Mar 26 1836, a little critical of the Albion, $6 per year, patrons who don’t care about money when journal is conducted with eye to taste, requirements and modes of thinking of ‘good society.’
May 7 1836 Congress: Buchanan resolution instructing Committee on Finance to inquire into contract with L Persico for two groups of statuary for front of Capitol, debate of Preston Mangum Calhoun Buchanan Clay Davis and Clayton participated, Preston preferred Greenough as native artist.
Jun 18 1836 NAD: rewarding (pleasure) duty to visit, won’t inflict ordinary ten columns of crit, item by item, as not sufficiently conversant with the art to pretend to crit
runs recollections of a portrait painter
May 6 1837 NAD by *: lots of crit by city journals, distrust our own qualifications, aid of a friend conversant with the Art: Morse full length portrait, air of dignity, strength of color, eyes out of drwg. Durand full length portrait not best, wants strength, stands badly. His Healing the Possessed fine drwg expression, recovering mind, great dignity, just, lack of strength. Mount Farmers Nooning faultless char and truth, his best, sleeping negro, loose hay, satisfied air, fault is want of sunlight. Page Holy family, much to our liking, agreeable, affection, lovely, atmosphere, infinte credit. Cole’s view on catskills, quiet and beaut, seldom equalled. Chapman Christ flimsy.
May 13 1837, NAD continued by *: Geo Linen small headsprecision and neatness, but want of variety in expression, hardness. WJ Bennett excellent. J Shaw mechanical style. Inman group of children, admirably drawn, want of clearness. Durand portrait flesh insubstantial. G Harvey pleasing. whitehorne improving, negligent. FR Spencer soldier, creditable, heavy and tough. Cole Florence all that could be made of roofs of houses, prefer his View on Catskills. JG Chapman, First Ship title far fr giving any clue to subject, Indian looks unlike flesh, pasteboard. SL Brown finely conceived lscape, orig. Huntington Rondout progress. Detected Love letter, mod english school, won’t survive, too free and easy, show not unobtrusive.
May 20 1837 NAD cont: Morton successful in certificate design. J Brennan more to censure than praise, false, palette of raw colors, slovenly display, glitter not substance, fault of Brit school. Page lscape, not agreeable subj or season. Frothingham port of Geo Jones, less of his peculiar manner. Pringle wreck, honest? TT Fowler, well ptd. Agate’s Genevra, no allusion to subj, but well exec, fig sadly twisted. Portrait among finest. WG Wall persists in monotonous effects. CC Ingham too elaborate. Inman graceful, much like art or trickery. White Gen Marion Swamp encamp, admirably delineated yet lack of strength in effect. FR Spencer too much phys agony in James Kent, Brownlee likeness. Cummings delicacy Dodge graceful.
Jun 3 1837 NAD cont: Casilear fine animation, incident, sketchy. Durand 177 pastoral quiet, clear and mellow, clump of trees mirrored, his best, tho old tree too minutely ptd so lack strength. Mayr’s 3 ptgs Bachelors Kitchen dressing rm 182 223 28 enemies to prudery, yet palpable attempt at licentiousness, disapprove, nor saving wit. Applause of depraved, indifferently drawn, composed. Grunewald truth. Ver Bryck not improving. G Oakely student unnatural (girl), raw affectation of antiqueness. GL Brown intrinsic value, enlivens, fine fancy. Adams wood engraving admirable. Hinshelwood fr Chapman first ship not much merit. May’rs Capt Smith shld not be tolerated, barroom or ale house. Huntington twilight fine. Page lady superlative, Inman of Duer of Columbia benignant
Jun 17 NAD concluded: Page alw excellent, Nature. F Williams well conceived but effect wants vigor. Ingham portrait of Miss Sedgwick, agreeable. Wier Santa Claus oddly mixed review. Durand fine head of Cole. Ingham lscape elab nicety. Mount’s Raffle drama orig an dhumor of Hogarth, without his ironic severity; his Courtship fine rustic ease, bashful timidity exquisite. F Fink young thieves, much talent, new idea, natural and free. Agate Devil’s deacon, sign painting, disagreeable caricaturing. Cole 119 lscape one of his best.
