The World—Library of Congress
One cent, June 14, 1860 its first issue, 35 Park Row. The Field, the World its motto. Pro Lincoln paper, a xtian paper that will cover secular world too. Independent advertises. Column on World of Art, re British affairs, just finished Royal Acad exhib singles out Elmore’s martyrdom of marie antoinette, moral light and shade; Egg Ttaming a shrew, petruchio does not look the part, not a gentleman; S Solomon sent curious Moses, low type oriental physio and accessories, genl expression regarded as mean, tho avoids taint of conventionality. Landseer unpretending among mass of exhib pics. Hook also praised.
Very pro Garibaldi
June 20, 1860 p. 5 Twilight in the Wilderness, very name is a pic, vast and dimly outlined beauty, evanescent, seems impossible, but Church does it, as in Niagara, calls up its characteristic impression, not by correcting predecessors, but by a new perception, orig combo, mastery of forces, genius makes impossible possible. New pic remarkable for its unity of impression, grasp of most delicate effects of color, scene a type often found, clear shadow, sweet and solemn beauty, supremacy in his dept of art, a painter without a manner, almost without a style, not tinged with his own personality, paints not nature according to Church but simply nature, brain gives power to transfer what is thrown on camera of his eye unaffected by medium thru which they pass, except by selection, combo and unification. It is to this absence of signs of mood or manner that we attrib charge of deficiency in feeling sometimes brought agst them.
p. 7 World of Art—Holman Hunt’s Christ Knocking at Door exhib 2 years ago here, exquis ptd, excerpts crit fr london examiner on how he prepares studies
June 26, 1860 fr our corresp in DC p. 2 traveling thru Capitol, sees Crawford’s Prog of Civ, sd to be his best work, temporarily inside, but wood cutter is a failure, no good chopper ever struck such an attitude, nor hold axe with hands so close together, common error of painters to show haymakers reaping left handed, so his idea of axe a modific of wedge for splitting rails. Female alleg figs better.
p. 7 World of Art, fr London Atheneum, notes Cropsey’s Autumn compares favorably to preRaph.
Regularly support Archbishop Hughes.; lots on Humboldt
June 29, 1860 p.2 fr our corrresp in DC, correct taste vs vulgar cash, nouveau riche gets worst of man of moderate means and cultivated taste, would be patron of art has ideas of what a picture shld be like—large, and has credulity, which ruled gov in selection of art for public grds. Washington ArtL rotunda, discover of Miss by De Soto, lavish in pomp and circumstance of war, armor brightest, horses fiercest, anners gayest, munitions quaintest. Better in detail than altogether, face of priest most expressive. Grave faults in attitude and timidity of Indian chief, what is known of them does not warrant attitude of slavish awe, perturbation of lovely squaws conveys idea of civiliz and refinement not untutored barbarism. Time to patronize fancy less and nature more in representing the Indian, we have lied to posterity long enuf in ptg the ideal for the actual Indian.
Shallow sky, but grizzled soldier on left intent on his wounds, natural, resting, what cares he for triumph, has found respite.
Baptism of Pocahontas, first impression not unpleasing but does not bear study, her face differs in no material respect fr any others in char, or print shop with studies of French lithographers. White males similar in lineament and expression, Powhatan stately and kingly, proud monarch, a painted lie and enlightened posterity will laugh, nor does face differ fr armed man near font in contour.
Signing of Dec, portraits. This is not crit, he is a novice, just saying his impressions.
June 30, claim indep of party, journalists are historians.
September pro Olmsted’s Central Park. Duss gallery advertises. Fan of Seward but covers Union mtg with Ketchum and Bogardus. Gives Demo speeches too.
8 Praises Geo L Brown’s Bay and Harbor of Ny, his Ital pics gave him a fave place, scarcely eqaul in power to Kensett, inferior in vivid dramatic force to Church, a soft poetic charm rarely surpassed, dreamy calm of Italy, this pic a new field and not with entire success. Fuses antagonistic qual, panoramic and poetic, great city into poem of rare grace and tenderness involves dream of haze and abrogation of detail, don’t look for outlines of our warehouses, or familiar landmarks, just a poem, Turner and Claude were masters, versus Canaletto’s hard passionless detail, robe of romance stripped, versus Turner’s gorgeous dream, both grand. Brown has tried to mingle real and imag and full of rare artistic merits, cloud effects, aerial persp, peculiar winking look abt the sunlight we don’t underst, but don’t often get up for sunrise, effect of distance admirable, to highlands and effect of remoteness imparts grandeur.
