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Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair from vault at Pfaff’s.

vol 1, Dec 31, 1859, their model is a knight of old chivalric days, vowed to truth and Virtue.

p5 Reynard the Fox, theatrical fable, critic who preyed on theaters, Herald competed, so employer fired him, tried to get a job at the Herald, who refused him, and he became an outcast.

Jan 7 1860 p. 28

Edw Everett at Bonner’s Ledger, mocks Stephen H Branch, andEverett’s wordy style. Mocks Dana at the Trib fairly often. Seems actually mildly symp to Herald. Express doesn’t like them.

Jan 21 1860 p60 Nude, mocks those who worry about influ of nude art, mocks Crayon notice of NAD praise a picture of roosters for putting them in trousers, style of condemning earlier art “stark, immoral manner of the observant school of art,” “conscientious pencil” and consummate skill in subordinating plumage to smallclothes, euphemisms Jan 28 mocks p78 erection of bronze statues, as luxury, inaccurate, tortured horses.


Quite funny on HW Beecher. Bennett and Greeley contrib towards disunion. Feb 18 p126, Clark Mills’ system as applied to Geo Wash is most disastrous, all who regarded him with affection and veneration will be filled with grief when they see the condition to which he has been brought by the Clark Mills. The once noble features, massive vigorous frame, spirit of glorious vitality all gone and in their place distortion, deformity and heavy lifelessness. Altho the stones of the Capitol do not rise up and denounce the outrage, yet the Nat Treas bleeds. (pun is on the Destructive Mills of Massachusetts). Feb 25 p133 Art in the Senate, motion to appropriate funds for expenses of inaugurating Clark Mills’ equestrian insult to Wash, vivacious conversation on Natl art-matters. Hale of N Hampshire found fault with Persico’s Columbus and Greenough’s Wash, opposed to approp money to fill the city “with these scarecrows.” Hale thought better of the equestrian statue of Jackson, suppose Hale would have preferred Greenough to make Wash standing on his hind legs. His taste enormous, immense and overwhelming, but unfortunately v bad taste. Superfluous for him to deny being a connoisseur.


3 mocks Worth monument as inadequate. p152 more sneers at Mills’ Geo Wash as ungraceful p. 157 longer pretend letter to the editor “from a patriot” on Mills statue as a swindle, Mills did Jackson statue remarkably well, real genius to throw overboard old trammels and restrictions of the schools to empyrean of artistic bravery. Gained the rep he deserved. Hind legs are famous for all time, a fitting trib to the originality of Jackson’s character. Stupidly made Wash, twice as great as Jackson, stand on 3 legs. Better to stand in his saddle as they do at the circus, horse no legs on ground at all. think Jackson did just right abt the US Bank. March 10 has series of illus on comic misfortunes of Gallant Seventh at Wash, inclu watching as Buchanan tried to auction off the statue. Dislike Buchanan very much. p 173 natural history of the Critic, says Herald has tamed them to the box office. March 17 mocks Nicholas Longworth as a donkey, who wants Dallas and other men to promote his wines, the Trib approves of this. Calls Griswold a literary ghoul, who preyed on Poe. Mocks Park Benjamin a little, as a modern good like cheap lit and free schools. Mar 24 mocks GCS (Genio Scott) in Home J, wild papers he is now publishing on life of Boucicault. p203 mocks Willis’ issuing new work fr office of Home J, The Complete Puff Writer, aesthetics of advertising, made up of Willis achievements in eleg art of concealed puffery, sections on the moral puff, puff with humor, medical puff etc 

April 1860

7 mock Herald’s witticisms, second childhood, but the Century, C&E and blanket commercial papers not yet toothless and tottering, that they should indulge in sportiveness, indication of the flippant spirit of the age, remonstrate. (are increasingly nasty toward Herald). Boucicault plagiarises. 14 p246 satire of all the papers, Trib written by 200 editors, whose articles appear in random order, but must mention Kansas; Bennett writes everything in herald; Times ed in v ordinary manner, poet doesn’t write anything for the Post, nor do its two reporters, mystery how it is filled up. Brooks Brothers’ Eve Express conducted economically by happy system of free writing, office boy a Know Nothing. Daily News—nothing is known of how it is edited, and even less abt the Daybook. C&E is just a pic of a scissors. Comm Adv entirely adverts. Sensation story papers all ed by Ed Everett and Ned Buntline. Sunday Papers not edited at all.

