Review of 1898 Society of American Artists show in NYC
American Artists Annual Exhibition The Society of American Artlats celebrates this year Its twentieth anniversary and its annual exhibition of the Fine Arts Building. In the galleries of the Fine Arts Building. In Went Fifty-seventh Fifty-seventh Fifty-seventh Street, this rooming. It is difficult to realize that a generation haa passed since the small band of art students, headed by William M. Chase, Carroll Beckwlth. Twachtman, Wior. and rotiiminir from their studies abroad. v.nm v irlven the genuine uuwui " -- -- m.ik Mwi." revolted rrom me- me- an quated rules of the old Academy of Design, spread their banner of Independence on the outer wall, and organized the Society of American Artists. These bold and brave young artlats scarcely scarcely realised themselves at the time what their revolt and their new move meant to the causa of American art. nor how It wrote the doom of the well-termed well-termed well-termed Hudson River school of painting In this country, and the beginning of a new use of broader methods and more liberal Ideas, whlcn within a few years affected the old Academy Itself. Now, on Its twentieth birthday, the society lives to see a revolt among its own members, the secession of a band of ten painters who consider consider its methods too commercial, and Chase and Beckwlth et al.. the radicals of 18.8. not only Academicians and Associates, but classed as conservatives by the radicals of 181)8. Truly history doth repeat itself! The exhibition of the society this year, of which a press view was given yesterday afternoon and a private view last evening. Is a good and Interesting, but not a great one. The catalogue contains 340 numbers, of which some thirty-six thirty-six thirty-six are miniatures and portrait busts, so that upward of 300 canvases canvases fill the walls of the South. East, and West, and VanderbUt Galleries, the miniatures miniatures and portrait bunt being in the Central Central Oallery. The " star " pictures of the display are. as usual, with two or three exceptions. exceptions. In the large Vanderbllt Oallery. .n,i it will not surprise the art lover to learn that the names upon them are those of Sargent. Whistler, La Farge, Chaw. J.1 W. Alexander, Barse, and Bogert. i ne wi two artists are winners, respectively, this year of the Webb and Shaw PrUesfor the best landscape painted by ao American artist artist under forty, an the beat composition la oil containing one or more figures by an American artist. There can be little or no question of the Justice of the Jury's decision In the awarding awarding of these prises. Mr. Bogert' landscape, which secured the Webb prise, and which hangs in the south gallery, Is entitled " Evening-Honfleur." Evening-Honfleur." Evening-Honfleur." While It shows the Influence of the modern French Impressionists, Impressionists, It is still full of originality, la strongly composed, clear and fresh In color, and charming In atmosphere and sentiment. Mr. Barse's figure work, which secured me Shaw Prise, hangs In the. Vanderbllt Oal- Oal- , ry. and la entitled " Mght ana tne vamn Day." It is a large allegorical canvas, two life-size life-size life-size female figures, personifying Night and Twilight floating side by side through the dusky violet-hued violet-hued violet-hued sky, the figure of Night supporting that of Twilight. The conception conception la exceedingly poetical, the treatment refined, the color soft and harmonious, and the drawing easy and graceful. It la a dignified one might almost aay a noble-piece noble-piece noble-piece of work, and will add much to the artist's already high reputation. John S. Sargent Is well represented In this year's display by no lea than Ave examples. The most Important Is hi double portrait of Mr. and Mrs. S. N. Phelps Stokes. The young couple are depicted In Summer outing costume, Mr. Stokes in white flannels and Mrs. Stokes in a white duck skirt, a dark gray ahlrt waist and sailor hat. The figures figures are full length and standing. Mr. Stokea In the background on the left and both are full fas to the spectator. The canva la Instinct with life and vitality, vitality, the faces full of expression, while the simple details of the costumes are forcefully and well painted, but the heads seem abnormally abnormally small and out of proportion, and are painfully reminiscent of the small-headed small-headed small-headed small-headed Australian aborigines. This curious effect effect or defect will lead to much discussion. Sargent's remaining eanvaaes are a small and Interesting- Interesting- portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson, a brightly colored sketch of a Spanish cloister, a clever sketch of a Spanish Spanish girt, and a portrait head of Dr. C. D., itrong and well modeled, but with flesh tones so tot as to suggest rouge or apoplexy. apoplexy. Whistler Is represented by four examples, all of which evidence that bis master hand baa not lost 1U cunning. These are " West minster Bridge," dellclously warm In color, and with marvelous detail work; a marine, "The Blue Wave," hard In color, but full of movement; another