But monotone of gray pervades, depressing, cold, except in foregrd, and uninviting, no glitter and sparkle, repose except for columns of smoke, but not cheerful. Longer residence here will improve.
New Pict Gall called Inst of Fine Arts in Broadway in Boston Courier, excerpted, praises strongly
Essay on beggars of NY
14 opposed to Negro Suffrage tho back Lincoln. 21 vicious lit turns readers into leprous specters on Broadway, such lit discontents one with the plow, scythe or hammer, when could be dashing pirate, adventure on a schooner, what rustic maiden doesn’t wish to become a countess
35,000 daily copies.
22 p. 5 Mr Schaus’s Coll, few amateurs entire strangers, coll of sm lscapes and genre, prevailing taste so wisely prefers, effect of hist ptgs not quite congruous with home-feeling and even large galleries become crowded when taste is for hi art. Plus ptg of scenes of everyday life and nooks and corners of nature, capture effect better than a giant ptg.
French artists described, also Diaz and others.
26 p.5 Fine Arts Return of the Artists, Whittridge, Bierstadt and bro fr White Mtns, large negatives, Geo L Brown fr Newport and White Mtns, with picture of mtn chain named after presidents. Inness at Crayon gall, After the Shower, extraord power, Ruysdael like effect in compos, only comparable to Rousseau in subtlety of color, shld be in first rank, truthful management of transp cloud shadow, would be at head of profession in Paris.
Jackson, Van Beest, Brown’s Bay and City attracts crowd.
Dix, Edwin White Hagar and Ishmael, latter in Porte Crayon
27 p. 5 Palmer’s colossal statue of Washington. ED Palmer is most gifted of all our Am sculp, for Central Park, mechanisim to erect it, one hundred foot high bronze, gives details, citizen’s garb no hat or gloves, arms outstretched forward and raised in invocation of peace and happiness. We shld greatly prefer to see beaut group of Landing of the Pilgrims on pediments of Cap at DC
1 p. 3 corresp fr Florence, Powers studio attractive to visitors, statue of Franklin great earnestness and originality, trunk of a tree struck by lightning, 8 feet high, will do companion of Jefferson for capitol. Randolph Rogers finished casting his bronzes almost for doors
2 covers women’s library opening extensively. Lots of advertisements aimed at Wide Awakes by Barnum’s, and World praises the Grand procession
5 p. 5 death of Remb Peale, his sketch fr life pronounced by contemporaries the best ever of GW, purchased for Senate, letters testify to it. Notices sculptor Ives back to Rome.
9 covers Fusion mtg, Saml Tilden speaks 11 Anglo Saxons can’t colonize the tropics, wouldn’t be a good colony, only like India a dependency
12 long description of popular crowds and signs for Prince of Wales 13 p. 6 continues w/descript of reception at the Academy, inclu a repro of Sully’s port Queen Vic, in foyer so that any satisfying view of it is impracticable, on either side isa Troyon morning lscape, looks odd amid assemblage of glittering artificialities, a Fr ptg on the other side. P. 5 a description continues, equestrian port of Queen by D’Orsay, figure and lscape ptgs all around it, globes of gold fish and flowers, alleg rep of cordiale betw Britain and US by Hannibal W Calyo, artist to Academy of music, Indian Squaw shaking hands with Britannia, fig of Peace above, arms of NY, crest of his Highness. Calyo also did an arch persp view of garden
Stopped at 15th
LOC bound volume, vault Nov 1860-Feb 1861
Nov 1, 1860. Slogan is The Field, The World. One cent. Independent has a big ad, notes Eliz Barrett Browning, Whittier, Stowe Stephen Tyng, Greeley, Lowell, and William Page, whose contributions on art are of equal weight with Ruskin’s, Bayard Taylor, John Bigelow, Geo Cheever, etc. Editorial staff is Rev Storrs of Brooklyn, Rev Leavitt, Theo Tilton, etc.
