his pics, ought to have more judg than tow aste time in such frivolities.
Weir Columbus before Council, highly finished, beaut ptd well conceived figs, accessories in keeping, defect is too old Columbus, lacks dignity. His 147 lscape admirable, cool hue of nature, imposing mtn. small cabinet portraits faultless. Mercy’s dream, Huntington, promise redeemed, v great beauty, goes far to counteract impressions of low char of exhib, arising fr a general view of it. main effect is v pleasing, backgrd grand. right arm inferior, AnAngel less felicitously conceived, head not beaut and hair indiff. Inman lscape we aw on his easel, color too green. T Hicks Death’s first visitaiton, young artist, promise, flesh tints true. Clonney 4th of July decided merit, negroes ptd with great truth, others also well exec and compos well arranged, something too much of the vulgar in the subj as here portrayed. Hope details more interesting to a pure and refined mind.
Cider making, peculiar graphic talent, better than any for several years, tells upon beholder at once, felicitously chosen groups well depicted, color harsh and disagreeable. CG Thompson not well represented, hasty and less elab efforts. Powell boyish reverie charming points, some defects, improving. Cole Vesper hymn, bold and rich beaut, 163? by same artist not so admirable, yet most forcible ranscript fr nature, too blue tint. Alexander simple and easy port. 117 lscape has merit, moonlight, but 254 by same artist simply ridiculous, huge foetus of an Idea for Alcott. Beaumont Hudson river, is natural banished fr Hudson? Page port almost fine, doughl ike color of flesh and cold, Page lacks better part of valor. LP Clover cabinet pic, v pretty sketch, cozy, moral lesson, excels. Verbruyck pleasing little lscape. Ingham extraord, perhaps his best,
Dutch proud of it, flesh less ivory like than usual, hair is reality, drapery an illusion, attitude might be happier. Agate good samaritan, pleasing effect but subj v obscurely treated. Allston purity finest manner, seems like imitation of old works injured by time. Allom oriental views, English, taste and freedom.
need to adopt mod style of crit, abbreviated, AJ Davis villa pleasing, port of Gen Harrison bad, Purcell good, Flagg, shocking, Weindell beaut, minis of Fanshaw, Shumway Miss Hall and Md Guillet. Busts by Coffee and Gallagher should notbe exhib, but Launitz of Governeur Morris Ives of Ithiel Town fine, also of Noah Webster and Mr Benjaming. Kneeland tastless fancy color, but speaking likeness, Roman dignity, freedom and boldness. Brackett appears to less advantage, but Stetson capital
Aug 1841 love Stone’s Red Jacket, illus by Weir
Dec 1841 RHW writes on Powers the Sculptor, transl of a Roman publication. Schoolcraft writes for them.
June 1842 Editor’s Table, NAD: praises institution, crit in spirit of fault finding without judgment has bad effect, will remark on those esp worthy of notice, sought opinions of others, will pass by inferior works, don't decide on merits fr single visit, need to let novelty wear off, so superficial pic will be first tow in eye while real but unobtrusive merit overlooked.
Talbot: two of most prominent lscapes in room by him, consid merit, Indian Hunting ground v clever in parts, water liquid, like more light activity and looseness. View on Saco R inferior, poor foregrd, except trunks it is stiff and clumsy.
Durand back fr Europe, view great merit, near and distant happy arrang of effect and color, skill, airy whole but minor parts finished; another in Claude mellow tone, portrait of turk, girl and parrot fine, tone we rarely see. Gray advances, his Rosalia clever, graceful attitude, expression. Artist’s sister great praise for expression, subdued tone is a rare beauty. Agate’s Ascension happy concept, skill, pleasing, apostle expressive, too red, hope will get a commission. Oddie lscape with breadth andwell drawn. VG Audubon simplicity and truth, perhaps a ltitle tame. Mount Scene in LI farm yard 184 humor and point, fidelity to of drwg and expr to rustic char, but coloring hard and monotonous, a few feet away the pig, man barnyard and all else a reddish hue. Ought to go abroad.
Clonney Jonathan’s intro into good society, conveys a slur on the arts themselves, Amer carry notions of what is indelicate to ridic degree of fastidiousness, ladies shun Venus de Medici while churches rush to see naked figs of Fr barber and chambermaid as great moral pic of Adam and Eve. Clonney’s pic encourages vitiated taste and ridic affectation.
Inman sweet mumble the peg, one of his best, great earnestness. Style and char of Page recently elab treated, his portraits here generally admired. Weir’s Counsellor v remarkable, impressive, esp nose. Ingham care and minuteness, highly prized. Waugh after Italy style is in their school, too flord for our taste
Edmonds Ital Mendicants, Bashful Cousin, former pleases most, faithful pic, annoying apostle, light hearted, correct compos, breadth and judicious, detail. Gignoux View in NJ, practiced hand, effective, masterly. Flagg Judith and Holoferness, 8 ft sq canvass, expect above mediocrity, but not; shld be classic in design, drwg and exec, but every thing abt it is modern, a port of wife by bedside of sick husb. Not a classical pic. Whitehorne prob gd likenesses, nothing distinguishes them. Huntington ports good, lscapes pleasing. TW Burnham 21 boys playing paw deserves attn. Fink bold, vigorous, improves. Jaure capital pic of St peter’s. SA Mount well ptd. A Smith jr good half length the Epicure, still life careful, as is the Cook, but head hard and unnatural, objects confused. Havell v correct, if mannerish. Doughty always lacks boldness and strength. Cummings Shumway minis. too many portraits.
July 1842 Exhib of NAD no room for longer notice, capital woodsawyer by CE Weir, Sibyl graceful by CG Thompson who did excellent Bryant and wife, Blondell well done, LP Clover jr improving
Mar 1843: John Neal diff than Joseph C Neale of Charcoal Sketches, lecturing on Rights of Women, press says a failure, Trib says absurd, bryant calls it spasmodic style, we knew it would be bad. Gouraud no charlatan. A friend of judgment and taste in art praises LP Clover jr portraits, whose smaller pictures this mag has commended, felicity with character, Rev Andrews and Twin Sisters
jun 1843: NAD a few of leading pics by prominent artists. 2 famous pics by Leutze, Columbus in chains masterly, finely conceived, Apollo subscribers will prize, Sir Walter Raleigh not as good but still like, Fink’s Raphael shows great talent, relig moral. Allston should study little gem. Durand lake scene do credit to Claude, poetic feeling, truth, also for Apollo, other lscapes great excellence.