28 p. 275 We Visit the Academy of Design, with engravings! Editor tells reporter he must go, spoke about middle distance, impasto etc in cheerful and intellig manner of the Saturday Press man. Opening of NAD good for Flaneurs, dancing young men and women, Young New York needs new small talk. Went with an Irish (O'Titian) artist friend, who told him how the Acad is managed, by a set of fossils, lofty contempt for the present, degenerate artists. Venerable humbugs praise ea other, a governing clique festering with piques and petty jealousies. I knew his grand historical pic Columbus aroused by the cry of Land (includes an Authentic Negro and Patch) was rejected, managers were most virtuous, amiable and talented men, who do not secure all the best places for their friends, and feel generous symp for young, don't truckle to rich men or fawn for orders. If I were a port ptr as indep in thought and powerful in style as Chas Elliott shld paint every one seated on a cloud, with crown of glory.

Hays Wood Duck a stuffed duck very well drawn, with sage and onions, an excellent Taxidermist. Carpenter’s gorgeous pic of theatrical jewelry, accomp by a female head. Ad for Mr Williams shop? p. 276 GA Baker 321 port of child of Father of His Country, hereditary likeness very striking, fine alleg conception of penny trumpet, clarion blast of war. “Justice not Revenge” by Chas Elliott, splendid alleg pic by most admirable of Am ptrs, highly suggestive and full of meaning. a few more such would very soon place the Institu in position it ought to have occupied (empty frame). Hills’ landscape a theatrical set, with a  Real Pine Apple. RJ Pattison Euclidean triangle (also a landscape, with two trees). Edwin White, noble subj, grief stricken female at last year’s shabby bonnet, brute of husb. Favorite, national subj, Landing of Columbus treated by C Rosenberg with great ability, sketch is of a blank surface. LG Sellstedt’s port of an artist, up to snuff, winks at spectator, should have finger to his nose.

p. 278 excerpt fr Whitley’s Circuit Judge, rebuke this NJ editor for not perceiving plot for dissolving the Union in street attack on a VA gman

May 5 1860 p300 Dreadful first of May, thinks editor a reverend person, a patriarch fr Goldsmith, with behind a square church tower, an oak, a bit of green sward and a lot of gravestones, all lovely with the light of an afternoon sun in the month of October. 12 crit of Emmanuel B Hart, surveyor of Port. Critical of new Sabbatarian law for better control of other peoples’ business. Mock Tupper.

p. 316 Our Second Visit to NAD (Bister): Banvard capital specimen of a card house, called the residence of the artist. John Mulvany 105 charming sampler style of art, ample field in the department store (In a Garden). Brandt’s etching in soot as bad as ports of Danl Webster with a hot poker. Monstrosities. R de Trobriand well known French litterateur, what drawing masters show to prospective parents. Thorndike, camel crossing a ferry on a raft while sun is setting, sun gotten up regardless of expense. Barrow Old Cavalier getting shampooed, admirable lather. Markham Tempted, to move on. Boughton facing the storm, commonplace, bad in flesh texture, but Frozen Stream redeems pudgy girl traveling thru immoveable snow. Ehninger Wash first interview, don’t know which to pity most. Wust William of Orange, surprise considerable could he behold, a great deal of his orange was captured. Heade approaching Thunder storm, salad gravy of egg yolk, black pepper and mustard. Miss J Oakley’s Home, strong on upholstery. Carter’s St Mathew is knee deep in soap. Sophie Anderson Golden Hours, metallic figs standing in sun too long. Frank Howland’s Geo Jordan in his drawers in dressing room, pondering what to wear (Don Juan). Van Inger, road with ice cream vanilla, an expensive amusement. WOW Dana, strangely orig, an Arab has been shovelling snow fr sphynx on Broadway, poetic alleg obscure.

p.317: Wengler, epileptic rocks frothing at the mouth. E Johnson Mating charming, first class artist. Bellew’s Wee Folk, infernal regions, repulsive fairies. Badly hung, should follow Elliott. Sophie Anderson admirable picture restoring, should work on Elliott. O’Titian tried to hang one of his horrid pictures over Leighton’s Romeo and Juliet, had to pass over Saintin and Zimmerman. Must speak of bust 207 by Launt Thompson, beauty in youth, seductive, possesses it.

May 19 satirize women’s rights. 5-26 seem symp to reading Prot bible in the schools. Fremont a good candidate to arouse effervescent enthus of youth, a children’s campaign, an issue to content for, but Lincoln won’t excite the youth, too characterless, with an aimless party, Kansas is bled to death, and Repubs won’t admit to anti-slavery plank, Lincoln has too many defects.