Waugh’s pano advertises, billiards, Leeds, bourbon whisky, and Bangs, Merwin and co.
Admire Cavour. Old knickerbocker, millions in property, conservative in finance and politics, alw voted demo, now votes for Lincoln, Darwin’s law will keep timid in minority in American soil. Wm Page gives lecture to Athenaeum club tonight on Art.
3 hate Wood the gambler. covers Am Inst. 5 newsp will never offend xtian purity. Italy is becoming protestant. p5 Fine Arts: Stebbins Commerce and Labor admired; French ptgs given good review, Dubufe. Mention Redpath 6 Boston corresp says country homes now have a copy of Ruskin, statues to great men by Am artists adorn Mt Auburn, interest in fake old masters decreasing, taste improving. Praises Vanity Fair, includes TB Aldrich and EC Stedman FitzHugh Ludlow 7 Calhoun was master spirit of Tyler admin. James T Brady nominee of the Breckinridge party not elected p. 5 Fine Arts: disting Wm Page lecture, select audience, French pics, Gignoux returning to Paris, doing an auction, haven’t been successful. Whittridge, one of most earnest, conscientious lscape, on an Ital subj, hope to see results fr him visiting highlands. John Rogers young sculp, Checker Players and Schoolmaster, now Fairy’s Whisper, bewitching careless grace of childhood, for sale at Crayon Art Gall, and Bay of NY on exhib there. Eastman Johnson has a glass carriage for ptg in cold.
8 Bryant’s secret circular that started to split the party (Texas) signed by JW Edmonds Theo Sedgwick Isaac Townsend, July 1844 et al. Thomas Hicks Port of Lincoln fr life received favorable crits fr his friends and connoisseurs, will be on display at Schaus. 13 disapprove of Dr Cheever of Church of the Puritans 14 p3 Leutze’s new pic, taken fr Boston Transcript, Settlement of Maryland, praises it
15 mocks people’s meeting for complaining about Prince of Wales, using city money p.5 Fine Arts Dubufe, repro of the originals, mocks it, ptd for sensation p. 6 Sale of Chas Leupp’s ptgs, buyers wanted a bargain, Edw Forrest there and Bryan of Bryan’s gallery, Dance of the Haymakers excited competition, Forrest bought an Allston, a Page portrait, a Henry Clay miniature, an Ital pthg 16 Chas Eliot Norton wrote travels in Italy for Crayon 17 love Darley, Tasistro
20 Opening of Derby’s Institute, inclu coll, not adapted to the popular comprehension, lack vital interest to average observer necessary to pecuniary success. Galleries themsevles finest in city, best possible taste. Van Lerius’ Cinderella at Schaus, elab detail, charm is beauty of sisters, imperial charms, queens of beauty, sister is ashy but under her drapery great figure. Merle good too.
21 p3 Fine Art visits Studio bldg on 10th, Wm Hart mineral oxides dye rocks, Shattuck in Maine pictque, McEntee all admired his Melancholy Days last winter, done a pair called Departure and Return, autumn and spring. Hubbard, Gifford, Jameson Moore. Hays bison novel, Launt Thompson’s Am Trapper excites admiration, patriarchal beard, Leutze still doing Calvert, full of little symbolical touches, ptd savages as they really were, not as heroes of novelettes in Sunday papers or cigarshops. Church busy, Baker, EDE Greene. brilliant receptions. 21 p5 v hostile to City Council buying Thom’s statue of GW, or of a fireman
22 p3 Boston corresp feels artist Gerry is underappreciated. Sculp too recondite, need to be a schemer to come into notice, friends of Thom Ball haven’t done this but he still got equestrian Washington commission. Dexter who ‘did’ the Warren at Bunker Hill is a schemer, did a backwoodsman to amaze rural visitors, has plasters of all the governors. Hosmer gone. Like Gothic best. John McLenan praised by a Mobile paper, gets $5000 fr Harpers, as much as Darley, came to NY in 1854 to work for Scoville at the Pick, got $2 a drawing. Born in Cinti. p5 French pics at Goupil’s, Troyon one of his largest and 6 in all, fresh, powerful; Knaus of remarkable pic Bohemians giving up their passports to the French police, this year has truly marvellous color arrang expression of German christening festival, quaint and kindly, power and felicity. Lambinet fresh and sparkling, Gerome Flavian amphitheatre, livid with tragedy but terribly attractive, fascinated terror, pigments mixed with bizarrerie and blood. Muller’s tragic atmosphere of Reign of Terror, singularly effective in grouping and faces. Bonheurs, Frere in best manner etc.