Cole Etna and sicily, grandeur, skilful. Chapman excellent, spirited, animation
p584 commend Inman, intellig, literary attainments, quips and quirks, unique gossipings, peerless companion; dissatisfaction expressed that NAD rejected Cupid and Psyche fr first artists on ground of its delicacy, haven’t seen it, but to pure all things are pure
July 1843 Miseries of Human Life: keen satire, Ned Testy on exhib of ptgs similar to our NAD, outraging nature as common now as it was then
Aug 1843 Editors Table, lately missed our friend LP Clover fr his estab (picture frames and mirrors) under Astor hse, but in lyell’s church in anthon st, saw Vanderlyns Falls of Niagara, Ward’s lscapes
Sept 1843 mocks young woman being pretentious, fine burst, beaut forward re Launitz’s lovelyRose of the Alhambra
Jan 1844: lament on completing a bust of late Wash Allston
Feb 1844 Geo Harvey article on size, large commands more applause fr multitude, time serving artists who paint exhib pics understood that impressive pics in large gallery look insignif, so paint up to exhib pitch, brilliance and flashiness of color, contrasts of light are most importance. Turner most successful in this style, when seen closely produce positive disgust, had made hundred thou pounds by adopting this style, less time consuming, when placed next to chaste Claude, effect of tinsel, like wallpaper. Exhib of single pics like Dubufe’s Don Juan handsome returns, would be nothing if small. Gen Cass suggested his drwgs, cites Irving too, his work is small
Editors Table recommends going to Cole exhib at NAD, thorwaldsen has admired them. Notice Columbian. Critical of Foreign Quarterly’s attack on Griswold’s poets, call Chas F Hoffman a terrible plagiarist of Thomas Moore. Praises Foster’s touch in theAurora, and approve its defence of Willis agst scurrilous attack. Like new Brother Jonathan, and New World; Ann Stephens and McLachlin and Snow were resident editors at Bro Jon and good, but the head of journal as principal editor brought about its downfall (Neal?), but new proprietor has hired able Henry C Deming. The Exclusive reputed editors literary men of the world, circulars gold edged, carriers in white kid gloves
May 1844 Harry Franco, French have better art
June 1844: NAD, Audubon firm and free, a little too literal. Blondell pleasing, Boddington charming, Bonfield too pink. Boyle Picture dealer, much promise, good for Art Union. Gl Brown too much imitation of old pics. Chapman usual brilliant style, versatile. Clonney New Year’s call is bettern than 160, negro well ptd, observation in this class of subjects. Cole admirable. Crawford too much marble, not enough finish. Cropsey view in Orange cty, careful, will be prominent, sky faulty, too purple, but foregrd full of truth. Cummings gmaly, Cummings jrpromise. C Curtis has merit. Dodge minis of Clay and Jackson want digntiy. Duggan merit.
Durand Solit Oak, perhaps not so strking as some, but will bear examination, glow of sunlight, veteran tree withstood storm of centuries, noble subj, truly depcited, cattle seeking shelter gives interest. fault perhaps in clearness in dark foregrd. Others also charming, careful, Emigrant family full of interest, camping, truth to nature, could be warmer.
Edmonds Beggar’s petition, spirited faithful of miser, well drawn, female graceful. Image Pedler of a higher oder, elevates class of works to which it belongs, invests humble subj with moral dignity. all figs are intellig, happy family, masterly. elliott fibe ports, his Gov Seward not most agreeable, 61 best. Flagg lady has merit, better than most of his. 208 widow popular, refinement more than others, Bianca Visconti 102 don’t admire. G Freeman popular minis, we don’t like. Frothingham usual bold free style ports. Gray many works, sacrifices every thing to color, as in pics not nature, feeling of an artist, among the first to call attn to him, but Huntington is doing better. JT Harris broad free touch, not finished, need glazing and toning. GPA Healy reputation as French favorite, works don’t entitle him, but effort is bold and masterly, very fine, no usual tricks of red chair velvet collar and fanastic backgrd. Thom Hicks has 8, none equal his former. Mother’s Grave cliched, unorig. Ingham fine, lady like expression, exact, port of Cummings admirable. Inman port Bishop Moore admired by all. Lady with a mask don’t altogether like, but gd foreshortening. has a delicate lscape.
Jocelyn port of Silliman careful. Alfred Jones engr hi order. M Livingston not among higher class, ok for amateur. Marchant none of hi merit. John Megarey careful.
Jun 1844 Editors Table: Mackay one of the editors of the New World, a pupil of Gouraud phreno mnemotechny. Loves Spirit of the Times. Mocks a house painter with ambitions to see Italy, study old masters. Parallels this with Bostonian who calls on Powers, would prefer statues with clothes on, charge of $5000 for a statue, says it is exorbitant.
Jul 1844 NAD cont: Kneeland winning distinction. Matteson whirling the plate, bold attempt, design well, story well told, lacks color and finish. Mooney 67 best, agreeable, a little chalky. SA Mount creditable. WS Mount port of Rev Dr Seabury, well drawn gd likeness, deficient in color bricky red and effect, not his dept. Miniatures are better. Page sketchy. NA Powell pic intended principally to gratify the eye. Rossiter Vestal Virgin, chaste and simple, more expected fr study in Euro. Rothermel De Soto, attractive, pleasing, bold fertile, not entirely happy in expressing subj. AS Schoff promisng. Shegogue Senora De Goni, clever, neck well ptd, his ports agreeable, clever. Shumway too red. FR Spencer good, pleasing. Sully typical. JA Talbot 56 big lscape, merit, foregrd lacks force. CG Thompson one of his best. T Thompson knowl of marines. Van Zandt great merit. Waldo striking. WbWaugh Brigand excellent compos, forcibly and boldly ptgd, brilliancy of effect, moral lesson. CE Weir compositor setting type, subj perhaps devoid of general interest but extraord ptd, fidelity and truth of dag, devoid of imagination, a still life. Whitehorne usual, less attractive. T Wightman still life truth. Wotherspoon beaut. won’t bother with portraits.
Aug 1844 FEW gives bio of Agate, just died, studied with John R Smith, Cummings and Stout also his pupils, studied with Morse, founder of NAD, his Genea remarkably brilliant, rich lumionous effect, popular, his Columbus and the Egg well composed but not so happily colored. Joined sketch club, elected to another very elite club, curator at NAD
May 1845: Broadway Journal, Albion, agree with Knick that Hudson’s Shakespeare is bad, C&E defends. very superior NAD, Durand Cole Edmonds Ingham Mount Huntington Elliott well represented. Portraits show social affections are challenged
Ned Buntline writes not dead yet, Willis also contrib.