June 1860

pretty caricatured black men. Albany leg represents the country, versus the metropole of NYC. Jun 9, jolly dog suggests techniques of pound be used for whelps and curs of men too, tho expensive, hear need $200 for an alderman. Wevill is one of their engravers, Stephens their cartoonist? Quite hostile to Irish. p390 on the World, asserts Christianity in journalism, isn’t that an insult to Webb, Greeley, Bennett, and Raymond (in gd standing in an Evangelical Church), other puns. Mullen? Muller? another artist. Jun 23 thinks World is fossiliferous.

Volume 2 starts with June 30, 1860, Louis H Stephens, publisher. Preface” party to celebrate, guests included Mrs Public, Greeley, Raymond, Webb, Clapp Jr, Editor of World, Aug Belmont, Gurowski, Doesticks, in drawing room with ptgs by Greuze of women in four quarters of globe, Richd Storrs Willis composes a hymn. Maybe they wanted Seward? World has improved with new blood. Jul 7 p24 unfunny joke on Twilight in the Wilderness

            running a story with the opening tag No pent up cuticle contracts our powers,/For all we want we’ll grab—and call it ours.

Jul 21 calls the Prince of Wales an expensive institution. regularly mocks Everett, and the World (doesn't review theater), and Herald. Claim (falsely) to admire Stephen H Branch, the Sunday editors, novels of Herman Melville, politician Banks.

Aug 4 reviews Private Libraries of NY by James Wynne, MD, as pub in Eve Post, mocks his omissions, inclu RL Stuart, refined taste, has saccharissa and sugar cane; omits RG White’s jewel Mother Goose’s melodies. Omits collection of Gardner Furnace, includes Keese’s publication of Sinless Child, Pope Alexander’s Rape of the Lock, the prose works of Walter Whitman, the great American Kosmos, no connection of Humboldt’s, new ed of Casanova recommended by the World, complete De Kock. Mayor Harper’s coll has Cornelius Mathews, Doesticks, Genl Morris’ Poems presentation copy, editions of Joe Miller, as in Editor’s Table of the monthly. Wickoff’s coll has Opie on Lying, a present fr Geo Wilkes, jokes on marriage. Greeley’s lib, which has Douglass, Barnum, Seward (imperfect), Youatt, Beecher, Fanny Fern, Chapin, Fourier (bosh on flyleaf by Dana), Webster’s dictionary, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Redpath’s John Brown, an old number of the Home J Aug 18 p90 Herald calls Genl John A Dix postmaster a bungler. Attached to Buchanan though.

Aug 25 p104, cartoon of a photographer at Rocky Mtns under tent being attacked by Indian he can’t see. Whereabouts and whatabouts of our artists: Van Beest marine ptr on a raft, ptg a pano, Jarvis hist port retired to a cave, doing Bennett and Prince of Wales. Elliott, port, in Hoboken, taking The World Easy. Saintin pastel bored. Sonntag, lscape, hitting turkey buzzrds. Carl Muller sculptor busy at statue of the What is It? GL Brown lscape, roaming abt doing NY a la Rome on commission for HW Beecher. Delissard, feeding those “chickens.” Gignoux, lscape, opera glass. Church, lscape, in a balloon to paint the meteor for Lt Maury. Hicks port off on that “bit of a farm” digging potatoes. E Johnson, poesie d’Afrique, Sich a gittin up Stars. DeHaas, marine, brewing storms. Brothers Hart, chasing dear.  Tait studying stewed terrapins in Phila. Whitley, lscape, at Hoboken, as learn fr Circuit Judge, sketching the electric wires.

Sept 1 p115 Corresp Vanity Fair Our Euro Letter no 3 fr Brussels by Prime, art-critics and aesthetical amateurs on the qui vive re new Supplement to Ruskin’s book, still more advanced theory, illus by ptgs of a pupil of Turner’s not yet known. To depict forms and objects is below hi art, which takes most delight in harmony of shades, lights and colors, out of which the imag shld make its own forms, the Preadamite school of art, artist in an insane asylum, required restraint for his enthus for Turner’s last pics. p116 Vanity Fair mocks the homes being offered to the Prince, VF’s is 16 stories in height, felicitous combo of Fifth-avenuetral and Composite archit, gleaming colonnade, massive Palladian ballisters, fluted capitals and fringes, medieval portals, spacious atrium surrounded with strong pedestals and arabesque architraves. Parlors, 6 in ea story, ormolu carpets, Saxony curtains, beaufets of 3 pile velvets, solid god and silver cushions, ottomans of Sevres and Limoges, choice Gall of Pics by best pre-Raph masters, Canova, Thorvaldsen etc, flagons of apricots etc. Sept 8 ongoing story visits Newport, sees HT Tuckerman, Charlotte Cushman, Stebbins, Hosmer, Hunt, Hiram Fuller and Bryant, as latter looked in pic at the Century where Leutze pointed it out. Sept 8 cartoon about an artist in his studio. Jenkins is reporter on Prince for Herald? James O Noyes ed of Knickbock mag or is it still Clark? 132 caricature of artist. Calls Douglas Aminadab Sleek. Sept 22 p156 continues response to Wynne’s series on libraries, FS Cozzens proprietor of West Pt Hotel, see description in Appletons New Am Cyclo, friends inclu Charley Elliott, Lewis Clarke, and one of their satirists, owns a Longworth dictionary of wines, Dix’s Winter in Madeira, Mother cary’s chickens with portraits of Alice and Phoebe, Noyes (Dr Jg Noyes of Knick) On th Still. Herald reporter on Prince lacks all decent and manly spirit. Mocks the Independent, Park Godwin writing for it, as is Greeley.