Jan 27 1838 NY and Erie rrd a noble enterprise, shld be supported by legislature. Bancroft brilliant
Mar 31 puffs ptg of Cleopatra
May 12 1838 NAD: only a few excellent. Gambardella Dr Foresti, beaut drawn, simple and strength, sober conception, complete finish, muddy shadow. Cole Schroon mtn, richness of autumn, truth vigor and beauty, proudest feature of his lscapes is copy Nature, tho he has governing principles, tho clouds too much of palette. Ingham portrait of a lady, roundness of effect finely ptd drapery, shadows not lustrous. No decorum in wearing cloaks but not hats. dry. Wm Page Last Interview, objections that wife pressing hand of husb to her bosom, but affectation of delicacy discreditable. deep interest, feeling grows, despair, tho female fig not beaut enough, but refinement and originality, strength, no equal. Signed with weird double arrow pointing up and down
May 26 1838 NAD cont: Huntington old gman reading, effect and expression good. Durand portrait, one of his best, coat a good fit, hands unpleasantly placed, has improved. Inman port of E Forrest, not creditable to either, smirk not manly, eye distended, affectation. coloring in 201 entirely false, 298 too painty. Mount’s Fortune Telling, fully told story, coloring false, effect chalky, but 308 in his happiest vein, within comprehension of weakest intellect. Provoking to hear remarks made on this, what does color matter when his chief object is character.
NAD signed by * estab of a gallery has done state service, themselves credit, criticisms of connoiseurs has excited a lively competition, led to more pics of real merit and greater public interest and patronage. but talents of most gifted artists squandered on portraits and sign boards, no historical ptg. One of our sapient Aldermen who knew more about value of corner lots than of ptgs, compared Inman’s Van Buren to other portraits in Hall and finding it smaller, wanted a smaller price. Genius can’t be measured by the square foot, but public can’t tell real excellence fr refuse of Italian Jew’s shops. Auction room loads of rubbish, sweepings of antiquity, need own school.
Jun 2 1838 p 173, NAD, long communic fr Enzel on merits of certain artists in NAD and impartiality of its management, decline publishing tho agree a rival institution would benefit our young artists. * try to comment in our next issue. Jun 23 1838 Catherwood panos splendid, masterly (jerusalem)
Dec 1 puffs Dunlap’s gallery, cole’s Past and Present for Stuyvesant
Dec 8 1838 from C&E Dubufe and Giraud, Barclay st, well known by Adam and Eve, striking, despite melodrama stage trick humbug and meretricious ornament about them, clever in their peculiar style. Juan and Haidee remarkable for immense genl effect and minute fidelity, Haidee beaut, neck and bust of French actress, Juan not the poet’s but gman with hair of barber of Paris, frenchified, inexpressive. Circassian slave best in collection, unnecessary horror as she has been educated to expect sale, more resignation better comport with truth, peerless beauty, staid Turk, grouping excellent. Princess of Capua beaut, placid, Destr of Jerusalem admirable, 24 x 16, Revolt in Paris visages of cut throat vagabonds, unattractive
Feb 2: Public patronage of the FA, attempts to estab some institution, none efficient it is said for want of patronage, NAD a school, tho feeble in attempts and precepts of its members not of much service to students. Can’t judge Herring at Apollo yet, but won’t produce large hist pictures. Propose alternate plan, a chaste expensive style of Louvre gallery built, hire artists, sell ptgs for them, hire pics for exhib, let city appropriate ten thous a year and open free. Does wrong to populace to assume wouldn’t support such a tax, buys into European ideas of the mob. Or let amateurs found a gallery, buy pics and put them there common to all, charge non members for admittance.
Feb 16 1839 Apollo Assoc: approve its objects, will offer free use of our columns to any well written communications setting forth its claims, Assoc will curb the insolence of that shabby genteel concern the NAD at whose exhib the pics of certain artists thrust into all the gd lights, and others thrust out of all lights, good or bad. The Apollo is no monopoly, its great recommendation is its popular character.
Apr 6 1839 regularly reviews the NY Review (New York Review—just book reviews. FL Hawks, CS Henry, JG Cogswell. April 1842 issue, admire Valentine Mott, but his travel book not good)
praises Duer of Columbia favoring intl copyright. John Neal writing for them.