LMP a new contributor, Necessity for a National Lit, p415 we have abundant materials, includes immigrants
June 1845 resume second notice of prominent pics in NAD: 131 Mount Fishing, characteristic, indifferently colored, amphibious negro-woman one of ‘em and no mistake, boy and dog well ptd. Osgood’s pics improve, theatrical wardrobes for his draperies, smack of milliner’s shop. old friend Page three ports usu excellence, blue tone. JT Peele new, girl and rabbits most pleasing, rabbit on right at a distance looks like a sentimental duck. 219 Seamstress justly a a favorite, truthful illus of spirit of Hood’s song of the shirt, abundant material for tears, truly excellent. Ranney improving, Matchy Boy 192 v gd, Rossiter pic 1 inmany respects v gd, but paints everything red, has been too long in Italy copying old masters’ dirt and dust, same true of Gray, Brown, who froget simple nature. Spencer v respectable portraits, astonished public with historical Don Quixote in his study, curious looking, mahogany face, dress and dog, wants something very much. Swain clever portraits, Jesse Talbot perceptibly improved, fine feeling for nature, Lake Champlain 77 quiet and v pleasing. CG Thompson best is Juliet and his wife, 76 and 322, never exceeded his portraits of Bryant and Longfellow. Terry returned fr Italy with more of right kind of feeling, dry and hard, no great imag, but draws and finishes carefully, 119 fancy head v pretty little pic. Waldo and Jewett best port is of old mayor Stephen Allen and James Mackintosh, hard outlines. artists generally condemn Wenzler’s coloring, but public like them as at right distance they are lifelike, 156 don’t know if lady sitting or standing, formal and stiff, but head pleases everybody. Whittredge of Cinti 271 remarkably clever, water beats all. hill a little formal and stiff.
Editor’s Table praises Thomas S Officer miniature, and Natl miniature gallery. Mapes writes for them, also WHC Hosmer
Feb 1846: JT Headley letters fr Italy, tone of preumption, tries to demolish his expertise in front of miracles of art in Rome, he is a stickler for moral character in sculpture, must die decently, new idea, or that Titian painted in a brothel. On American artists in Florence an ecstasy of patriotism, Brown a copyist, doesn’t do Powers any favors.
when First Consul sent casts fr Louvre to NY Acad of Fa, peculiar taste of a committee ordered decently clad in breeches and petticoats, Belvedere Apollo looked like a congress man in attitude of delivering a philippic agst the ‘implacable and never to be appeased enemy of our liberties’ and Medici Venus a debutante
May 1846 p456 mocks Whittier’s songs of Labor in Demo Review as snobbish; Poe is a snob, his portrait of Chas F Briggs or Harry Franco ludicrous. NAD opens, desultory words on prominent, Editors’ Table, NAD opens, one of the best, VG Audubon faithful lscape, honest, hard; JH Beard of Cinti No Carolina Emigrants, poor white folks, deal of feeling, but lack of practice and knowl of the art, figs too wobegone, mother naturally draped but baby is a bouncer, indiff foreshortened, father’s position easy and natural, yet sentiment seems little overstrained. C Blaas’ Angels hi order of merit, intellectual beauties, sweetly ptd, how floating the whole group. Chapman 4 ptgs, Rebekah’s servant at well first seems v striking, but defects, unnatural standing positions, his lscapes pelasing. Cole inimitable, Picnic not the best,character and grouping of figs tho artistical not so favorable, prefer Italian ones, or Cross in wilderness. Cranch excellent lscape 139, and Summer shower. Cropsey going behind, unfinished and flashy, too much purple, all dancing to same tune. Durand full of truth, an artist, does Bryant with pencil, Nature rises before you, grass water all of everyday character, no grand composition, no rude figs 8 feet in height, no brilliant coloring, yet there lies the scene, step into spot where omnibii, brokers and old clothes-men shut out forever. Sweet female tending parent by Durand fine too, quiet tone, subdued. Edmonds uniform good taste in treatment of his subj, as an English critic says, visitors yawn before swaggering theatrical historical ptgs, before grand flashy lscapes stand with least emotion for often signs of ignornace of every kind, weakness porvery of invetnion careless ness of drwg and lamentable imbecility of thought, but long pleased contemplation of quiet scene of humor orpathos or little copy of nature. Saw two countrymen stand for an hour regarding rustic sketch Sparking. 167 222 300, Scott’s Ld Glenallan, all tells the tale, also in Sleepy student, all to the life, very natural. CL Elliott capital feeling for portraits, flesh perspires, equals Inman, port of Thayer a bro artist best ever, miracle of coloring. His port of Old Knick next best, Mrs Townsend Dr Stone and Dr Taylor also good. no great admiration of Flagg’s style in general, large eyes and elab bosoms, no expression. Freeman’s dwarf carefully finished but out of all proportion. Gignoux vv clever, game pics perfect transcripts, deceive scores of visiotrs. HP Gray's earlier pics creditable, but has been retrograding, v indiff imitator of imitator of Titian, pics look baked, stippled, Huntington 8 pics, Italy his best, charming, larger and more ambitious compos not so impressive, danger of becoming a confirmed mannerist, heads have very little variety, semi garish draperies. Ingham 28 v remarkable, botanical specimens. Chas Jarvis 216 Young Knick (Clark’s son?), child like and natural, true, also Mrs Gideon Lee. Jocelyn v clever best is C Vanderbilt 168. Leutze’s extrav Landing of the Northmen not worthy of his rep, but Cromwell is, expressive decided. Matteson 20 improves, tho figs dwarfish.
Nov 1846: praise Am AU, Durand’s Capture of Andre engr by Smillie and Hinshelwood. Vanderlyn’s Landing of columbus on exhib at NAD, as a whole v effective, carries imag to time and scene, vivid impression. WH Brown back fr Florence at studio fine specimens, Elliott’s large Gov Bouck $1000 nearly complete, masterly. Officer superb, old friend Powell studio over Bellows’ church in Broadway, improved
Mar 1847 Editors Table: many friends of Wm Page, returning to city, Ruth will be exhib. Elliott finishing Bouck, one of his best, $1000, easy and natural attitude, face a screeching likeness, felicitous accessories of old white horse, famous white hat, unostentatious homestead. Officer does lady in highest social ranks, blonde, tasteful and effective, does justice to the aristo style of upper circles. Leutze new pic at Art Union, best he’s done, one of best we've seen. Edmonds Durand Huntington Ingham Chapman Gray Matteson not idle. Brown bust of Bryant full of life and nature, also altar, launitz beaut life statue of Miss Canda, exquis for cemetery by dad. Kneeland large equestrian statue of Wash, sits like a centaur. JH Beard modeling for Last of Red men, poetically conceived, true feeling and spirit
Apr 1847: SDG satire on Pictures by the Old Masters anticipated here by Peter Schemil, but new trick of trade, to use old canvass as voucher. F Mendez Pinto, corresp of Eve Mirror, continues his letters, Bulwer mocks Lit World. Puffs Cummings. Death of EW Hoskin connected with C&E and then Albion, also conducted Courrier des Etats Unis for some time. Acknowledges that puffer Hopkins had articles as John Smith, Loafer in Knick, as favor to friend JG now deceased
May 1847 Editors Table says Headley’s book is excellent. Agree with C&E that reviews of Griswold in Demo Rev and Lit World show malice. Atlas deserves public favor, satire of Mercury and scorn of humbug too, Times, veteran Noah’s sheet, antics of society and exposition of affectatin, and Dispatch well filled, derive liberal support. NAD exhib excellent
Jun 1847 had review of Headley and NAD. FS Cozzens also writes. A book review says a group of marble showing Boone in rotunda of capital at Wash is a lie.
