Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Paintings by American Artist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916)

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William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Beatrice Clough Bachmann

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Portrait of a Woman 1885

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) 1890

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Contemplation 1889

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs Leslie Cotton 1888

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) A Lady in Brown

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) in a White Shawl

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Mrs William Merritt Chase (Alice Bremond Gerson) 1892

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Irene Dimock

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) Lydia Field Ammet 1892
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - No Children or Dogs


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

Ceremonious visits should be short; if the conversation ceases without being again continued by the person you have come to see, and if she gets up from her seat under any pretext whatever, custom requires you to make your salutation and withdraw.

If, before this tacit invitation to retire, other visitors are announced, you should adroitly leave them without saying much. If, while you are present, a letter is brought to the person you are visiting, and she should lay it' down without opening it, you must entreat her to read it. She will probably not do so, and-this circumstance will warn you to shorten your visit.

When you make a half-ceremonious call, and the person you are visiting insists upon your stopping, it is proper to do so, but after a few minutes you should rise to go; if you are urged still further, and are taken by the hands and made to sit down, as it were by force, to leave immediately would be impolite; but, nevertheless, after a short interval, get up a third time, and then certainly retire.

To carry children or dogs with one on a visit of ceremony, is altogether vulgar.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Carrying Calling Cards


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

After making one's toilette with care, visitors should furnish themselves with cards.

Gentlemen ought simply to put their cards into their pocket, but ladies may carry them in a small elegant portfolio, called a card-case. This they can hold in their hand, and it will contribute essentially (with an elegant handkerchief of embroidered cambric,) to give them an air of good taste.

On visiting cards, the address is usually placed under the name, towards the bottom of the card, and in smaller letters. Mourning cards are surmounted with a broad black margin; half mourning ones, with a black edge only.

It is bad tone to keep the cards you have received around the frame of a looking-glass; such an exposure shows that you wish to make a display of the names of visitors.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Leaving Cards & Recording Visits


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

Should you not find the person you call on at home, leave a card.

With a friend or relation whom we treat as such, we do not keep an account of our visits.

The one who has most leisure, calls upon the one who has the least; but this privilege ought not to be abused; it is necessary to make our visits of friendship at suitable times. On the contrary, a visit of ceremony should never be made without keeping an account of it, and we should even remember the intervals at which they are returned, for it is indispensably necessary to let a similar interval elapse.

People in this way give you notice whether they wish to see you often or seldom. There are some persons whom one goes to see once in a fortnight; others, once a month; and others, less frequently.

In order not to omit visits, which are to be made, or to avoid making them from misinformation, when a preceding one has not been returned, persons who have an extensive acquaintance will do well to keep a little memorandum-book for this
purpose.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Propriety of Carriage or Body Language


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

At home and abroad the carriage of the body is as expressive as the tone of the voice, and perhaps more so, because it is more constant; it betrays to the observer all the shades of character, and you ought to be very careful of thus making a general confession, by affected manners, a pretending deportment, sneering ways, rough movements, a hard countenance, impertinent signs and looks,
simpering smiles, clownish gestures, a nonchalant and effeminate posture, or a carriage of the body distinguished by prudery and stiffness.

Young ladies, little habituated to the world, ought to be on their guard against excessive timidity, for it not only paralyzes their powers, renders them awkward, and gives them an almost silly air, but it may even cause them to be accused of pride, among people who do not know that embarrassment frequently takes the form of superciliousness.

How often does it happen that timid persons do not notice you at all, or answer in a low voice, and fail in numberless agreeable attentions, for want of courage! These attentions, and these duties, they discharge in petto, but who will thank them for if! A proper degree of confidence, but not degenerating into assurance, still less into boldness or familiarity, is then one of the most desirable qualities in the world. To obtain which, you must observe the tone, and the manner of polite and obliging people, take them for your guides, and under their direction make continual efforts to conquer your timidity...

Propriety in the carriage of the body is especially indispensable to ladies. It is by this that, in a walk, or any assembly, people, who cannot converse with them, judge of their merit and their good education.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Departing Guests


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

When visitors show any intention of leaving you, you ought affectionately to endeavour to detain them ; nevertheless, if their resolution seems immoveable, renew your invitations for another visit, and your regret at not having been able to succeed better in retaining them.

To do the honours of one's own house, it is necessary to have tact, address, and knowledge of the world, a great evenness of temper, and much affability. It is necessary to forget one's self, in order to be occupied with others, but without hurry or affectation; to encourage timid persons, and put them at their ease; and to enter into conversation, directing it with address rather than sustaining it ourselves.

The mistress of a house ought to be obliging, of an equal temper, and attentive in accommodating herself to the particular tastes of every one, especially to appear delighted that guests are with her, and make themselves perfectly at home.

