Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Philadelphia Seed Dealer & Nurseryman - Robert Buist 1805-1880 who called his female customers his "Patronesses."


Robert Buist 1805-1880 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Buist was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, November 14, 1805. He was trained at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and sailed to America in August 1828.


When he arrived in America, he was employed by David Landreth, and then took employment with Henry Pratt who owned Lemon Hill which was probably one of the finest gardens in the U.S. at the time.

He formed a partnership with Thomas Hibbert in 1830 in a florist business in Philadelphia. They imported rare plants and flowers, especially the rose. He sold many of his plants to neighborhood ladies in Philadelphia, whom he called them his Patronesses.

After Hibbert’s death he began a seed business, along with the nursery and greenhouse business. The business in Philadelphia started out as Robert Buist's Seed Store, selling gardening supplies, potted plants, shrubs, small fruits, and rose bushes. By 1837, the growing business relocated to 12th Street below Lombard; and in1857, the company moved to a location on Market Street.  And in 1870, it expanded to 67th Street near Darby Road. The Buist farm, Bonaffon, was located in the section of Philadelphia through which Buist Avenue now runs.

Alfred M. Hoffy, lithographer. View of Robert Buist’s City Nursery & Greenhouses. Philadelphia Wagner & McGuigan, 1846.

Buist if often credited with introducing the Poinsettia into Europe, after he saw it at Bartram's Gardens in Philadelphia.  During Buist’s early training at the Edinburg Botanic Garden, he met James McNab, a scientist & artist who eventually became the garden’s director.  In the early 1830s, McNab traveled to America with retired nurseryman Robert Brown to study plants native to the United States. While in America, McNab visited his friend Buist in Philadelphia. When McNab met with Buist in 1834, he gave the Poinsettia plant to him to take back to Scotland. The garden’s director, Dr. Robert Graham introduced the plant into British gardens.



Buist was reknown for his roses & verbena.  He was the author of several books and many catalogues of his plant offerings, among them are The American Flower-Garden Directory (1832); The Rose Manual (1844, 6 editions); and The Family Kitchen-Gardener (c1847).

Buist was obsessed by roses.  Gardener & plant historian Alex Sutton tells us that Buist sailed to Europe every year or two to buy new rose hybrids being developed in Europe.  He purchased much of his stock from M. Eugene Hardy of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. In 1832, Buist saw 'Madame Hardy' for the first time and he wrote: "Globe Hip, White Globe, or Boule de Neige of the French, is an English Rose raised from seeds of the common white, a very pure white, fully double and of globular form. A few years ago it was considered 'not to be surpassed,' but that prediction, like many others, has fallen to the ground, and now 'Madame Hardy' is triumphant, being larger, fully as pure, more double, and an abundant bloomer; the foliage and wood are also stronger. The French describe it as 'large, very double pure white, and of cup or bowl form."  Buist introduced 'Madame Hardy' in Philadephia to his customers, many of whom must have been Philadelphia matrons.

In 1839, Buist visited another of his suppliers, Jean-Pierre Vibert, of Lonjeameaux, near Paris, where he found 'Aimee Vibert'. He brought this rose back with him to Philadephia and wrote: "Aimee Vibert, or Nevia, is a beautiful pure white, perfect in form, a profuse bloomer, but though quite hardy doe snot grow freely for us; however, when budded on a strong stock it makes a magnificent standard, and blooms with a profusion not surpassed by any."


Seed storage warehouse of Philadelphia seedsman Robert Buist. From an 1891 wholesale seed catalog



In his catalog of 1872 Buist wrote “Three of the celebrated ‘Gordon’s Printing Presses’ are kept constantly at work on seed bags, labels, and other printing matter required in our business, and the stock of type and other printing material we use is equal in extent to that required by some of our daily papers...“When we established ourselves in 1828, the Seed business in this country was in its infancy, the trade was really insignificant in comparison to what it is in the present day.”

He was active with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, treasurer from 1858-1862 and vice-president for twenty-two years. He died in Philadelphia, July 13, 1880.  The family business was carried on by his son, Robert, Jr.


Winter in 19C America - Regis-Francois Gignoux (French-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1816-1882)


Regis-Francois Gignoux (French-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1816-1882) View Near Elizabethtown, N. J

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter in 19C America - New York City by Herman N. Hyneman 1849–1907


Herman N. Hyneman (American artist, 1849–1907) Woman in Snow


Herman N. Hyneman (American artist, 1849–1907) Winter Hat


Herman N. Hyneman (American artist, 1849–1907) Lady in Winter in New York.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter in 19C America - New England by George Henry Durrie 1820–1863



George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Going to Church 1853


George Henry Durrie was an American artist whose rural winter scenes became popular during the Civil War era. Durrie was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where his father was an emigrant from England, & his mother was a descendant of Governor William Bradford, a Mayflower pilgrim. Durrie taught himself to paint in his teens. In 1839, Durrie & his brother John began 2 years of artistic instruction from Nathaniel Jocelyn, a local engraver & portrait painter. Much of Durrie’s early career was spent as an itinerant portrait painter, traveling over the countryside in search of commissions in rural areas. In 1839, Durrie traveled to Hartford & Bethany, Connecticut; and 1840-1841, he worked in Naugatuck & Meriden, Connecticut, and in Freehold & Keyport, New Jersey. After 1842, he settled in New Haven with his new wife & growing family; but he made painting trips to New Jersey, New York, & Virginia. His account book shows at this time his portraits were between $5 to & $15 each. To supplement his income, Durrie did other painting jobs such as altering portraits, varnishing, & painting decorative motifs on window shutters. Around 1850, he began painting genre scenes of rural life & winter landscapes; as portrait painters began to lose business to the camera. An advertisement in the New Haven Daily Register reads: “Having engaged for a few months past in painting a number of choice Winter Scenes, [G. H. Durrie] would offer them at public sale to the admirers of the fine arts… It is needless to add that no collection of pictures is complete without one or more Winter Scenes.” Four of his prints were published by Currier & Ives between 1860 & the artist's death in New Haven in 1863; & 6 additional prints were issued after his death.


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) A Cold Morning


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Gathering Wood for Winter 1855


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Hunter in Winter Wood


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Farmstead in Winter 1860


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Farmyard in Winter 1862


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Yellow Farmhouse in Winter 1859


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Wintertime on the Farm


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Scene New Haven Connecticut 1858


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Scene in New England 1859


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Scene 1857


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Landscape


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Landscape with Log Cart 1855


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country the Old Grist Mill 1862


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country on a Cold Morning 1861


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country Getting Ice 1862


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country Farmyard 1858


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country 1861


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in the Country 1857


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter in New England 1852


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Farmyard and Sleigh


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Winter Farm Yard 1855


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) The Halfway House 1861


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Seven Miles to Farmington


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Red Schoolhouse Winter 1858


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) On the Road to Boston


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) New England Winter Scene 1858


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Ketcham Farm in Winter, New Haven


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Jones Inn Winter 1855


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Jones Inn in Winter 1853


George Henry Durrie (American artist, 1820–1863) Feeding the Sheep 1862