Art & Culture

That eighteenth-century British curmudgeon Dr. Read more >>

“I do not admit that a woman can draw like that,” said Degas when he saw one of her pictures

At eight o’clock on the evening of June 14, 1926, a very old woman—blind and suffering from advanced diabetes—died in her chateau on the edge of the tiny village of Mesnil-Theribus, some thirty miles northwest of Paris. Read more >>

A reminiscent tribute to a great American painter, with an evocative selection from thousands of unpublished sketches

Soon after Reginald Marsh’s death in 1954 an art magazine asked me to write about him. When I turned in the article the editor said he liked it but he had one reservation: “You say, ‘In my opinion he was the greatest artist of his time.’ Do you mean that? Read more >>
In 1865, after a highly successful career as an art teacher and wood engraver in New York City, Henry W. Herrick returned to his family’s home in Manchester, New Hampshire, to care for his aging mother. Read more >>

Its venerable Museum of Fine Arts revives an era of forgotten beauty in a very proper Bohemia

Oscar Wilde, who had something clever to say on almost any subject, visited Boston about 1880, attended a debutante ball, and is supposed to have found the state of feminine beauty so low that he now understood why the city’s artists were reduced to “painting Read more >>
From the winter of 1935–36 until shortly after America’s entry into World War II, hundreds of artists were engaged throughout most of the nation in compiling a graphic record of surviving artifacts from the American past. Read more >>
James Fenimore Cooper told him; Charles Sumner and Ralph Waldo Emerson told him; even Charles Bulfinch, one of the architects of the Capitol, told him; but Horatio Greenough knew his own mind. Read more >>

HIS GRANDSON RECALLS:

To his contemporaries Thomas Nast was unquestionably America’s greatest and most effective political cartoonist, attacking corruption with a brilliant and often vitriolic pen, harrying the bosses, creating the political symbols that still remain the emblems of our two major political parties. Read more >>

A PORTFOLIO OF AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN

T he American provincials looked ridiculous. They had no military bearing. Their formations were ragged, and they argued with their officers. Read more >>

The revival in the nineteenth century of medieval motifs in architecture extended from villas and furniture to farmhouses and vineries

Many of the visitors who admire the classic calm of Monticello would be startled if they knew of the original intentions of Thomas Jefferson. Read more >>

If it rained, the painters failed to record it

Food tastes better outdoors, and it always has. Nowadays this rule, which every child learns early in life, can be seen in operation at tailgate parties at football games or wherever spectator sports are in season. Read more >>

An artist recalls his Midwestern home town and the poet who made it famous

I always felt at home in Edgar Lee Master᾿s quarters in the Chelsea Hotel. It was all so much like a Petersburg, Illinois, law office that I might have been back in Papa Smoot’s office overlooking the courthouse square. Read more >>
John Faulkner, like his more famous brother William, was a novelist, but he was also a painter. Read more >>

“Life Style” in the Nineteenth Century

“Painting is dead!” cried a French artist when he saw his first photograph about 1840. But painting was not dead at all: it survived the arrival of photography with surprising vigor. Read more >>
Along with their rusty bedsprings, broken chairs, and other relics, the attics, closets, basements, and barns in this country are stuffed with pictorial surprises. Read more >>
True classics never die. But sometimes second-rate works also acquire unique longevity. Take Uncle Tom’s Cabin , born in 1852. Read more >>

The simple, affectionate water colors of an unassuming Scots immigrant, David J. Kennedy, bring back the Philadelphia of 1876 and our first great world’s fair

President Ulysses S. Grant opened the United States Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia on May 10, 1876. Read more >>

Between the ages of fifteen and twenty, young Peter Rindisbacher captured on canvas the lives of Indians and white pioneers on the Manitoba—Minnesota frontier

On August 12, 1834, a twenty-eight-year-old Swiss-born youth named Peter Rindisbacher, who was just beginning to attract international attention with his colorful and realistic drawings of Indian life along the mid-western United States and central Canadian frontiers, died in S Read more >>

Guess who’s having a revival—

I am one of those people who grew up, I am now aware, in a household that was completely bourgeois. Read more >>

For almost two decades at the turn of the century illustrated songs charmed nickelodeon audiences.

New York received the great composer like a god; he responded con brio to its shiny gadgets and beautiful women and produced an “American” opera.

A “primitive-moderne” spoofs American art and history.

A new talent burst on the art world a few months ago, a talent which lies somewhere between Jackson Pollock and Gluyas Williams and within shouting distance of Maxfield Parrish. His name is simply Mr. Otis, and he comes from Portland. Oregon. Read more >>
It is an interesting paradox that, of the two most famous paintings of Bunker Hill, the one that most suggests a real battle was painted by Pyle, the illustrator who lived long afterward, and not by John Trumbull, the painter who saw it (albeit from a distance) and served briefly in the Revolution (see AMERICAN HERITAGE , June, 1958). Read more >>