They, on their part, should show themselves contented and grateful for the reception that is given; and should immediately on arriving at home, write to the persons who have entertained them, a letter of cordial thanks.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reminiscing

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Edward Lamson Henry (American Painter, 1841-1919) Memories 1873
Edward Lamson Henry (1841–1919) was an American genre painter born in Charleston, South Carolina who came to live in New York at an early age. As a painter of early American life, he displays a quaint humour. Henry acquired an extensive collection of antiques, old photos, & assorted Americana, from which he researched his paintings. His wife Frances said that "Nothing annoyed him more than to see a wheel, a bit of architecture etc. carelessly drawn or out of keeping with the time it was supposed to portray.”
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Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - Musical Chairs


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

When any one enters, whether announced or not, rise immediately, advance towards them, request them to sit down...If it is a young man, offer him an arm-chair, or a stuffed one; if an elderly man, insist upon his accepting the armchair; if a lady, beg her to be seated upon the sofa. If the master of the house receives the visitors, he will take a chair and place himself at a little distance from them; if, on the contrary, it is the mistress of the house, and if she is intimate with the lady who visits her, she will place herself near her.

If several ladies come at once, we give the most honourable place to the one who, from age, or other considerations, is most entitled to respect. In winter, the most honourable places are those at the corners of the fire-place: in proportion as they place you in front of the fire, your seat is considered inferior in rank. Moreover, when it happens to be a married lady, and one to whom we wish to do honour, take her by the hand, and conduct her to the corner of the fire-place. If this place is occupied by a young lady, she ought to rise, and offer her seat to the other, taking for herself a chair in the middle of the circle...

If a lady who receives a half ceremonious visit, is sewing, she ought to leave off immediately, and not resume it, except at the request of the visitor. If they are on quite intimate terms, she ought herself to request permission to continue. If a person visits in an entirely ceremonious way, it would be very impolite to work even an instant. Moreover, with friends a lady should hardly be ocupied with her work, but seem to forget it on their account.

In proportion as the visitor is a stranger, the master or mistress of the house rises, and any persons who may be already there, are obliged to do the same. If some of them then withdraw, the master or mistress of the house should conduct them as far as the door...It is no longer the custom to give the hand to ladies, but to offer them the arm...If she is to return in a carriage, we should politely hand her into it.
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Going to the Post Office

.Edward Lamson Henry (American Painter, 1841-1919) Cragsmoor Post Office 1903

Edward Lamson Henry (1841–1919) was an American genre painter born in Charleston, South Carolina who came to live in New York at an early age. As a painter of early American life, he displays a quaint humour. Henry acquired an extensive collection of antiques, old photos, & assorted Americana, from which he researched his paintings. His wife Frances said that "Nothing annoyed him more than to see a wheel, a bit of architecture etc. carelessly drawn or out of keeping with the time it was supposed to portray.”
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - Receive Guests in the Parlour NOT the Dining Room


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

In a house where affluence abounds, it is indispensable to have a drawing-room; if that cannot be afforded, then let the receiving room be the parlour.

To receive company in a dining-room is not allowed, except among those who cannot bear the expense of furnishing a parlour or drawing-room. Simplicity admitted into an apartment of this kind, suited to smallness of means, we cannot but approve, while we regret, nevertheless the disagreeable things to which such a residence subjects the parties.

But we have, in this respect, an express warning to hold out to people who give themselves up to it unnecessarily, for it is altogether opposed to the received usages of good society to put yourselves in a situation which you cannot adorn; then you are exposed to receiving twenty visits during dinner, of seeing as many interruptions during the setting of your table, since it is impossible to spread the cloth properly, etc. while strangers remain; finally, of having them witness your domestic cares while removing the remains of a repast, the table-cloth, dishes, etc
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - On Receiving Guests At Home


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

To receive visitors with ease and elegance, and in such a manner that every thing in you, and about you, shall partake of propriety and grace,— to endeavour that people may always be satisfied when they leave you, and be desirous to come again, — are the obligations of the master, and especially of the mistress, of a house.

Every thing in the house ought, as far as possible, to offer solid comfort, and true grace.

Perfect order, exquisite neatness and elegance, which easily dispense with being sumptuous, ought to mark the entrance of the house, the furniture, and the dress of the lady.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

More 19th-Century American Women & Their Offspring by Ammi Phillips (1788-1865)

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Ammi Phillips (1788-1865) c 1836 Ammi Phillips. Augusta Maria Foster

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Mrs Day

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Hannah Bull Thompson

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Jeanette Payne

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Mary Elizabeth Smith

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Old Woman with a Bible

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Wife of the Journalist

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Young Girl and Her Cat

Ammi Phillips (1788–1865) Portrait of a Woman



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Etiquette for American Ladies 1840 - Too Much Propriety


Etiquette for Ladies: With Hints on the Preservation, Improvement, and Display of Female Beauty. Published by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia. 1838-1840

Moderation in everything is so essential, that it is even a violation of propriety itself, to affect too much the observance of it. It is to propriety, its justice and attractions, that we owe all the charm of sociality... In an assemblage of truly polite people, all evil seems to be unknown; what is just, estimable, and good, or what we call fit or suitable, is felt on all sides; actions, manners, and language, alike indicate it.

And if we place in this select assembly, one who is a stranger to the advantages of a polite education, she will at once be made sensible of the value of it, and will immediately desire to display the same urbanity by which she has been pleased.