Editors Table 567 NAD: Durand’s lscapes 24 29 77 arrest eye on entry, forget they are ptgs, sleepy summer haze, living trees, pervading atmosphere, and if one by your side whispers too yellowish in tone, wants middle distance, thank stars you are no critic. Elliott’s portraits superiority conceded, 334 lovely lady, 6 Glass of Cromwell good pic, unprofessional, sells his pics but paints them as an amateur, ensemble excellent but too much density in group around Cromwell and abbrev of human form, Glass might have split the diff with Rothermel for his Cortes 1 the procerity of his figs most remarkable in otherwise cleverish pic, Chapman Sentinel 46 best characteristics, life and fire of dog. Jesse Talbot v rising man, nothing to compare to Christian and the Cross in present exhib, has true feeling for his art. Let us have your own impressions of nature, leave imitations to less orig and capable, no matter whether critics or artists say, give em Jesse and that will suffice. Marchant port of old friend, late Col wm L Stone a gd ptg. Many old masters celeb for coloring, Titian still admired, Gray had fallen victim to blind admiration but preserving classicality improves on past in 62 Teaching Immortality of soul, merit of flesh tints cant be denied. Don’t like pic Greek Lovers. Huntington’s best Mercy fainting. JH Beard’s Last of the Red men, western artist, highly poetical conception, in his orig group of statuary fr which the figs are drawn, whole seemed effective and felicitous but haste or other interfered with transfer to canvass. Not deemed above the level of his genius. Peele’s Children of the country we much admrie, most effective, unostentatious, perfect lamb and boy, reminds us of Ruskin, idea in own native beauty than by concealing gem. Cole very superior, Mtn Ford happy. Matteson capable and indust pencil hi in Pilgrims, desolation itself, minute observation, devotional feeling. Force of Music by Mount alm equal to celeb Selling a Mare, faithful accessories, more speaking face and fig than that negros, moment fiddle ceases will express his sentiments, all admirable. Clonney in his footsteps, 166 fisherman in boat with speaking mouth of great merit, like line less taut, keen sudden exultation. Edmonds Orphan’s Funeral tells affecting story, no unnecessary accessories. Ingham’s delicious Flower Girl, Cropsey lscapes, Page valuable, no space.
Jul 1847 Albion ed Bartlett retiring. Sept 1847 saw Powers Greek Slave, fervent admiration of chaste beauty dignity and grace. Hoffman able ed of Lit World, now among best Amer lit journals
Oct 1847 p355: editor calls his brother his better half. Powers Greek Slave should be enjoyed, felt, not described, seen to be appreciated, DSC sends in poem of naked yet clothed with chastity she stands etc. That tells the story. This statue was subj of colloquy betw Powers and Yankee speculator in his studio, stranger spits, more dialect now, asks price, now $3000, says price rise, wants to apprentice his stonecutter son.
same issue reviews Modern Painters, will create a new era in art, proves modern ptrs superior to old masters, exposes tricks of Old Masters that cover up knowl of nature. will delight and instruct religious too. Griswold’s prose writers just and fine
Feb 1848 p143 On the Proprieties of Life, by a new Contributor Meeta, just beaut crit in Washington Union fr Rev Dewey irresistible. Shouldn’t ridicule the over fastidious. in our conventional artificial world, happiness depends on watchfulness we exercise over ourselves, in matters of taste, fashion and custom. Society chills warm truthful nature, condemns generous enthus, depress noble aspirations, sacrifice truth and nature and serve forms and customs, there is false standard of moral excellence, not true to Christ
May 1848: likes Henry C Watson, music critic, loves Thackeray. p446: NAD visited only three times, good coll, Mother and Children by Rossiter, too high a key, wants unity of atmosphere, but refinement of feeling in tasteful arrangement. If he is imitating a model, wasn’t nature. Other pics have more of his peculiar faults. 3 Port Gov Wright a bad pic, stiff formal cold mechanical, but worth the niggardly price of the council, a great deal of hard painting in it. Huntington port of Brown disting Am sculptor among the best heads. His Princess Eliz prisoner 14 less pleasing composition of fave artist. 38 one of his best. Gignoux fine 22 Indian Pass, more striking than Niagara in Winter which can’t be ptd, peculiar color. Fisher of Dublin Blind Pilgrim v beaut, artistical arrang, half tint face of sweet maiden, vraisemblance. Healey’s Gman 25 some people praise, we consider it bad, but his 204 of a lady is charming, full promenade dress novel. JT Peele Rustic toilet 57 exceedingly natural, agreeable, simple and unaffected, fave of ours since his Seamstress. Durand lscapes 60 Ftn not equal to rep but 95 Dover Plains perfect transcript, superb. In june will notice Kensett Ingham Edmondss Elliott Page Grey Officer Mount Audubon White May etc
June 1848: puffs Wms and Stevens, Ormsby engr of Trumbull’s dec, at office of Knick
Jul 1848 praise MacDonald Clarke, excerpts of Bryant’s funeral oration to Cole. Our old friend Seward.