April 28 1839 p109 Exhib at NAD: crowd of ugly phizzes, tavern sign posts. Full length of indiv as a sailor, another with glass of wine in hand and smile, others butchered on canvas. Only 3 or 4 in highest style, F Alexander’s wife, sweetness, happy attitude, also Page’s port of lady 195, Gambardella’s port of young lady, triumph of skill, happy smile. Inman’s Croswell excellent. Col Stone of Commercial, looking up in astonishment at a vile daub of Mr Ingraham over his head, good looking Colonel. Ingraham, looks a melodramatic hero, yellow forehead, pregnant with horrible ideas, bilious. Gov Mason of Michigan just after being shaved, indecent flannel shirt. 164 166 Inman’s tendency to paint people who need to be washed. Quite gd port of JN Reynolds, Sully unsurpassed softness and delicate, reminds of Greenough’s Chanting Cherubs, also likes his Mrs Wood tho unfaithful. Lists the frightful, Ingham does wax work, disagreeable, lascivious eyes. Capital likeness of Channin, other bad ones. Likes John Cranch
The Artist’s Excursion
May 11 1839 125 Exhib of NAD second notice: NAD not making much progress, caricatures of nature, Great Adirondack Pass (based on Hoffman’s Wild Scenes), uncut velvet, his sitters don’t mind resembling nice wax. J Hagen slander on Sunset, cranberry sauce, also Sylvan Lake 246. ‘landscapes’ by Durand, ought to return to engraving, tame colorist, yellow and green, summer evening 269 by an amateur much superior, no flash, just beauty. Selous worth all the others together, don’t know him, no bias. Freeman Masaniello quite good, Columbus and Egg not well managed, happy grouping. Page has tone. Huntington Lover’s surprise excellent. 241 and 251 very Wilkieish. Mount is alw admirable, boys trapping, truth truth, bet on him against a camera obscura. Indian Captive fine deep tone, impressive story, no better attitudes chosen, proud of Weir. gauntlet of ugly portraits. 217 (Bleecker) is a specimen which would do considerable discredit to a Miss of fourteen. American Scenery, quotha! Where?
May 18 1839 H Inman and NA: port ptr flares up in Comm Adver re criticisms of Exhib of Caricatures in Clinton Hall, mistaken indignation, excellent artist, only his faces apt to be very very dirty. his fault, not that of sitters, he tells us, so too the fault that other artists made disagreeable likenesses. Inman refers to us, we didn’t know the individ sitters. Regard we have for John Inman doesn’t mean paper should be tender to any set of artists. Inman and his associates been so bepraised and bepuffed they are astonished at audacity of any one who says they are not the best, while many are equal, or superior, Page as much better than Inman than he is of Jarvis.
May 18 1839 p 141: Mr H Inman and the National Academy, Inman port ptr flares up in Comm Adv abt crits pub on the Exhib of Caricatures in Clinton Hall. gman worked himself into fine fit of virtuous but mistaken indignation, an excellent artist, paints arms and heads admirably, and faces too, only the latter are apt to be very, very dirty. In remarking this, we have to do with theartist, and not the subj, for so we are v properly instructed by him. his own fault that the faces of his portraits are awfully smooched. So it was the fault of other artists that their likenesses of human faces were partic disagreeable. we consider this paper alluded to by him, we did not know the names of any individs male or female whose counterfeits are exposed on the walls of the Acad.
Inman describes origin of NA as if an excuse for hideous display it attempts to palm off as an Exhib. the public pay for the sight, sight outhg to be worth paying for. Public have a right to say what they please of it, and it will take Comm Adv and six others just like it to repress the freedom of criticism. no truth with regard to his remarks on offensive personality, nothing intended by us or other journals which noticed the Acad as it deserves.
As for remarks follow Inman’s, sufficient to observe that they were written by John Inman, his bro, and co editor. Respect we entertain for him do not prevent us fr insinuating that the paper shld not be made a tender to any set of artists. difficulty deeper than pretended wrath at the remarks, Inman and certain of his associates in the Acad are astonished at audacity of critics, have been so bepraised and bepuffed they imag themselves unassailable. Of Academicians, Page is as much better than Inman as he is than Jarvis.
May 23 1839: general opinion that Inman has not found pen a wieldy weapon and Mr GB will isntead of a card in the Commercial, stick to scissors (merchant in textiles?), we’ve been visited by gmen who complain our strictures on NA not sufficiently severe, Exhib too deplorable even to be laughed at, public should be warned agst paying two shillings. They add Apollo Gallery is well worth a visit. Sooner NA is shut up the better. No imposition continues to take, after it has been thoroughly exposed.
