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Morris's National Press

Morris’s National Press, A Journal for Home

Feb 14 1846 p. 2 The fine Arts: visited studios, Durand,Huntington, Cummings, Launitz, Weir port Scott, Chapman, Cole, Elliott doing Clarke of Knick, Mount, Ingham, Edmonds, Terry, Cropsey, Matteson; Inman exhib surprising variety.

Feb 21 p. 2 FA: have visited studio of Terry, masterpiece Christ Disputing in his rms the great attraction, chaste and dignified, heads finest, archit imposing, great credit. Matteson well spoken of. Cropsey lscapes one thought superior to any. Jones and Smilie nearly finished Art Union Major Andre, will surpass, Shoff still at work onColumbus for AU, mentions Gray, Ingham, Jocelyn; James Shegogue taste fancy knowl going to Italy, cordially recommend him. New publishing hse doing Artists ofAmerica, capital idea, Allston and Inman so far, fr Lester’s sketches so will be well done

Feb 28 1846 p. 2 FA, apologizes for not noticing clever painters, not acquainted with them, or with Mount, likes to be mysterious. Ranney ptd several clever pics, emig family encamped, much feeling for nature, tho crude in color and defective in drwg. Casilear paints seldom but exquisitely. Mooney excellent ports, Rossiter will send, Kensett abroad, his works bought by Art union. Flagg fine concept of Queen of Sheba. Mentions Spencer, Whitehorne, Frothingham, Page, Shegogue

March 14, p. 2 FA, Ranney young Brooklyn artist lists his many originals, puffs C Edwards lester again

Mar 21 p.2 NY Gall FA progress, no money to advertise, Brown sending splendid marble statue to be presented by lady of this city. Praises NAD. AAU selected a Leutze Raleigh ptg admired in NAD exhib.

Mar 28 p. 2 FA Weir lovely lscape with Ft Putnam, JH Beard arr fr Cinti, ptg attracting attn. of emigrants, peculiarly Am, admirably told, connoisseur appreciate artistic ability esp groupin

April 25, 1846, p.2 FA: NAD Goes thru NAD in order!

Tasso and his friends, Rossiter, no inconsiderable pretension, not altogether to our taste, principal fig not disting fr mass, no pt of interest, female gets strongest light tho not connected to story, backgrd belittled with too carefully ptd houses, etc, destructive to repose with confused dispos of lights and darks. Tone wants air of  truth, tho it may be like. Trees never grow like a beet inverted. Persp faulty, sky stained with egg yolk. Some faces exquis ptd.

TA Richards wants vigor and truth, neither nature nor fine art, woolly weak and inharmonious.

Waldo and Jewett not offensive, later is less favorable. Remb Peale well ptd Chief j Marshall and Rev Bethune.

JH Beard Mill Boy, good conception, well told, feeling of perplexity well expr, form of inverted pyramid for group might be less top heavy, rawness of unfin work, bag an inflated bladder.

Likes Gignoux tho wishes more melting lines, less hard and cutting.

GW Flagg 10 boy, v gd looking boy, one leg inelegantly thrown over arm of chair, in aiming at ease and negligence in pose, has given us an example of ill-breeding, too common mistake, try too hard to make subj appear unstudied, face looking directly out makes it appear like a defiance of all ceremonies. Well ptd, avoids his usual glaze/lacquer. 114 Gil Blas, v effeminate young gman, buxom damsel, fancy face, kissable.

Latilla, affectation of old masters in progressive age. Later adds imitates Engl school, cheese curd flesh. Geo Harvey great truth and beaut for watercolors, this Cornish scene excessive finish and littleness in detail, wants nearly all elements of greatness.

Miss Ann Leslie, lacks strength as ports by female artists are apt to.

17 Geo C Mason, View, pruples prevail too suddently, destroy keeping of whole

Edwin White ports hung too hi, conventionalism of too much lowered in tone.