Oct 1848 Editor says requires hours to appreciate truthful lscapes of Thom Doughty, highly accomplished friend sends encomiums (and praises Knick for defending dogs agst overeager mayors), happy his large Solitude bought by Art Union, think they didn’t hang it well, should hang according to excellence, not when they were bought
NAD: truthful pics by Edmonds, superb effort by Gray and Ingham, capital sketch by Mount and Huntington, Officer’s miniatures and a fine Holy Eyes. miss Wagener and Mrs Steele, Mr Hite. Elliott male and female portraits
Nov 1848 Gossip with readers and corresp, article this issue on Am AU, we have alw praised, but many contrib at present object to some of its promient features and course of management. a good institution, benefitte artists, but if obj is to elevate art its indiscrim purchase of pics will not do that, letter fr a subscriber to the Union says those who can’t live on their pencils have asked for purchase of crude efforts, little talent and genius. Our corresp is a true judge of art, shld like to go around hall and point out the daubs, urges agst buying lots of pics for lots of subscribers, better to pay hi prices for gd pics. Complains with reason that Art Union should not be made show room for exhib of costly elab foreign pics, owned by private citizens, when he alleges they exclude pics of disting merit by our own eminent artists. Shouldn’t usurp best places if encourage Am art, recommend prizes where subscriber can choose.
-crit of Wm Wallace’s effort to write epic romance, like his poetry
p.442 Am A-U: gives history, AMAU only national one, Huntington striking and Darley Rip van Winkle new era in Am art, ptgs best, Voyage of Life, Durand inclu Dover Plains, Leutze mission of the Jews glorious, Strolling Musician by Edmonds, Huntington, Church’s river will repay closest study, Doughty, Chapman, Grey, Kensett, Cropsey, Hinckley, May, Wenzler, Audubon, Glass, Rosssiter, Gignoux, Duggan, Oddie, Peele White and other intersting specimens. AU has created an interest in art in multitudes, brought forth promising artists, show private works too would not be seen. Free gallery great advantage of plan where managers buy the art.
connoisseurs sneer in moustaches and lemon colored kids, tries to astonish bystanders with learning and pungency of his criticism, prefer poor working woman who sees onlu truth of character and expression. Should encourage habit of wide liking, to hunt for beauties and excellencies in any work. AU purchases what is good, if some inferior works creep in, artists still improving
May 1849: Wm B Oddie writing for them. NAD: written by a capable corresp, who says no humbuggery about it, free from all low and huckstering characteristics. 1 port of Rev John Hughes, good portrait of his canonicals. Innes early recollections 6, rapidly rising into excessive mannerism of worst kind, sad and heavy tone pervades and wounds the eye. HE Winner Christ replete with ambition but not merit, reminds one of West, should be grander. Watts rural England truly fine, fresh and vigorous, montonous green typical of Englandtruthful transcript. 49 Durand Sunset, last year he was all yellow, but glorious now, vast solitudes. JW Audubon most horrid. Jared B Flagg Measure for Measure, exquisite feeling, poetry, great discrim, delicate, keen. Huntington Angel to Marys, sweet and holy, pure tints. Page 2 pics, remarkable, all praise, not sure of his color, acknowledged master. JB Pyne view 107 beaut effect, English. Jesse Talbot Juniata sweet tone, deficient detail. Rossiter Esmeralda 126, not the one of Hugo. FE Church West Rock faithful, natural, admire his smaller works but not larger, his Childe Harold, wants soul or feeling for sublime, needs unity and small incidents for contrast.
145 Vision C Deas, can make nothing as can’t disentangle figs fr serpentshorrid vision, but seems to actually like it. CL Elliottpursues peculiar method successfully. Ingham justifies, exquisite, taste. Durand mtn stream, eclogue of paint, never better, sylvan paradise. Wotherspoon John Knox, value for correctness. Elliott’s port of lady in 206 bad light, gives life to canvass, dreamy magical effect, simplicty and power. Officer fancy piece, excellent.
Sept 1849: 248 Statuary, Powers’s Greek Slave, chef doover in plaster, brought to Bunkum last week. Prejudiced as plaster was brought fr Paris. gratest piece of whittlin in the world, so smooth and round, like a lump of loaf sugar, silence in room, light of heaven steals in
Oct 1849 regret death of Dr Houston, accomplished congressional reporter and assistant ed of Herald, used to sit in our sanctum. Praises Intl Art Union. Puffs Cummings’ art school. Likes Charles Jarvis, portr of Judge Edwards. Seems suspicious of Chas Lanman’s originality.
Feb 1850 praise Wm Young of Albion, Landseer engr of Dignity and Impudence, our friend Hiram Fuller, doing a good job in political job as well as editor, GG foster surveys city in Gas Light with eye of artist
Apr 1850 Editors Table critical of war on Sunday newspapers, new picture in Rotunda, Genl Wash in middle, wrapt in white sheet, looks like old woman of middle ages doing penance before a church door. fellows in foregrd, faces drawn with a blister plaster, are each making violent efforts to stick a carrot in his eye. 3 model artistes without a rag on are jumping over his head, one going to drop a well scoured beetle ring on his naked skull. All around and behind are portraits of Guy Fawkes, Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, Judas Iscariot and others making horrible contortions. Very striking historical picter. Artist some rln of young genius who was taken by his father to Powers to learn to sculpt.
May 1850: loves Thackeray, mocks Puffer Hopkins. WJ Hoppin ed of Am AU Bulletin, accomp art critic and able writer, has written for Knick. Promotes purchases of AmAU, Leutze, Cole, Edmonds, Durand, Woodville, friend Glass now in England. But likes Harry Franco. Willis in Home J says Lit World is conducted by sour, disappointed unsuccessful authors, turned booksellers’ hacks.” Grew up reading NY Observer. Admire Horace Greeley, meet almost every day, publish CD Stuart poem to him, puffs opening of NAD, esp scene by candle light a miracle of art
Jun 1850: Fanny Osgood’s death, Rufus Griswold did her bio for Eve Mirror. Editors Table takes fr friend description of verdant Yankee at exhib of Greek Slave, guilty debouched, contrast with roar and bustle of broadway, first impulse to run, onion eyed open mouthed wonder, cautiously approached, says Powers ‘scalp’d her. Goupil’s Am port gall superb. Like HT Tuckerman, pub on Vanderlyn for them. Our friend Major Noah. Collins line.
NAD: 29 Port Pope Pius 9 by J ames, head admirably ptd, but great poverty of accessories, whole seems blankish, Quirinal Palace must be v uncomfortable. J Thompson’s Pic nic unexpected, improved, talent for composition, harsh. 20 Cafferty well ptd head. 24 Boyle improves. 27 Cropsey too sketchy, Euro study. 44 PP Duggan hung too high. 47 HP Gray simple and unaffected. 52 Huntington one of best, effect is felt by beholder, some unnatural light. 57 b Thom Hicks vigorous, resembles Rembrandt too much, his 368 superior in sentiment if smudgy, must be more self reliant. 138 Thanatopsis by Durand noble replete with true feeling. Superb Elliott Page and others
Jul 1850: Charles L Elliott, in last number of Gallery of Illustrious Americans a discriminating article on him, quote it, Trumbull, Quidor, did an Irving scene, also Paulding, his Capt Ericsson first excited admiraiton at NAD. Praises Lorgnette. death of Wm Osborn, Knick’s printer, Cheever’s church
Oct 1851: Seixas was Jewish, used to eat at Windust’s. Tupper overrated. LHS’ poem on Powers’ statue of Greek Slave, errs he not who calleth thee a slave.