24 Knick is starting new regime, character will improve. 26 Going up to two cents. 28 Boston corresp thinks Stillman just back fr summer with Ruskin understands true value of the pre Raphael study, doesn't confound means with an end, has pics in our Athaneum with curious particularness of detail with potency of sentiment of thorough artist, nature searching artist. Ruskin liked Rowse’s heads of Lowell and Emerson
29 Goupil, Schaus, Dusseldorf, Danae, Institute of Fine Arts advertise. Wm Ross Wallace poem p6 more on French exhib, Troyon’s cattle returning most impt, expression of individuality he imparts is wonderful, no two alike, sheep as diff as schoolboys, more than Landseer or Bonheur. Muller’s Reign of Terror full of pathos, melodramatic, livid atmosphere, Lambinet artistic. Likes newsboy house. 30 not enthus re Geo Law or Vanderbilt
December: 1 p6 Gallery of old masters: luxurious repose in Derby’s Institute, wish he’d separate old masters fr modern school by drapery, would be to both their benefit. Jarves coll amuses casual visitor at quaintness and defects of drawing, droll, yet once worshipped, world has not gone backward. Meant to arouse relig feeling, and succeed. Crowded, even Sumner came to see. 3 Sun backs Crittenden. 5 Galt’s statue of Jefferson praised. 6 hostile to Tremont chapel abolit 8 excerpt a Rhode Is paper on why Am lscape so good, give Cole credit, Durand too tho now he seems feeble next to Kensett et al, failed in being natural, studio painters p3 Boston corresp visits Ball’s studio, has a head of Choate, Allston, Webster, Minute men for which Billings did a pedestal. Likes Ball Hughes too. p5 Old Masters at Derby gallery, notes absence of the names by scores in priv coll, a guarantee of integrity of Jarves coll. Veronese vs Rubens, Murillo vs Velazquez. Go for historical interest. 10 praises Everett and Webster. Hiram’s bro Benj F Powers was a journalist, sold his paper to Moses Dawson, then joined Liberty Hall and Cinti Gazette til Chas Hammond took it over, moved to Troy, held office. Lang cartoon of Mary Queen of Scots inspiring, time a fitting one for plan.
11 p5 City council shouldn’t buy Thom’s statue, apotheosis of all the uglinesses. 14 p7 Page’s Moses at exhib of Amer and foreign ptgs, those familiar with his method of coloring will find ripest perfection in this work, luminous underglow of fresh, intense harmonious novel combos of color, dreamy depth of atmosphere fully expressed, his greatest pic, atmosphere of genius floods it, weird mysterious light eludes analysis like opium dreams. 3 men on rock. Page’s compositions as a rule lack fluency, something a trifle forced in the rln ea to the other, limbs to young for gray prophet, but a triumph. Little to be said of the rest, Thorpe’s Niagara most noticeable, wonderful for an amateur. Rest are big and bad. Page lecturing at Merc Lib. Theaters advertise, but he doesn’t review them. p. 6 Hannibal Calyo doing scenery for Brooklyn Acad of Music (also did NY Academy), best style, some v beaut
15 p2 from Trib gets artists in Paris, Howland, Boughton Colman Dana. TB Read did Dallas and Peabody in London, also Longfellow. Frank Bellew in England. p. 5 Old masters at Derby: mystic light, hardly any pure white pigment, prefers their subdued melodies and tender warmth, solemnity of tone and serious of meaning, golden warmth unlike had opaque glaring tints of modern schools, strong, decided, eg Knauss and Van Lerius, depend on commonplace incidents intelligible to all, no sacred only homely, and Cinderella purely academic, statues, mechanical and mannered, flesh not living 17 Chas O’Connor pro slavery 18 Garibaldi mass meeting includes James Gordon Bennett as well as Belmont, Geo Wilkes. Artists Fund Soc exhib advert. Union meetings too hostile to Repubs to do any good. 20 more old masters, compare Bolognese and Umbrian schools 21 compared to the endless articles on Jarves has brief notice of Artists’ Fund exhib at NAD, Kensett Casilear Cropsey Gignoux Huntington Hicks and loan of Cole 22 more on old masters at Derby: tempera good for artists to whom relig symb more than aesthetic qualitiies, Siena v Florence 25 Clark Mills working on Crawford’s goddess of freedom for dome; Feb Atlantic will have a paper on Page by Akers that justly won’t approve of his Venus, tho likes his portraits. Thom ball likes Miss Stebbins, corresp likes her Miner and Sailor, pose of leg in tar is characteristic. More than an equal to Hosmer? Derby is fitting up a rendesvous. 25 dislikes Tupper 27 Derby & Jackson issuing Jarves’ Old Masters of Italy, outline engr, gives long excerpt on Leo 29 p5 more on old masters, best critics, Ruskin Rio Rumor, give Giotto et al eminence despite mistakes of drwg, while most modern artists try for academic accuracy of outlines to disregard of subtleties of spirit of lines, some express grace, grandeur, movement, repose etc. Mod too naturalistic.