20 Jack, W Ranney, clever study of canine, not proper subj for exhib pic

22 JT Peele Girl and Rabbits, well composed, a little hard inline.

23 Pic Nic Cole, fine pic, its superior beauty sacrificed by contact with strong colors in other pics, pictque, usual firm vig manner, admirably grouped, wrong to compare to Durand, no affinity in subj or manner, daring conceptions and fearless dash vs pastoral sweetness, voluptuous flow, delicious quiet.

Elliott destined to be male port ptr of country.

25 Uncle Philo, C Curtis, protest agst him appearing in assemblage of well dressed in nothing but a red flannel shirt and faded straw beaver, shall feel constrained to cut him

26 S Thayer’s v gd Indian char, port doubtless

28 Boy, Ingham, one of his most successful, sweet simplicity, legs indic no bones or artic, crude green pervades too much perhaps.

29 Lscape comp Geo Innes improves

30 Gman, W Page, one of his eccentricities, postiviely disagreeable in color, admirable otherwise.

J Talbot, Recoll of Adirondack, v pleasing sweetly ptd, more decision in handling and contrast in foregrd this wld be gd.

34 Boys on Shore, Thom LeClear, really clever

Whitehorne v fair port; later less favorable. RAClarke, sketch, gd idea, proportions in fault color raw

April 25, 1846, p. 3 The Pictures of This Year, letter by JC seems like a puff

May 2, 1846, The FA: NAD continues

Thom Thompson 37 Light House rquire masterly to make them tolerable, not the case, cold hard meagre. SR Fanshaw mixed. JRM Skinner up hill business.

40 Lady JH Cafferty, back hair brought toomuch in view, air pleasing

42 Almsgiving, Huntington, purchased by AU, enticing, but not one of his best works, sacrificed every qual to force. Subj hackneyed, sentiment gd, female ideal of Charity a failure, gross dumpy Roman matron, mediocre, stiff and unnatural, beggar too deformed, dirty, as is old man bowing reverentially. Not up to previous. 47 Master and Pupils, seems to choose subj on some aesthetic theory, compos littlemore than studies fr nature, crave more than imitation, want it to elevate etc, we wage war on demon of absurd theories in color and tricks in exec, so lose sight of true end in experiments. Powerful in effect, earnest head of master, tone agreeable, female lacks solidity. Negligently ptd.

            65 Italy like this better than his others, attitude grace spirit, face captivating expr but mask or hull of a face, wants solidity, bust too contracted.

43 A Fisher. Well drwn ptd

46 Lscape Compos, Durand beauty fr most unattractive material, patriarch beech in foregrd, sun playing bopeep, fresh, fair unsullied, idle afternoon shepherd, well defined. 64 same charming pic purchased by AU, most attractive of season, sloping back, leafing, velvety liquid softness.

No comments on Marchant (painty), Bogle, Twitchell gets faint or mixed praise. Bradish v creditable with errors

51 Dead Courser, W Ranney, story well told, indiscrim slaughter, buzzard disputing, wolf, striking moral, errors in anat

55 Child Terry, face sweet, but anat defective, backgrd too strong. 60 Ruth and Naomi, hear his work praised indiscrim by friends, but disappointed, amiable man, has gd qual in pic, expression and cleverly ptd, drawn, but figs smack of manikin, alm disjointed, striking indecision, cruel plaudits.

CS Gaylord shld try again.

58 WE Winner promise, flesh texture, not solid tho, patchy light. SA Mt self port gd.

61 AH Wenzler, risk being severe and harsh, but he strangely occupies a place in pop favor, studies nature thru some exagg artificial medium, no one has ever seen nature under this aspect. Flesh of rotten ripe fruit, likes art in a primitive state, a chart of his subj, no charms of melting or chiaroscuro, no softening of line, void of atmosphere. Drwg and modelling gd, shld discard undignified tricks, adopt enlarged and manly style