May 23 1839 Willis of Corsair drops ‘we’ in review of Exhib at nat acad, prefers to use I, would seem orig if Bennett hadn’t done it first at Herald
Jun 8 1839 London Corresp says RA exhib just opened, scarcely pass muster in Clinton hall, Wilkie not his usual, Leslie small things, Turner gorgeous extravaganzas, Landseer inimitable, merit in younger. Engr fr Sully Queen Vic much admired
Aug 17 1839 fr So Lit Messenger, Letters fr New York, praise Millers views of Rocky Mtns at apollo Gallery, power and spirit tho not finished productions, artist has made the knight (Stewart) a prominent figure in ea schene, alw mounted on same noble looking steed. Takes side of St George society against Sully re Queen Vic. Stout’s Queen Vic at Stuyvesant universally spoken of as conside merit, probably correct in proportion and stature. Better for Catlin that I am not a connoisseur, man of real genius. John O Sargent editing C&E while Webb is in Europe.
Aug 31 puffs Vichon’s Boissy D’Anglais, thrilling scene in Fr Rev, admirably drawn and colored
Sept 7 1839 puffs gallery of italian art at Acad of FA
Oct 26 Fanny Osgood poem to Doughty’s Indian Summer
Nov 30 West’s Christ Rejected
Feb 8 The Art of puffing, branch of fine arts, degree of excellence, editors often taken in
Mar 1840 gold snuff box to keeper of NAD
Apr 25 NAD advertising
May 2 NAD open, several of great excellence, unusual proportion of worthless specimens, inclu late Wm Dunlap (?). NY Gazette united with J of Commerce.
Jun 20 1840 NAD: few qualified to appreciate excellence in ptg, artists’ error often just too great fidelity to nature, connoiseurs swayed by private pique or jealousy. Man of good taste as likely to judge correctly as professional. we have observed carefully and submit a few remarks on prominent
Page’s specimen of fine composition, no eye trap trickery of English school, design too honest to please all, but those who know rules of art. Passion for tinsel shall pass, he’ll be appreciated, as will his pupil Mooney. Frothingham a mannerist, too sketchy, old men best. Inman spirited expressive, ad captandum, Biddle excellent. Ingham hard labored, complacent, but his Dunlap admirable. Durand new style more ostentatious, grand, but lost individuality, all memory and imag. Cole’s Architect’s Dream failed altogether, conception unworthy of him, wants archit majesty, Mtn Pass his best. Mount alw successful, orig conceptions, no masterpieces here. Edwards credit but still amateur. Huntington v beaut lscapes, Fink just one portrait. Lot of bad ones.
July 11 1840 Govt patronage of Artists, not wisely bestowed on adornment of Capitol, only ptgs in Senate is Peale’s GW, House has fine Wash by Vanderlyn and Lafayette by a French artist, Trumbull in rotunda valuable mainly for their historical fidelity. Doubt expediency of Rotunda commissions, artists will produce a splendid ptg, but subjects chosen not appropriate, should have ports of Pres and eminent persons, all adornments historical, battles treaties and other great events not unreal scenes; purchase works before orig compositions, like Sully’s Wash crossing the Delaware. foreign artist doing commonplace statues of War and Peace, money could have gone for Catlin’s Indian gallery.
critical of Knick, tho at times excerpts fr it
Jul 25 1840 port of Clay fr Linen, by WC Clover, admirable ease, good attitude, correct likeness. Parker Van Buren a work of art, fr Inman.
Aug 15 1840 Advancement of Fine arts, series of letters in Eve Signal, extract, picture fanciers ignorant about old masters, Jonathan Pericles explains NAD flawed because based on RA
Sept 12 Jonathan Pericles no 3 artists seek fame
Sept 26 1840 Apollo Gallery just opened, not as big as NAD, but no poor works, old ptgs and copies good too. Allston, West, Sully, Harding port of Park Benjamin, Doughty, Huntington and Gray. explains how it works, questionable if best mode, a corresp of this paper recently developed perhaps preferable system.
Oct 3 1840 Letters on Fine Arts no 7, Jonathan Pericles: patriotism shld include one’s local neighborhood, improve it by providing for things which can’t be well done by individ enterprise, should support a Museum of FA, tourism
Oct 17 praise Trumbull gallery Oct 31 Jonathan pericles no11, man of superior endowments at a glance perceived diff fr multitude
Dec 19 Portrait Ptg, SS Harding 297 Broadway, hi rank
likes Vattemare, who is critical of miscellaneous museums.
Feb 6 Jonathan Pericles letter 17 (runs whole series, but also has some things by him written specifically for New-Yorker) Sully’s Passage of the Delaware one mo expenses $150, receipts $12, favorably noticed in paper, sold it for $500, urge buy art
Mar 20 Napoleon and Vanderlyn
Sept 4 1841 praises Puffer Hopkins in Arcturus