Mar 1852 Ik Marvel a friend and corresp. April 1852 Editors table describes breakfast on the Baltic, with King of Columbia college chatting with brother editors Sanford of J of Commerce and Fuller of Eve Mirror. Also Dudley Bean and Cleaveland of the Tribune, Mumford of C&E. Like Breckinridge. Editor in Washington think Greenough’s simple and dignified statue of Wash and his colossal Peace and War by far the best. Persico’s Columbus little credit on position, national taste, or creative genius. Objection at bottom of design, as strikes one coming fr Rotunda, what is expressed by firece fig with a ball in theatrically upraised right hand? idea at once conveyed is a confident ten pin player about to make a foreordained strike, with a not v beaut female in a tropical climate interested in his getting it. Like the Smithsonian.
May 1852 Editors Table, corresp a favorite contributor writes he agrees about Persico’s Columbus, from one angle seemed erect composed and grandly commanding, but in diff view resembled big bowler completely. Heard an intellig crit at NAD other evening, an affected fop with profusion flashy jewelry stood twisting his moustache before great scriptural pic o Durand, Glorious sd, he, magnif cloud effect, superb chiaroscuro, terrible people running, but I don’t like the subj, like Allston’s Nebuchadnezzar’s Supper, don't interest me. puffs Wms and Stevens and Delaroche. Like Forrest
Jun 1852 NAD: crit is supplied by a friend who has written much upon art. Those who felt disappointed at the opening not justified, not as many agreeable pics as last year, but several better than any, Durand’s Gog, Cappelen’s Norweian Forest, Gray, Baker etc. Excellence of ea artist ought to be measured by the approach to perfection in that line to which his peculiarity of feeling leads him, can’t make comparisons. Healy’s full length of two ladies excellent commonplace portraiture, good char, admirable keeping for subord parts, vigor of exec unobtrusive, obvious execution is a vice of most dangerous kind to weak men, but Healy’s is efffective. Elliott portraits excellent in drwg and modelling, truthful in char, air of a man at ease with the world, indep in his rlns to it, self possessed, gives the man of the world just as he is known by every body. He has an inner and hidden being,b ut look in vain for it, peerless in all that pertains to the external. Gray wins golden opinions, thoughtful, head part of a system, gets rarer feelings of female ports unguarded, never loses sight of the lady, in hands as well as head. Tone delicious. Mount’s ports excellent in hcar, unaffected, no effort to evade conseq of minute following of nature, sharp line when he sees it in nature. Artists who say no lines in nature is false and fraught with evil, Mount does port of the actual. Huntington Hicks and Rossiter vague and indecisive in outline, destroys all truth of likeness, Huntington going down hill, insipid, exaggerated,w eak false, maudlin, Tribute Money nothing good. Hicks port of Eve Fish makes central object the poorest, reverses true rln of parts, execution too palpable throut,vigor and originality, but too much accessories. Rossiter’s lady a puzzle, what she sits on or how, weightless hands, lay figure, but faultless painting for mantua makers and furniture dealers. Baker capital, charming Summer Hours, can bear the fascination of color, only weak are overcome by it, reverences nature so won’t be mere colorist. Darley admirable. Carpenter portraits remarkable for young, port David Leavitt successful, Mount honest pic truthful likeness.
Lscape not so interesting, Durand and Cappelen principal attractiosn, Durand’s his best, most thoroughly studied, right and just conception of the grand, most successful, pure clear vigorous massive sentiment of nature. Don’t depend on lions and warriors for its impressiveness, an ideal lscape a term abused by applic to hybrid compositions of ambitious artists, but here expressive of v great qualities. Only lscape in exhib that would not be improved if on a smaller scale, could be larger. His other large ptg in diff vein could use more breadth but excellent, faithful and earnest, good trees and atmosphere.
Cropsey not as good as last year, larger pics don’t have enough thought, tone and distance harmony, too ambitious. Too fond of lower qualities of execution, facility of handling. Church the same as ever, lacks breadth, frittered up into detail, lacks unity and repose. sky excellent. effect bold, but not worth painting. Kensett unequal, foreground weak and unnatural, blends parts together, foliage poor, careless and heavy. Rock study is his best. Gifford good, feeling for space and compos, wish color more refined. Norwegian forest one of best, nothing in Dusseldorf coll equal to it. Palmer busts wonderful beauty and delicacy.
Terry, May Shegogue and others grateful we’ve run out of space. Hanging committee should have rejected more, gives bad first impression.
Dec 1852: death of Danl Webster, ed fervent admirer
Jan 1853: praise of genius of great Durand, fond of man and ptgs, no clap trap or puerile or insincere, some complain too timid, Cozzens of AmAU owns one of his finest
Jul 1853: NAD, our opinion not intended to guide others, no subj with more assumption, twattle, ignorance than socalled criticism s on art. Some native critics who having spent a half hour in Louvre returns with knowl of art that lets him sit in judgment, but those who visit judge for themselves, they have eyes and they see, they wander admiring sweet touching scene in domestic life, lifelike portrait, humorous sketch makes him laugh, and next morning reads newspaper that says Hicks’ port of Quaker lady was bad, Durand’s lscapes tame and unpleasing, Elliott’s ports verge of caricature, that Church shouldn’t attempt ptg skies, Baker failed in color, Kensett must elab his rocks, won’t harm the artists, whether arise fr nil admirari spirit or more freq blind partisanship, fall inocuous. Every true port, like Elliott, contradicts all unjust or cynical crit.
9 Baker ports, pure and truthful, Carpenter six, improving, port of Pres Fillmore in Wash is excellent, may lack strength in color. Church 4 truly wonderful lscapes, truthful enables one to lay out an imag journey, cut them in pieces ea one perfect yet as a whole has unity, correctness, oak miles off is as individual as one in foregrd, could purchase a farmn and say precise amount per acre for can see nature of soil, extent of cleared land, course of streams, distance fr market. Horizons too low, tho magnif clouds.