Jan 3 Jarves’ Art Studies already ordered by London publishers, engravings, Express lauds. 4 p3 Rome corresp says Josephson, rich Australian, has bought fr Mozier and Rogers, Silence, also bought Gibson’s Venus and works by Spence. Tenerani is first sculp in Rome 5 Russian artist sent to San Angelo for vandalizing pictures of Napoleon and Eugenie in caffe greco. Pro Sabbatarian laws.
8 old masters again, have a vital expression of char better than cleverest imitation of satin, vegetation etc, it is common because it bases itself upon the common. happy idealization the soul of hi art not to be found. Critics mislead public, think is like nature does not make it good or true, Nature gives birth to ugliness, artist only her happiest aspects. Spec should put himself into viewpoint of artist, old masters stimulate esthetical inquiry. Beecher defends Puritans. 9 loves Crayon, John Durand lives up to St Paul. Thom McElrath back running the Century (ended Jul 1859), no politics or sectional. 10 p5 Leutze’s Calvert at Derby’s, fully equal to his best, chief fault a lack of unity of purpose, could make 6 smaller pics of it. Not enuf dark shadow for contrast. still life in foregrd distracts fr main figs. Decay of Indians predicted in their physiog, sad they have passed so utterly away to pensioned barbarians. historic truth, Bancroft’s accuracy and Prescott’s color. 15 Stephen H Branch is going to join the south? 16 p2 The Genius of Wm Page fr Atl Mo, gives v long excerpt, Moses his masterpiece. Crittenden has appeal. 17 Knick rejuv, Richard Grant White has a transl, TB Aldrich etc. CD Shanly writing for Atl Mo 20 Frederick Hudson still at Herald, I W England of Trib, AC Hills of Eve Post 21 hostile to Redpath. neutral to Lola montez. very anti abolitionist. Brady gallery our national Valhalla, long praise 28 Old masters at Derby: loves their design ability, Masaccio on up. 30 SG Goodrich head of YMCA 31 p5 Lotus Eater, Tennyson’s weird dreamy poem, Stebbins has a youth leaning with crossed limbs, languid unconscious grace, spring of plant performs impt office of concealment, no ecstasy in the face, mournful, but no soft delirium as in poem. Beaut chiselled, palpitating life, severe study of the human form, almost can’t believe a woman did it, lower muscle of the leg too stiff. Artist’s intent more clear in prospectus than work, wanted adolescent, may have used a v young female, devd muscles seem departures fr the model, defect that it is so androgynous. Puffs photo of Palmer’s white captive.
earlier mentioned Healy doing a pic of Mrs lincoln? Also the Merc Lib Assoc tried to get Ruskin over to lecture. Geo Morris resigned fr militia 1854 or 55.