72 Twilight on Hudson R Havell, alw exhib this by a very late twilight.

73 Boy Chas Jarvis, v pleasing, face sweet, bk bad

May 9 p. 2 FA NAD

75 Gman Elliott, best heads, local color of flesh, shadows transp, hair exquis.

76 Juliet CG Thompson, failure if the poet’s conception, melodramatic, lacks total abandonment, flesh cold and rigid

77 Lake Champlain, J Talbot, whole is pleasing, trunks too parallel and similar, foliage compact, other crit, needs strength and decision

78 Hon JA Spencer, FR Spencer, more vigor needed, face marked too weak, round and smooth

81 Gman, Page, surprise artist of his abili will be so engrossed by claptraps of art, heads of past gave promise of a new era, but mind so occupied with brilliant trifles can’t accomplish anything great. As a pic, nothing to disting it.

82 Northmen, Leutze, at a loss for artist’s meaning in compos, has taken liberties, not plausible, some figs seem twelveheads in height, extrav, female couldn’t sustain her posit on man’s shoulder, but drwg and stuffs excellent

JH Lazarus pleasing. SB Waugh not proper to intro two extrav lights in port.

86 Lesson on Immortality, L Terry, like this the least, no pertinence in butterfly, flat and unreal in parts

VG Audubon, meagre and hard.

Likes A Bradish pretty well.

HP Gray Timon of Athens, not a faithful transcript, looks like mouldy gingerbread. 108 Tuscan Maid, drwg exceedingly faulty, bust more like a Westphalia ham than well turned female model

103 No Carolina Emigrants, JH Beard, feeling of this not to our taste, parts v creditable, improper to choose subjs of such painful interest, mind revolts at with loathing, peculiar sentiment, squalid misery, lscape blasted heath. Grouping pleasing, char ofsome faces gd we can have some symp, but father we turn with disgust, not poor man borne down by misfortune, but addition of loaferism.  Most crit revolve around man. Gives éclat to Am subj.

107 Lscape WM Oddie, vpleasing genl effect, crude exec. Burford v pleasing

113 Capt Glen, Matteson, literal embodiment of scene managed with success, intro episodes to contrib to whole, boasting savages, clinging youth, expr of horror and suffering, appeals to Glen, horrors kept subord, snow handled with warmth and harmony. Better than Spirit of 76.

114 Hooker and Co, FE Church, figs so small to be undisting, parts appear well ptd.

            Notes JC King, sculp, of Boston, Cinti and elsewhere, now in city, surpassed by no one but Powers, esp John Q Adams and Byron.

May 16 1846 p.2 FA: NAD, smaller room

Continues critical of JRM Skinner execution, woolly not natural, also Alanson Fisher

121 rustic Gallantry, JG Chapman, customary neatness, detail, harmony powerful, but figs lack air of truth, ungraceful, genl effect pleasing

124 Don Quixote, FR Spencer, first compos, tone rich and warm, neatly exec, Don Q rather effem, figs tame, prominent lights, dog not natural

128 Ital Shepherd Boy, GA Baker, doubtless v clever, but we acknowl nosymp, surfeit of shepherds and beggars, in pic shop windows, hate the sight of them, porcelain are in texture and color

129 JE Freeman, German noble gd expression, other parts barely tolerable.

Hinshelwood v pleasing, little atmosph. 

May 23, 1846, p. 2 FA:NAD smaller saloon cont

131 Recoll of Early days fishing, WS Mt, cat says view of Selah B strong residence, lscape a literal embodiment, figs give something of Mt, just enuf to tantalize, energy and char of negress admirable, suspense in boy face, accuracy in dwg and firmness of touch, too firm and sharp.

            Word in your ear, whispered you are falling off in conception and exec, know better, but need proof can do best pics ofAm char again, you are yet young

132 Sappho HPGray, bes of season, better concept etc, needs more contrast

J Stearns praised. 135 GA Baker’s Ital Girl at prayer, uninteresting subj, powerfully ptd.