Oct 1860: Stedman writes for them. 27 p213 Sich a Gittin Up Stairs, caricatures of black people, support Lincoln, Stephens artist. World is in a coma. Nov 3 p22o satire of Pre Raph artist, will exceed Old World, happy arrangement, expressive, magnif noble, chiaroscuro fo the pocket, etc. Genl Chas W Sandford is incompetent. GP Morris writing satirical poems for Bonner? Recommend also hire Edwin Forrest for notes on Shakespere (Shakespearian clown) p228 from the Irish News, calls O’Brien who is a stonecutter a sculptor and notes his offer to model Perry to compete with Walcutt, but was refused. O’Brien critical of this, will reproduce Walcutt’s model in marble, gives it more detail, they point out this is wrong, Colt wouldn’t stand for it in the factory, conduct toward Walcutt is unfair and perfidious, recommend he inquire of Canova, Thorwaldsen, Gibson Ives or Hosmer were stonecutters and how much they pd Italians. Mocks Bonner’s writers, inclu Miss Carey and Fanny Fern etc. Artemus Ward. Suggests Dana controls Greeley at Trib. Nov 17, will miss Buchanan, Menken and Walt Whitman engaged, write our own poetry, include Lines on the Port of a Played Out Gman (the NY Observer endorsed him). Mention Saturday Press and Gurowski. 24 cartoon of an artist in his studio, jargon mocked 

Dec 1 1860 p268 The Fine Arts: Opinions of the Undersigned, opening of Inst of FA inBroadway, happy to say I assisted. (Muller? does caricature of a critic at an easel) Have noticed white marble bldg with kaydids and cupids, world betw them, handsomest galleries, green baize and red carpets and dark woodwork, glittering gas frames, dear old Duss pics. Jarves Coll in small gall, High Old Masters, curious old fellows with gilt backgrds and little black saints and virgins sprawling. Terrible for virgins holding things, gable ends, with finials, and gilt dinner plates, extraord animals, inaccessible anatomy, v quaint and charming. likes tracing the changes toward the study of Nature, hopes or trust that they are, each and all, Undoubted Originals. long and joyous loaf (cut off?). p273 another cartoon of photog at Rocky Mtns west of Central Park under a tent p. 277 cartoon on an Aesthetic Undertaker, concerned with style. p278 aren’t going to refer to James Gordon Bennett any more (but they do). large, dim person, professes to be the Father of his Country petrified into drabbish stone by some wily sculptor—Thom, we believe—has been bought off fr frightening people in the City Hall Park by our Aldermen for a bribe of 2000 dollars. Going to move him to triangular plot in Tompkins Market square. When this is done, we may “celebrate ourselves,” as Whitman says. Ought to be covered up with thick matting.

Dec 8 has ongoing satire of corresp fr war in Italy and Garibaldi. p. 282 City Aldermen upset that Trib criticizing the purchase of statue of Washington, recommended it be moved to dirtiest location in city, the counting room of the Trib. A letter to vanity Fair suggests placing the Statue of Wash on grounds of the Blind Asylum, and editors, agree, would add to it portraits of Gerard, a School Trustee as a satyr, Geo Law, Bennett, Mayor Wood, city govt, blind will be comforted by not being able to see. p284 shows Wash mon in ruins (in DC?), and a poem to Brown Stone What is it. Connoisseurs thought Thom did caricatures, but his rural audience liked his work, his Wash was bald and bare, mournful and sepultural air. p.287 editors at World include Stedman, White, Spaulding, Marble, Cummings. Hate Fernando Wood. p. 288 Boston and its Pictures, an artist stands on pyramid of ptgs, in style of the private libraries, lists joke pictures in Boston, mostly puns, instead of the Heart of the Andes, series will begin with Pericardium of the Alleghanies by Hart, Lungs of the Windward Islands, by Bellows etc. Dec 15 Artemus Ward mocks Edw Forrest’s shakespearian acting