February: 4 excerpts fr Crayon on forgery of contemp Fr artist 9 long obit of John W Francis, doctor, knickerbocker, lit reunions, filled with ptgs statues liberal culture 11 old masters of Derby last installment! prefers a Leo holy family to virgin of the rocks in Paris. Durer is not overdrawn. 13 p3 excerpt fr Columbus GA Times, that southerners are rejecting Harper’s Weekly as a black republican abolition establishment. Savannah News says they endorse every word, but even worse than Harper’s are NY Mercury, NY Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Newspaper, NY Leader. Only 3 worthy of support, Home J and Knick of NY, and Godey’s. 16 Clark Mills marrying a fortune, widow of Howell of Baltimore 21 second reception tonight at Dodworth’s, on Monday Brooklyn people had their affair, mostly importing art from this city. Badly arranged light, need a better hall. Charles Lucy pilgrims departing on Mayflower being engraved. 5 Post ok with restoring Missouri compromise? 23 like Mathew Arnold. p5 Artists reception, crowded, celebrities. Geo A Baker principal centers of admiration, esp pic of two little girls, exquis delicacy, and his other portraits of women. Eastman Johnson v striking of man reading with boy in armchair, Wm O Stone pure lady portraits, RM Staigg delicious miniatures and street children, Loop, Ehninger, Edw White’s Evangeline fine feeling, Gray landscapes not as good, but Harts, Shattuck Hubbard Gignoux Gifford and Hays 25 Euro art news, Titian pics destroyed in Blenheim fire, new electees to Royal Acad inclu Marochetti, Frith supposedly paid nearly 50,000 for his Railway station. Thom Ball progressing with equestrian statue, all can be desired, noble bearing, mildness and firmness fr Transcript 25 p5 crit of shaking hands 26 3rd time effigies of Lincoln put up on shipping, WW How essay on the artist at YMCA, fine. 27 Arcularius intro bill to draft new city charter, ut on a lot of demos 28 p3 statue of Hancock
The World March 1 1861 fr Vault, two cents, 35 Park Row
Page’s Venus advert
2 Art in Germany fr Munich corresp, Cornelius and Overbeck at Dusseldorf, no feeling or orig, copied defects of ptrs who preceded Raphael, bcause defects were more natural to them than beauties. Followed by Kaulbach, power of drwg, no coloring, literary, story in groups without unity. Piloty in oppos to Kaulbach, a realistic ptr versus literary, rivals. Piloty’s Nero amid the ruins of Rome, big canvas, detailed description, degraded life of Romans, elaborately ptd detail, but a heroic pic in style of a genre picis a grave fault. Muses knock at his door but he is busy with his model, an old shoe. Papers compare Nero to King Ludwig, lead to unpleasant consequences.
4 pro Sunday laws, hostile to Tribune as being (abolitionist so) hostile to Union. Buchanan caused the destruction. Admire Lincoln. “Premonitions of a Storm” is how it describes southern secessionist pieces that it excerpts. Laura Keene advertises.
March 7 Artists Reception p. 5 at Tenth studio bldg, guests included Prof Morse, Wm C Bryant, NP Willis, Bancroft and Edwin Booth and uptown patrons. Generally excellent esp lscape and cabinet. Lists names. Gifford’s Twilight gave great delight, finely glowing sentiment, power of color has been latent. Hart and Suydam characteristic, Gignoux Alleghenies clear effect in foregrd, McEntee’s Indian Summer golden haze, Page’s Dolce far Niente marked by his peculiar merits and also present Leutze’s Mtg of Lafayette.
Launt Thompson’s bust of Old Adams excited more attn and admiration than anything, embodiment of ideal, barbaric might, face and beard a grandeur of natural man, sturdy manhood, and he nobly idealized it.
March 8 notices NP Willis and WH Beard in personal column. 11 sale of Fr ptgs.
Pro Sunday laws and temperance
Mar 16 p. 3 reviews Jarves Art Studies, has led us to admire these artists more, but don’t agree that Prots need relig ptgs in spirit of present age, doesn’t advance art
March 19 WG Dix of legation in Quito lectured at Clinton hall, select audience, including lecturing on Church’s pic and Alex Von Humboldt, series of 4;
March 20 p. 3 Herald of Progress has woman writer who loves Geo Morris, who battles for the South, and Willis regrets soutehrn element in NY society, loves Home J, thinks Harper’s is unmitigated mass of trash, likes Knickerbocker, claims South is land of poetry, ptg, song, World says nothing to rival it becoming another Italy or Greece (sarcastic)
p. 5 NAD: instead of women, had a goodly number of real lovers of art, plenty of room to see the pics, hope in larger rooms invitations restricted to artists, lit men, journalists, and ladies whom they bring, plus official persons of unusual distinction.