136 Mom and child, altogether unlike nature, besmearing work all over to make it look old, better to use low tone without befouling it with glazings, or keep glaze invisible. Cromwell by Leutze low enuf in tone to be agreeable to a refined taste, without any trick. Gray aims to imitate Venetian color, forgetting age has browned them or that Venetian complexion diff fr ours, shld claim no kindred with the Am school. Unnatural in action too, deficient in form.

137 Fair Student, Edw White, low toned, more skilful in every respect than previous, purity in light would please us better, subj nothing to commend it.

159 PicNicCP Cranch, improvement, cool tone, yet pleasing, tender more captivating than hot school, foliage not right yet

142 Am Summ Afternoon Geo Innes, improvement, char gd, well managed distances and foliage, more careful with cattle and avoid monotony, wants variety in foregrd, forms too regular

144 Mandolin, SS Osgood, vgd, but if a port, deprecate taste of masquerade, weak invention, shld represent customs as well as faces, wants force, wax hands

Lists a Church and Harvey, 145 146

147 Port Lady W Page, well drawn, ruined by disagreeable color

145 JG Chapman Rebecca, first ex of grotesque seen fr him, improper to make light of sacred subj, but eminent success, facetious action of servant, aversion to hams, maid saucily thrusts tongue into cheek. Neatness, but won’t add to rep.

149 Children Jewett, mixed review. J Talbot, Valley Winoski, cattle shd be smaller, pleasing. His fruit needs more variety, 155. Jocelyn v gd port, his one of C Vanderbilt 168 is weak. Bayley skilful water

156 Wenzler Lady see prev comments

159 Noonday Cropsey, most promising, well chosen subj, maturity of taste, not one of his best tho gd, lacks repose, in aiming at firmness has produced harshness. Artistical. Boyle has vigor inport lady 160, but all angles, females more attractive when curved flowing lines. 175 Rachel, a painful subj, painfully exec.

Nasty to Whitehorne. JT Peele strong but hard. Bogle gd of Cole.

164 Cross in Wilderness fr Hemans, Cole, perfect little gem, shadows exquis, brilliancy, refinement of sentiment. 174 Ital Sunset Cole, alw gd, nothing to find fault with

RA Powers wants deicision and knowl.

167 Lord Glenallen, Edmonds, fr Scott, earl has stamp of nobility, airpolished and refined, contrasted by old woman guilt remorse, powerful light and dark, united and sweetened. Mod Eng school. Impressed he’s a banker.

169 JH Cafferty, gman, affected attitude. 172 Children, Geo Linen, happy in cabinets, great care and neatness, compos gd, dog least expert. Praises JW Armstead dogs, v spirited wellptd

178 Sacred lesson, Huntington, distance is powerful and pleasing, nearer shows dirty inexpert glazings, drwg better than others

179 Ingham lady one of his best, more vigor yet neatness and detail

June 6, 1846, p. 4 FA:NAD smaller saloon

202 Angels bearing St Cath, C Blaas, perhaps most faultless of any in coll, concept grand fine sentiment drwg severe refined, exec finished. Mournful angel, subdued sorrow, sober splendor, float thru atmosph, admirable consistency thruout of feeling, chastity and simplicity, amused to hear gman tell lady the finest pic in exhib, just look at the jewelry, see how it stand out. Admriable critic.

204 MrsAtwell CG Thompson v cleverly ptd, 205 his mom and child v gd compos.

208 Child, J Linen, hanging comm not hang children in such perilous positions, positively tumbling out of bed land headlong on floor

JJ Sawyer promising, clever. 211 Thom LeClear mixed. Elliott skilful. Boutelle 213 View nr Troy has nothing to say of it.

214 Game of Mora L Terry, shld cut in half, group playing game v favorable, but disconnected fr other in tone and action

June 13, p.2 FA NAD

215 Old Knick of the Knickerbocker, Elliott, v admirable likeness, in color not as pleasing as some, frame not to our taste, too gloomy.

