Monday, August 19, 2013

Celebrating in 1830-60s America - Music & Dance by William Sidney Mount 1807-1868


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Catching the Tune 1866-7
 

William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Dance of the Haymakers 1845


The Irish tradition of "dancing a jig" in the Middle Atlantic was noted by a newspaper reporter in the middle of the century.  In 1848, a reporter for the New York Tribune visited a hotel in Philadelphia's Southwark district where working-class men & women came to drink & dance. When the "old negro fiddler" strikes up a tune in a dancing-room upstairs, the reporter records,

"The dance proceeds for a few minutes in tolerable order; but soon the excitement grows, the dancers begin … accelerating their movements, accompanied with shouts of laughter, yells of encouragement and applause, … Affairs are now at their height. The black fiddler increases the momentum of his elbow and calls out the figure in convulsive efforts to be heard [while] the dancers, now wild with excitement, leap frantically about … and at length conclude the dance in the wildest disorder and confusion. As soon as the parties recover, the fiddler makes his appearance among them and receives from each gentleman a tip as his proportion of the ceremony of 'facing the music,' and the floor is cleared for a new set; and so goes on the night."


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Right and Left 1850


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Dancing on the Barn Floor 1831


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) The Banjo Player 1856


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Rustic Dance After a Sleigh Ride 1830


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) The Bone Player 1856


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) The Breakdown Bar Room Scene 1835


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Just in Time


William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) The Power of Music 1847


William Sidney Mount (American genre painter, 1807-1868)  The Banjo Player 1856