Coll inferior as a whole to average, true also last year, present below even that. Sparsely filled walls, many unfit to be hung, among best are ports of last generation, as for ex Waldo. Some fine lscapes and fig pieces. Baker cabinets of girls, Eastman Johnson outdoor grups in happiest style, Durand fine acquaintance with trees, Page large group and child with some of best and some of worst ptg ever put on canvas; Gifford sunset richest and sombrest charms, Gray girl w white arms beckon, Leutze compos extravagant, ill drawn, powerfully richly colored. Huntington carefully ptd and char genre pic, lscape full of imag and knowl, others.
21 listen to little Savoyard in Murray Hill. Thinks Trib wrong re Geo Marsh, he’s gd for Italy, he wrote for the World.
Morrill tariff ill timed. 25 Wood’s Tammany ring. Pro public baths.
March 30 p. 5 Fine Arts: NAD
Dispiriting to chronicle yr after yr the deterioration of the Acad exhiitions. Fewer gd pics, same no of tolerable ones, enormous increase of rubbish. Bad pics might shadow forth possibilities of the future, struggles out of which art arise, but bad in old orthodox, unoriginal unimaginative unsuggestive way. Not a half doz express strong individuality or orig power. Traces of influ of Lambinet, Ed Frere, Diaz’s color, and other contemp ptrs feebly imitated, except Eastman Johnson and Carley not a genre pic char of locality in which it was ptd. Actualities of Am life hard to get hold of by novelists and ptrs. Lscape vigorous and nobele, increased, tho famous artists don’t exhibit or shld not be judged by what they do.
First Gallery: rubbish floated to top of coll, Darley, Rowse beaut tender imag, drwgs by Ehninger and others, bald blear unutterably bad pics, how admitted?
Most noticeable other than sleeping Bacchus by Page which we defer to future are Darley, all vivid, esp the aborigine and cockneys he illus in Cooper and Dickens. Ehninger’s Raising of Jairius grouping fine effective, persp deficient.
41 girl making ladies gaiters T Farrer, new name, almost an interesting pic, gaiters unrecognizable, flesh raw cold disagreeable, persp off, accessories lack fidelity, yet a human soul almost looks out, bent on unpoetical shred of leather before her. Creditable failure, unfinished.
PB Wight’s drwgs for NAD sacrificed symmetry to economy, lower story base and pecuniary. 77 Cherubs Rowse finest crayon for years, his Ital Girl too brooding passionate fire in womanhood
April 6 ditto p. 3 Miss E Cheney crayon delicacy of perception, weakness and indecision not unsual among ladies. 108 Ladies at a Piano in every respect the worst pic in the world. 140 White Mtns fr Mt Carter v big pic with little stream, round oily rocks in foregrd resemble entrails. 143 Frank Howland Rendezvous warm rich color graceful compos. Suydam admirable lscape Fog 154 cattle in backgrd rather detract. Hunt two heads 151 and 157 both deep and rich color, lady felicitous pose arrangement.
Gifford’s Twilight in Catskills 225 rep lscape of year, nothing approaching it in power, volcanic intensity to be found, sky glows like a furnace, radiant heat, ghastly light on stream, unites elements essential to powerful interp of capricious moods, not an average or habitual sunset, day dying hard, agonies mirrored, even dead golden tinge on distance has something mysterious and alien. Every one has seen sunsets that dripped with blood or heated furnaces, exceptional moods reproduced. Might be healthier in genl effect.
227 marine sunset MJ Heade next to his in remarkable contrast, everything glows in one, in other not, waves roll green as emerald, translucent, but no tinge of purple light. Finest seascape in coll, all parts of water admirably given, but light not consistent.