If politeness is necessary in general, it is not less so in particular cases. Neither rank, talents, fortune, nor beauty, can dispense with this amenity of manners; nor can anything inspire regard or love, without graceful affability, mild dignity, and elegant simplicity...a kind smile, or an affectionate tone, penetrates the heart more deeply than the most brilliant elocution.

As to the technical part of politeness, or forms alone, the intercourse of society, and good advice, are undoubtedly useful; but the grand secret of never failing in propriety of deportment, is to have an intention of always doing what is right. With such a disposition of mind, exactness in observing what is proper appears to all to possess a charm and influence; and then not only do mistakes become excusable, but they become even interesting from their thoughtlessness and naivete. Be, therefore, modest and benevolent, and do not distress yourself on account of the mistakes of your inexperience; a little attention, and the advice of a friend, will soon correct these trifling errors.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

American Women & Their Families by Henry Benbridge 1743-1812

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Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Margaret Cantey (Mrs. John Peyre).
Henry Benbridge (1744–1812), early American portrait painter, was born in Philadelphia, the only child of James & Mary (Clark) Benbridge. When he was 7 years old, his widowed mother married Thomas Gordon, a wealthy Scot. The boy's artistic talent was encouraged, as he made decorative designs for his stepfather's drawing-room.

Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Gordon Family (his stepfather & mother Mary Clark Benbridge Gordon) 1763-65
When he was 21, Benbridge was sent to Italy, where he studied with Pompeo Batoni & Anton Raphael Mengs. From there he journeyed to London before returning to Philadelphia. Like other young Americans he was encouraged by Benjamin West. He wrote, on December 7, 1769, to his stepfather: "Upon my arrival I waited upon Mr. West who received me with a sort of brotherly affection, as did my cousin, Mrs. West." He left England in 1770, bearing from West the following note of recommendation to Francis Hopkinson: "By Mr. Benbridge you will receive these few lines. You will find him an Ingenous artist and an agreeable Companion. His merit in the art must procure him great incouragement and much esteem. I deare say it will give you great pleasure to have an ingenous artist resident amongst you."Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Mrs Charles Coteworth Pinckney Sarah Middleton Benbridge 1773In Philadelphia, Benbridge married & was admitted to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1771. Suffering from asthma & the cold of Philadelphia, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he succeeded Jeremiah Theus as the region's popular portrait painter. Around 1800 Benbridge relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, & made frequent visits to his native Philadelphia. At Norfolk he gave Thomas Sully his first lessons in oil painting. Earlier in Charleston, he had instructed Thomas Coram. Sully described his master as "a portly man of good address–gentlemanly in his deportment."
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Archibald Bulloch Family 1775
Benbridge, who had certainly seen the lastest opulent fashion trends, as he studied in Italy with Pompeo Batoni & in England with expatriate Benjamin West, had a distrust of the trendy fashionable. In 1770, when his sisters were nearing marrying age, Benbridge wrote his mother from London, that his sisters "should not refuse a good plain honest Country farmer if such a one should offer himself with tolerable good estate, for one of the town who perhaps may have a better taste for dress, but not more merit, if perhaps as much."
1784 Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Rachel Moore (Mrs. William Allston II).
When Benbridge had returned from Europe settling in Charlestown, South Carolina, to make a living painting portraits, he wrote to his sister Betsy in 1773, "Every kind of news here is very dull, the only thing attended to is dress and dissipation, & if I come in for a share of their superfluous Cash, I have no right to find fault with them, as it turns out to my advantage."
1790 Henry Benbridge (743-1812). Mary Boyer (Mrs. Robert Shewell).

In 1785, Benbridge, who loved the simple pleasures of gardening, was still worried about the too fancy dress of his son, Harry, whom Benbridge lovingly called "my little fellow." He wrote to his sister that he felt that his wife was dressing him in "too good things for a boy like him to wair, & likewise too many of them at once; he can't take care of them when he is at play & more common & Strong stuff in my Opinion would answer much better, & not fill his head with foolish notions of dress, which perhaps may be his bane."
1780s Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Elizabeth Allston (Mrs. William H. Gibbes).
It is not surprising that Benbridge painted many of his female clients in dignified classical gowns looking serious, thoughtful, & restrained.

Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Lady of the Middleton Family. 1780s Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Enoch Edwards Family 1779
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Mrs Benjamin Simons 1771-76
Henry Bendridge (1743-1812). The Hartley Family. 1787
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Sarah White (Mrs. Isaac Chanler). 1770s
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812 The Tannant Family 1770s
Attributed to Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Rebecca Lloyd (Mrs Edward Davies) 1770s
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Mary Bryan Morel and Her Children c 17773
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Allegorical Portrait of Sarah Flagg c 1774
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Mrs. Mumford Milner (Elizabeth Brewton) b 1786
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Rebecca Gordon (his half sister) 1770s
Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) Elizabeth Ann Timothy Mrs William Williamson c 1775-85
1770s Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Charlotte Pepper (Mrs. James Gignilliat)..