Casilear gems. Coleman admired. Cranch 6 lscapes, peaceful nooks. Cropsey not so satisf 324 Newport his best, far reaching views, persp accuracy, 11 in all but too many slap dash effects of theatrical scene ptg. But has soul. Durand 7 lscapes, 31 Progress higher degree of perfection, purely American, alw peaceful, repose, doesn’t try to astonish us. Elliott 11, all gd, Gifford, too, Gignoux genial favorite snow scene one of best, lacks correctness. Hicks 3 pics, Quaker lady honest. Innes 5 lscapes improves. No timidity in Innes 37 Land storm, bold, grand, not merely pretty, in others sacrifices to mere tone. Kensett always love him, wild briery effect, bold magnif tho some carelessness, true transcript. T Addison Richards 8 pics improve, truthful and impressive. Louis Lang charming, Mount’s Who let down the bars characteristic excellences, SA Mt improes, Peele’s exquis, Edmonds Talbot Cafferty Darley Terry and others
May 1854: Durand never ptd so well, passing storm perfection, Kensett copies nature had one fine pic, Gignoux’s on the hudson greatly admired. Huntington Gd Samaritan no great orig as a compos, but coloring fine. Baker, faithful likenesses, Gray many admirers.Hicks large pic of a Quaker by a public school house won commendation, prefer port of Bishop Wainwright, a little too stern, his Gypsey pleasing well conceived. Hicks didn’t equal female Quaker head last year. Elliott ports of Bryant, Mayor Kingsland, univ extolled, Herald remarked he leads ptrs, imitators don’t get expression, charm that it’s really the man, and Courier agrees, a mirror, no appearance of effort, and Albion says has no rival, just praise. Church glorious sunset, Wm Hart pictures says Whitley of Hoboken Gazette, a capable and appreciative critic, charming features of Nature, his Peace and Plenty genius and judgment, not manner of other master, peculiar vision adriot undulation of atmosphere, boldness in tints and haddling, not finikin style of more laborious.
June 1854: Charles Edwards poem on the American Oak, a glorious tree, utilitarian, patriotic. p652 Editors Table, NAD successful, art critic of Home J in his lively Gazette of Hoboken, confirms justice of our remarks on Elliott’s accomplishments. Hicks whose style is the opposite, equally notorious, fidelity and simplicty, sombre coloring versus rival, but masters it, his current works not equal to those we’ve seen before.
May 1855: NAD covered by friend and corresp on his way to Europe, anonymous. all the tedious learned technical crit in town won’t change true verdict yielded thru the eye to mind or heart. Fewer indiff pics, no hist pieces, only 1 or 2 genre pics, number of gd ports, and superior lscapes. familiar and innimitable Elliott and his imitators. His port of EC West of Ten Governors one of his best, exquis careless massing, dash and genius. 24 by him lacks in equiv strength. Baker 11 and 58 female beaut specimens soft tenderness transparency atmosphere, brush creates beauty. 28 full length of LM Hoffman by Baker not gd, spare and awkward, poor and weak, extreme bad taste of putting him in region of bales of cotton and shipping. Cafferty 77 noble, healthful, gd finish, extreme simplicity injures Wright’s 719 nearby which is more finicky. Cafferty approaches Elliott. Melancholy to see excellent Pratt Bogle and others palpably copying Elliott. But talking of indep and orig, stretch this too far in 46 by Thom Hicks, a protrait that might be for an altarpiece for modern Puseyite chapel or Capitol piece or for new city hall, lady in walking costume amid gd furniture and feeble lscape, excellent still life that destroys the fig, make it an accessory. glove is ptd, but no hand. Huntington 42 noble, pulpy, rich. 54 Wm A Stone v clever pic, harmonious. Blauvelt Germ Emigrant low toned, pure in style, nothing meretricious, severe in taste, not strained after bright and gorgeous effects, negro sawing wood, puzzled by questions, his family puzzled by negro, tells story admirably. Mount Webster among the People 72, sorry to see this, gone out of his line, and has failed. Huntington Magdalen shows to bad advantage, lovely. Oertel 100 Country connoisseurs, crit large pic on ptr’s studio, decided success. Hall capital Toby Belch 57, 93, others are wishy washy. Durand 2 lscapes Summer and 113 in the Woods, full of beauties of feeling, attracts attn, replete with gems, but not a preRaphaelite.
Wm Hart 8 pics, only two worthwhile, sketches of Scottish scenes. Church brilliant triumph in So America, 49 Cordilleras a lovely poem, fairy dream, 63 Tamaca Palms great ptr. 74 Tacquedama falls can’t paint falling water. 21 Cropsey Medit sea coast, orig pic, scantiest bit rendered in poetical and feeling manneer, ruined tower, sun and moonlight daring success. 35 Mt Wash lacks the orig, but excellent except for umbrella shading artist, ugly spot. Like Cole, but even more is 123 Oct day in white mtns, Kensett, among best, nature’s mirror. 56 222 Geo Innes lamentable display, prostitue his abilities, mass of green cheese dotted withsheep or cows, conglomeration of soft tallow. Boutelle 8 thoroughly Am lscape, not quite finished, Trout Stream full of wildness and orce. Casilear usu lovely. Coleman v gd Evening Walk, 116, credit. Darley, Mrs Greatorex.
June 1855: editor’s table, Palmer of Albany first Am sculptor in existence. Indian Maiden very perfection of beauty nature and grace. Stillman, ed of Crayon, candid and competent, says accessories wonderful delicacy, drapery grace and unity, truth in subtlest markings of flesh esp hands perfect finish approaching Nature, solving problem in sculpture as rpeRaphaelites do in ptg. No greek manner, no classicalism, no model but nature, superior to Greek Slave as purer and more chaste, genius in conception superior to Powers
commends Calkins’ Student fr Appletons (which publishes Clark too), hi moral tone, for young; Duncan’s ptgs at Wms and STevens
April 1856: Cosmo Art Assoc, Parke Godwin spoke, Genoa Crucificx and Powers bust of Washington drawn by Dr Salter who subscribed for the Knickerbocker, also Powers bust of Franklin. Deserves public favor. NAD opened, excellent, great masters Durand Kensett Church Elliott Hicks and Lang, new candidates, best society
May 1856 Editors Table p547, only a cursory examination, so JKL our corresp fair has written in. Little Red Riding Hood first attracted my attn, looks too old and wise to part with her butter, proportions not right, Peele. Pretty sketch of scene in Wales wants atmosphere, road leads nowhere. Jerome Thompson 20 Going to School will attract attn of ever art lover, butnot one of his best, or equal to Apple Gathering you’ve seen at his studio. 33 Tait Settling the Presidency peculiar interest, near Chateaugay Lake and Camp Comfort, where I wrote my letters of hunting to you. 57 lscape by Hubbard, foregrd excellent, mtns hard leady. Durand 43 a Symbol, fascinated, gazed for hours. Huntington 74 dress of damask table cloth not white satin 74. Hays Terrier and his rabbit hunting life like spirited excellent. 86 Young Husband’s first marketing quite comical, but head enormously large and out of proportion with his body, Young wife in 94 looks an old maid who might have been in many stews before. Falstaff by Elliott excellent, the Criterion says with justice of his port of ExGov Hunt (Fillmore Whig by then) vigorous, true, better posed than average, illus of Am life, man going somewhere, epitome of a progressive, locomotive race, born for office and action. 125 Franconia mtns,e ffect fine. 131 Grape gatherer Huntington and Mt Washington Shattuck exquis. Happy Family Tait pleases me.