Eastman Johnson Husking homely thoroughly Am and therefore orig manner, has been vehemently eulogized. To us seems greatly inferior to his work of last year ad his smaller and less ambitious works in present exhib. It is a gd and remarkable pic, but expect a degree of excellence fr him, some of the accessories like the barn door smeared with paint brushes, its rude chalked inscription Lincoln and Hamlin, indicating the polit leanings of some urchin who has neglected his writing lessons, gun leaning agst door, dead game are alm perfection. Persp admirable, but grouping of figs supplies no central point, rustic Nimrod with big beets lounges, buxom damsel, talking of squirrels, man bearing corn, old party braiding, two additional figs don’t seem essential if add animation to backgrd. Where does interest of work center? Sportsman element of idleness, man with basket industry, braiding thrift, damsel love tho face no such sentiment, and how fused into symmet and harmonious work, old patriarch does not recognize the others idelenss, love or industry. Central fig so profoundly bowed down by basket to seem oblivious. Considered separately features admirable, accessories perfect freedom yet detail, faces have blood in them, but ineffective rln to subj. Compare it with smaller Post Boy 315 which surpasses Frere in tender humanity, tells his own story, absolute perfection, finest genre in years. Marseillaise 269 less familiar subj not indigenous but will be admired, dark Ital faces with pathos and anxieties, treasure. His 259 Papers and 374 Culprit charmingly humorous.
Rondel lots of lscapes, some remark in color and effective in compos, 222 Coming Shower perhaps his best.
Malignant animostity toward GW inspired Carter’s Study for a picture 243 can’t conceive.
Gems fr the Market Frank Howland inspired by dazzling tho meretricious school of Delacroix and tropical splendor of color of Couture, gems above gimcracks, Circassian slaves, first glance at pic is dazzling,c arnival of orient color, tropic embroidery, intoxicating, tho excessive seems appropriate to subject, a sumptuous slavery. 2 conspic faults, sail of boat rigged wrong if water is so smooth, and faces of women deficient in individuality versus countenances of merchants, prophetic of gd things to come for him, one of finest in coll.
496 Noon in Woods of half doz by Wust, this is best, arched vista of trees, novel distrib of light, felicitous, foregrd close and accurate with no stiffness hardness of too microscopic attn to texture, Sunset over Jersey by same some admirable aerial persp and imag effects of light, but solidity to clouds and brazen and metallic diff to account for.
April 11 p. 3 reviews Noble’s after icebergs, pen a poor rival of Church, style is prolix, meretricious and feeble, but so much genuine good feeling that will be read
April 17 1861 p. 3 Fine Arts NAD III:
The Lounger of Harper’s Wkly, a competent authority and graceful writer, places side by side two opinions on present exhibition, one discovers growth, other that conditions for art don’t exist. What are those conditions? Lists, we have them, as to the intelligence of our art patrons generally, may take lib of judging fr the pics. Catholicity of our connoisseurship is glib gabble of ateliers. Most writers on art haven’t studied it systematically. But while we reap our yearly crop of mediocrities, same lscapes wink at us fr same bright golden frames, shall maintain that art is retrogressive.
Congrat Banvard on originality of Snowdon and Syria in 6th gallery, ingenious mode of ptg water in solid chunks and hills of pale liver is quite novel and refreshing, for a gd stiff cascade capable of standing on either end, commend 521 Cascade n Syria.
522 Jan Steen and his Friends. Where are the police? A perusal of 508 dog’s head leaves imp artist has devoted long study to mops, pic is monstrous in texture, color raw hideous, expr of eye and countenance instability of char and hydrophobia.
520 Cut Finger gd color, drawn with skill, subj painful and treatment repulsive. 507 Gman by Thos LeClear, title a blunder, really a port of an armchair and a seal ring, gman n accessory to fill up. 500 NY Bay ina Calm small, obscurely palced, but so bad as to at once arrest and chain the attn. If artist bent on no color but white, why not select gravestone or a wedding party taking refuge fr a snowstorm in a chalk pit?
Moonrise France 519 some charming effects of light, deficient in power, tender dreamy mystery in twilit water, lonely lanter on beach, but long bridge of silver across water is wanting, just faint tremulous drip of light. Bradford’s Wreck exhib much power and study of changing phases, foam, struggle, admirably treated, artist indulge us with sky less bald and commonplace. Hubbard’s 504 Pat to Meadows and 510 Pool in Woods exquis idylls, unsurpassed in coll.
23 Chas Halpine of Leader joined Army
North unified in support of the Union. Happy re mobs at traitor presses
Stopped at the 27th. Dislike Geo Law.