Rafters Of Turkeys, Clowders Of Cats, What's a Herd Of Artists? 1864

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
metro fair american artist brady left.JPG

" American Artists ", gathered as a kind of display for NYC's Metropolitan Sanitary Fair. Anyone look familiar? They should. Some of these men saw an awful lot of the war. LoC.

The 1864 Metropolitan Sanitary Fair was a huge, big deal. I'm not sure it's quite understood what exactly these fairs were- they were a LOT of everything on the planet. You couldn't do justice to just one and there were quite a few. These fund raisers would be amazing to pull of in 2019- 150 years ago it was a spectacular undertaking. Men got to live because The Sanitary Commission stepped up.

NYC's 1864 fair is a whole, 'nother thread. One ' attraction ' was this ' display ' of American artists. Can you imagine the planning just for this photograph? Add to that the knowledge that a big clump of artists rubbing elbows isn't necessarily what you'd think. Whomever managed to achieve this final result is due an awful lot of credit. Bet they swore off good deeds for awhile.Still, what an awesome piece of history!

So Matthew Brady is seated, front left. I think I see Homer Winslow, maybe Thomas Nast, Edwin Forbes- I can't find O'Sullivan or Gardner but may be missing something, Whistler may be here as well as Thomas Eakins? Nathaniel Currier would certainly have been there and I think I see him- anyone else we should know?

It's a wonderful photograph, another question being who on earth took it?
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
View attachment 324542
" American Artists ", gathered as a kind of display for NYC's Metropolitan Sanitary Fair. Anyone look familiar? They should. Some of these men saw an awful lot of the war. LoC.

The 1864 Metropolitan Sanitary Fair was a huge, big deal. I'm not sure it's quite understood what exactly these fairs were- they were a LOT of everything on the planet. You couldn't do justice to just one and there were quite a few. These fund raisers would be amazing to pull of in 2019- 150 years ago it was a spectacular undertaking. Men got to live because The Sanitary Commission stepped up.

NYC's 1864 fair is a whole, 'nother thread. One ' attraction ' was this ' display ' of American artists. Can you imagine the planning just for this photograph? Add to that the knowledge that a big clump of artists rubbing elbows isn't necessarily what you'd think. Whomever managed to achieve this final result is due an awful lot of credit. Bet they swore off good deeds for awhile.Still, what an awesome piece of history!

So Matthew Brady is seated, front left. I think I see Homer Winslow, maybe Thomas Nast, Edwin Forbes- I can't find O'Sullivan or Gardner but may be missing something, Whistler may be here as well as Thomas Eakins? Nathaniel Currier would certainly have been there and I think I see him- anyone else we should know?

It's a wonderful photograph, another question being who on earth took it?
1567990316656.png



I'm betting the photo "American Artists" was taken by Charles Bierstadt, brother of famous landscape artist Albert Bierstadt. Charles was famous in his own right and took the above steroview photo of the Metropolitan Fair in 1864. Charles and his brothers Albert and Edward had formed the photography firm Bierstadt Bros. in 1860 in New Bedford, Mass. Albert by the way was on the Arts Committee for the Fair and one of his western paintings was exhibited among the 360 art paintings displayed. Albert Bierstadt I believe is the gentleman sitting next to Mathew Brady in the far left of the OP photo.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
I'm betting the photo "American Artists" was taken by Charles Bierstadt, brother of famous landscape artist Albert Bierstadt. Charles was famous in his own right and took the above steroview photo of the Metropolitan Fair in 1864. Charles and his brothers Albert and Edward had formed the photography firm Bierstadt Bros. in 1860 in New Bedford, Mass. Albert by the way was on the Arts Committee for the Fair and one of his western paintings was exhibited among the 360 art paintings displayed. Albert Bierstadt I believe is the gentleman sitting next to Mathew Brady in the far left of the OP photo.

Thank you! I was annoyed with myself for knowing so few here. These artists had to be the best known of the day and the Bierstadt brothers hadn't even occurred to me. There's another view of the art exhibit somewhere isn't there?

Tell you what would be an awfully important thread- names of the day who should be better known but aren't. It's not just the art field, we do this thing where a few names get to stand in for all of them.

It's hard to tell and the group photo isn't the best quality but I think the one in the top middle might be O'Sullivan. Edit: the more I look at it, the more confident I get. I really think it's him.

Drat it ( and thank you! ) I'd had him down as someone else- I think your ID is correct. It really pays to get this stuff right, you know? The wrong information gets picked up say, on Pinterest and poof, misinformative wildfire.

A grouping of artists must be a “Pelican”. Because they all carry junk in their trunk!
Laughed out loud, Mrs. V! That should catch on. I've done different art shows, fairs etc. and tend to discover all kinds of random stuff rattling around my trunk months later. I've heard of neat and tidy artists. They must be like Bigfoot, the elusive legend.
 
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connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
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Jun 2, 2017

Here is the catalogue for the 1864 Metropolitan Fair in which is listed the names of the nearly 100 artists who loaned their art work for the exhibition. There are very few names most of us would recognize other than Brady and Bierstadt, both of whom were on the small committee that arranged the art exhibition portion of the fair (the "Picture Gallery" as it was known). I'm thinking that the artists in the various fair photos are some of those who loaned their work and attended the fair. If so, the famous guys like Winslow, Forbes, Whistler and Nast wouldn't have been included in the posed photos. Furthermore, it seems (I could be wrong) the 360 works in the Picture Gallery were all paintings i.e., no photographs were included probably since photos at the time were not considered an art form. If so, then the war photographers like Brady and O'Sullivan and Gardner would naturally have been excluded from the seated photos.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
If so, then the war photographers like Brady and O'Sullivan and Gardner would naturally have been excluded from the seated photos

As ever, someone could have gotten it wrong. The ID is one of those handwritten ID's across the bottom of the image. It's LoC. There's yet another I didn't post- wonder if either was from one of the other fairs, like Philadelphia or The Great Western, not the Metropolitan?
 
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Carronade

1st Lieutenant
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Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
I had not heard of clowder before, but as a long time cat "owner", I have concluded that the collective for cats is "plague". If you have more than one cat, you have a plague of cats :wink:
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Here is a companion photo to the OP. (see strawfoot.com below). It seems that Matthew Brady is definitely in both photos...


1568124436408.png
 
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