216 Young Knick,Chas Jarvis, chip of the old block, gd taste, drapery too clingy.

AB Engstrom mixed. Thom Cummings 218 young artist advancing.

219 Seamstress JT Peele, Song of the shirt, peculiarly happy in choice and treatment, reaches every heart, well disposed carefully drawn, some crude parts, persp off

June 20 1846 p. 4 FA: NAD smaller saloon, signed THM

220 Bayley too cold a blue, 221 says nothing re Boutelle’s Susquehanna

222 Sleepy Student, Edmonds, delicious color, luminous, subj unpretending and in many hands unattractive, but gives it poetic and pictorial charms, cld alm kick little fellow for spite to see him asleep enjoying himself so hugely,s till lifepictque

Elliott port lady admirable, RM Pratt praised, Burr praised mostly.

226 Huntington Woman at Well, sweet in main, unskillful glazings

227 Artist’s Daughter, FR Spencer, pleasing, reminds of Rubens, backgd etc crude patches of light destroy keeping, position of hands not agreeable, looks as if scratching

228 TH Hinckley, gd cattle well ptd, if too sleek

229 Cropsey Lake inAutumn nature freedom truth contrasts

WS Winner stiff unnatural weak

SS Osgood another gd looking lady in masq 231

EH May port gd likeness. J Stearnes self port v gd, wants transp.

235 Gman Frothingham, seen better ofhim, but fleshy. Still critical of Ta Richards.

Sculpture Gallery: desolate, no Powers, Crawford,Kneeland, Persico, but some gems amid wilderness of rubbish, 290 Passage in Life of Woman, Durand, fig ptg, glad he’s president, above petty prejudices, will reform prominent abuses that have borne like an incubus on interests of Acad for past few yrs. Institu become widely notorious for injustice, favoritism, and illiberality, public will sustain reformation. Know some conservators in council desire reform abuses, qualified to sustain it, let no scaly self interest or desire for aggrandiz be suffered to sway interests of estab, but let them act like magnanimous men, will command respect of all classes. Keep peace in family.

300 Wood scene, Edmonds, first lscape? Rare skill, delicious, worm rail fence, reminds of childhood

283 Ital Beggar Boy, Edw white, admirable, another subj more congenial to our taste, but has made the most. Tone rather than color, red drapery of boy, all else neutral grays, chaste and pleasing. Ill natured critics suggest copy of Murillo, not true, fr living model. Hope will do more Am subjects, higher compos.

293 Doughty lscape, with exception of a little monotony in foliage, fine, AU judicious to buy it

271 View Tw Whitridge, exquis water, liquid and transp, mist, young Cinti artist

286 Summer Shower Cp Cranch fine pts of sunlight breaking thru storm, figs raw

259 Nameless River, Cropsey, chaste and pleasing, with more breadth in shadows, one of very best. 313 hung worse, serves him right, what business of young man to aspire above station? When grown gray and begins to paint bad pics, may dream of being an academician and hang his own pics in gd places.

Chapman studies in this rm better than anything else, some v clever hints at nature, Mount brothers too, a fine Elliott head, and Huntington port tho dusty. 337 Study of head by JH Cafferty one of his best.

Minis by Shumway best, AM Freeman gd one of Vandenhoff. Gignoux still life of game, beaut plumage

Thayer some clever compos, crude. JT Peele Orange Girl not agreeableinchar.

Ranney’s Friends in Adversity, old horses turned out to die, happy in feeling v clever, Crossing Ferry not as gd, boat with no ripples. TS Cooper best cattlepic.

            Now concluded thankless task, aimed to divest of personal prejudice. Writer is an artist and exhibitor, but crit notices of his own pic written by another artist, has learned his authorship quite generally known.

Aug 8 copies notice of Banvard 

Oct 17 1846, p. 2 Taste in Crit, should wish to see department of criticism of art and lit in newspapers and mags entirely in hands of women, unlike men who approach with predisposition of mind or feeling, some theory or prejudice