Dec 22 p.307-309 Xmas among the cavaliers during the early days of Virginia, by E Leutze; p. 312 pic and poem of a lonely pine standing surrounded by ice, snow, cold winds, shivering, dreaming of a palm tree in far southern land, sadly drooping alone in burning sand, fr Heine. p314 letter fr Pro Patria et Gloria, re Brown Stone what is it again, a 7th regiment member, settled in our quarters, but Mass of Brown Stone to go in front of our Armory. We cheered Wood, shouldn’t allow this Calamity, Men of Taste as well as Soldiers, shouldn’t have our finer feelings crushed, withered, pulverized by that Geological What is It before our eyes. Will be a riot.

Dec 29 Big Cartoon shows Herald as a dog, trapping Lincoln. Index.

Vol3 Vanity Fair Jan 5 1861, 6 cents, $3 year

Fitzhugh Ludlow writing stories. p6 cartoon of Artist sketching Fort Moultrie. Jan 12 p17 Webster’s Statue, fr Iscariot Peters in a letter fr Boston to the editors, recall Edw Everett at inaug, sd any secession statue was going to get down fr its pedestal, but it won’t, though wish it would, and escape fr those hideous trousers and its general ugliness into the sea. Edw sd Webster’s statue would never commit suicide. I argued getting down fr pedestal would be wholly unprecedented, a radical movement, inexcusable innovation. Edw wrong, must go into exile himself. One of their contributors said he represented the 35th district of NY in 1841-42. Sarcastic tribute to Buchanan of A Jackson medal, for patriotic stand in defence of the union (jackson defeated the nullifiers). Jan 26 very hostile to anti-slavery. p45 studio anecdote of Forrest sitting for his port as Coriolanus, Spartacus or other muscular heathen, in studi of eminent ptr, HW Beecher greeted artist and passed tragedian without speaking, latter growled, divine says mistook you for the wooden man, the figure, you know. Feb 23 Wikoff’s letter on Am slavery, not interesting, pretentious. Corresp mocks Lincoln, don’t like his advisers (Weed?)

Mar 2 p105 more jokes on pictures in Boston by same author, Wolf Mahlstock, describes Webster statue as bundle of sticks in left hand possibly a jointed fish pole, or whole thing meant for an Aquarius. rage for Old Masters, extravagantly old, obscured by smoke or dirt or tobacco juice, often reject truly beaut modern work because figs too nude, while old affair modelled after donuts in huckster’s window ostentatiously paraded.Seems quite critical of Allston’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Daniel fatigued by load of green baize on his arm, twice as long and stout as the other, prize fighter for King Belshazzar, nondescript giants with awfully long necks and eyes and tongues protruding in unearthly manner, disgusting, should be a floor cloth. But wroth seeing are a View in the Lager Nation, as seen thru a glass, by Bierstadt, Dislocated Spine by Achenbach, Cattle Grazing by Cropsey, Port of an eminent Surveyor by Landseer, the Office Seeker by Hunt, Hosmer. Mar 9 p. 115 Our great Iceberg melting away (Lincoln as the sun getting rid of Buchanan) cartoon. p. 117 mocks the design on the Dime for 1860, liberty pole and cap is cane with an old stocking on it, hand a forked radish, arm as long as her leg, small head as only job is to look at E in the word States, legs entirely out of proportion to body, clothes reduced to her last shifts. No thirteen stars. Mock Tupper. Mar 16 p. 125 cartoon of Artistic Photographer. a writer on Boots mocks Hicks’ grinning skull p131 long attack on style of Jenkins of the Herald, their society reporter, on the Inaug ball (also did Prince of Wales), suited for court of Haiti. p. 132 the Grammar of Art Gossip, herald has secured  for some time past a bad art critic, just shakes conventional adjectives on long string of items, gets paid $5.

Mar 23 p143 Art itemizers inform Geo L Brown moonlight studies for Niagara in winter, NY artists blind to subjects in range of their studios, cld have done Falls in Winter in Central Park on a skating day

Mar 30 1861 p156 Glances at the Gallery, 423 A Wust Sunset on the Jersey Flats, the Wust is Best. Wm Page 446 Dolce Far Niente, if tis sweet to do nothing, Page should do it, would be better than this.

April 6 p. 159 More Glances at the Gallery 223 Husking E Johnson: no pretty girls to be kissed, all talk and no cider. Wm Winter poem. Seem rather warlike. April 20, no rosewater compromise, drive out the traitors, hurrah then for war. Ballad for the time, is land of the pine to the land of the palm. Stopped there.