marine, characteristic characteristic In color and title. ." Symphony in Violet and Blue," and a little Interesting sketch, " A Note in Carmine." John" L Farge, the society's President, fills the west wall of the Vanderbllt Oallery Oallery with his single example, the large and noble decorative allegorical panel, " Athens The Goddess Minerva Makes the First Sketch from Nature," splendidly composed. strongly drawn, and chararterlHlirnlly rich n color. Mr. La Farge a colorful brush has not produced a worthier work In years. John W. Alexander send from Paris, his adopted city, three notable example of his recent work, entitled, respectively. "The Yellow Girl," "The Pot of Basil," and "Peonies." The first represents a young woman In a yellow gown, leaning In a somewhat forced and strained pose over a chair arm to look at a black cat at retched on Us side on a rug. Strongly drawn and well colored, the poae gives the effect 61 an Inverted photograph, and Is not pleasing. pleasing. The " Pot of Basil." Isabella standing clad In a gray gown, with arms upstretched to the earthenware pot in which grows the bast, placed on a wtndowaill above her head, has all the artist's grace of line and color sense, but the wind-blown wind-blown wind-blown gown and the composition are too suggestive of the new happily1 waning poster erase. "Peonies "Peonies " Is very decorative and the most successful of Alexander's three canvases. It la pleasant to record that William M. Chase 1 painting la bis old form. lie sends ten pictures to the display all marked by his old-time old-time old-time virility of brush work, and breadth of treatment. The Shtnnecock. Hills, where be now spends his Bummers, and to whose scenery and atmosphere be baa attuned attuned hknaelf. have furnished him six landscapes, landscapes, all truthful, pleln-alr pleln-alr pleln-alr studies, filled with air and light, and one really notable canvas, " First Touch of Autumn," la low color key, cool and fresh in atmosphere and superb la distance. Of hla two portraits, llou" and " Young Miss C," the latter la the beet, simple and direct In treatment, sober and harmonious In color, and strongly drawn. There are good landscape by Bolton Jones, Blrge Harrison, W. A. Collin, Bruce Crane, I OcbUnaa, Swain Oiffor. J. F. Murphy. W. I Palmer, C. W. Katon, W. Whitman, Ben Foster. Walter Clark, and E F-.-Poole, F-.-Poole, F-.-Poole, F-.-Poole, F-.-Poole, and notable figure wort by Carroll Beckwlth, Herbert Denman. K. H Church, O. W. Mavnard, Kenyon Cox, Itouglas Volk, and Irving It. Wiles, while W H. Hyde. Vonnoh. Robert Gordon Hanlle, Thome, Moschcowlts, Edith Pre 11-wlta. 11-wlta. 11-wlta. and Lute L. Huestl are to the for among the portrait Pinters renreat-nted, renreat-nted, renreat-nted, following Sargent and faae Their canvases, canvases, with others, must be left for notloe until 'another time. Hero's Accomplishments. To lh Editor of Thr NfW York Timet: EB'H BAIT HI) AT JUVIEW ol me - Ill I llll! II 2th ult., under thi caption " Nero and Petro- Petro- nlus." ' J. 1. ri. aims, wm nrwy i- i- ' of literary, poetic, and artistic glftsT" waring waring " In my limited reading I And no mention mention among historian of his art as a poet or singer, but simply that ha bad a tM for art and excelled In athletics." Bonn's edition edition of " Huetonlus's Live of the Caesar.' Kpeaks of Nrn as a alnger and hsrplst, "d ays that the Itomans Importuned him to let them hear his heavenly voloe, which desire be gratified In the garden. Life of Nero, pages , 3fi. 3.M. and 353. Section W, 21, XI. Harper's translation of Tacltua, Vol. I., pages IWA am, tella of his " singing to the harp after the theatrical fashion at "Wr," and that some Mm after this event " h mounted the stage, tuning bis lute with much care, and flourishing before he began bis part." By consulting the index of both the uhove works "J. I. If." can learn mor about Nero as a poet, singer, and harpist. WILFRID II. DUAN. Guilford, Conn., Feb. 28, ISM. Ths Personal Equation la. Children. T th Siitor of The Ne for Timet: Not long ago there appeared In Ttrs Tlx (' SaTf dat Rrvrew an article bead ed " Futility of Too Firm a ILtod." In which tho writer, Edison T. Vllmore, dlcuN4 children s reading from a point of view based on hi own personal experience. There is one thing, however, which he neglected entirely. A be points out la the sketch of his experience, he thinks since be wai lucky enough to adopt the right eour after hovering between the future paths of good or evil which were open to him, that all children should have the same freedom in the select ton of 'their books as he enjoyed. enjoyed. Mr. in I mors Is under a wrong lm fireaslon. Human nature t never the mid n any. two persons. Even the slightest differences differences surface to change the whole future course of life. Were Mr, Fttmoro's character character of a more wandering and weaker nature hi intellect would undoubtedly have been ruined. But few children can be trusted with their own reading, and therefore U should be one of the principal duties of paw rnt to attend to the character and choia of the children's books. N. I. New York. Feb. 2H, 1SW.