Jul 1856 NY Artists by an Old Contributor, leave Wall st, 5th ave palace, Broadway throng, antidot is to see the artists, ease is opposite of prescriptive formalities of Upper Tendom, artist is a child of nature. mentions Miss Lander. Terry back fr Rome, often at an evening party up town, other artists who are out of town, Pearse Cranch in Paris writing for Crayon, HK Brown in Brooklyn. Duganne indefatigable. Cheney, Miss Stebbins, Collyer.
visit Pres of Acad, new pics, forest trees in native individuality, great skill and truth, purely sylvan, birch oak pine hemlock fresh and vigorous genuine artist. View just before thunder storm, magical result, sudden pall, transient, see change itself, transition caught, poetic and pictque. Huntington noble studies, vast latent force, McIlvaine portrait fine.
Angero new artist from Sardinia, cabinet portraits. Danish Wenzler devoted to art, miniatures, oils have extreme reality, lscapes truth of effect. Kensett’s studies, recognize localities at once, definite char. Fagnani Neapolitan near Grace Church, came to country with Henry Bulwer, versatile, Pres King of Columbia. Elliott strong head, grand study of char. Lang melodramatic talent. Gignoux truthful winter. Staigg miniatures exquis, his Webster and Everett finest. Church recent visit to So Am, waterfall a novelty, very suggestive and remarkable, new mine of pictque, effect of light, floods canvas, brilliant tropical hues. Progressive spirit in him. Edw White studio in NYU, Mayflower subj, Beggar child has poetry of life. Cropsey winter scenein Ramapo valley, valley forge, Greenwood lake, lists others in lengthy detail, then opposite door is Hicks (near Mercantile lib, Astor place), wife an artist too, his portrait for City Hall stands firmly and easily. John Cranch poetic conscience, strolled with him in Italy. Gray’s studio lacks crude, glaring, melodramatic, mastery not experimental, maturity not unrest, clean outlines, mellow old masters, future heir looms, for carved oak panelings, study of Hagar pure harmony. Triumphant nude. cool and sweet penserosa in another, London critics appreciated it. His Peace and War too alleg for pop effect but excellent. Richards good So scenery, article in Harper’s. Ehninger expressive char, Yankee Pedlar not hackneyed, faces and attitudes in mature wise arrang truth char artistic effect almost too gd for subj of this class. Gem NE farmyard symb country, negro boy watering horse, woman driving cow, chickens, boy a sable anomaly, forte is genre, goes on and on. loves Darley, ironical acute observant and natural, hits with his pen, only shoots at fair game. Saml Lawrence did dreamy Howadji, Bancroft, Longfellow, Tennyson, Henry James, GH Calvert. Eugenio Latilla, bro in law of Freeman, fresco ptg, teaches in school of design.
James O Noyes editor (with Clark, who still does table?) 1858-1860
Jul 1858: several years since a better NAD, all old faves there, inlcu Ingham, Durand, Kensett, Church Gignoux, Elliott, Hicks (esp his Halleck) Baker Stearns. An old friend and capable art critic writes Some things made a note of in NA: 608 Elliott and his friends v spirited, fishing, by Stearns, shows Clark of Knick and Fred Cozzens too. Healy’s full lengths ambitious. Hicks and Carpenter latter Knick predicted his success, Hicks doing well in lscape too 13 Trenton falls, Hicks v happy in accessories 577 the port folio for example. Rossiter pleasing, 432, young lady says sweet Nubie, First Lesson and Old Porch v pretty, his Woman taken in Adultery best. Kensett exquisite, Dix vigorous marines, rural scenes by Harts, Huntington Gifford and Innes whose little pieces are appreciated, Cropsey Casilear and Calix, Ehninger and Nichols better this year. signed with a triangle and a symbol of an o with a veritcal line thru it.
-Fred Cozzens is Sparrowgrass
Sept 1859: rapt with friends Elliott and Mac Guire of Wash before Church’s Heart of the Andes, cites London Daily News on him
Aug 1859 gives from Mrs JLP of NY Asylum for Deaf and Dumb a description of Heart of Andes, as Paradise. Praise Bayard Taylor in Mercury weekly. Pleased Albion weekly praising Elliott in NAD, says he is better than last season, esp exGov Throop, Knick agrees
see July 1859 for list of contributors?
Misc: Knickerbocker June 1850
-notes Osgood’s death with excerpts from Griswold’s account
-notices NAD exhib, inclu a portrait of Pius 9th, and a Cafferty head shows he’s rapidly improving, also praises heads by Elliott and Page
Knickerbocker Jul 1853 review of exhib of NAD
set standard of good: Hicks, Durand, Elliott, Church, Baker, (Elliott, Church and Baker esp singled out) Kensett
mentions a head of Fillmore
Church praised, Casilear, Coleman, Cranch has little sympathy with city
not admiring Cropsey, too theatrical, Inness is too tonal
Gignoux a favorite and genial
likes Kensett and Richards
Likes Mount’s Herald in the Country, which they call “who let down the bars”
Knickerbocker May 1855 “Editor’s Table” reviews NAD, but notes it’s not the Editor’s opinion.
No historical pieces, only a couple genre.
Likes Elliott and Baker again, and a Cafferty portrait of a woman.
Mentions Hicks, Huntington, Blauvelt’s German immigrant in the city meeting a black man (Cafferty in 1854 shared a studio with Blauvelt on Broadway)
Mount’s Webster among the people fails, he’s gone out of his line
Durand, Church, Cropsey, Kensett all good, Casilear, Coleman too
Inness too soft
J Huntington wrote A Letter to an American Artist, Travelling Abroad
Willis maintained thirty year friendship with Chester Harding, lived in same bldg in Italy as Horatio Greenough (Theo Fay also friendly with Greenough and wrote for NY Mirror)
1861 Jun publishes sketches of plantation life by gman of Louisiana
Charles Godfrey Leland takes over in 1861-63 resigned in 1863, brought with him O’Brien, RG White, RH Stoddard, Aldrich, FH Ludlow, Howells