By Russell Lynes
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Additional resources for The Art-Makers of Nineteenth-Century America
In 1800 only a statesman, gentleman, and amateur could have accomplished what he did with the weight of his stride for prestige, his friendship with Washington, his determination must learn to speak culturally as well as politically for the nation tliat and itself, his remarkable dilettantism. At a time when the climate of the arts was cold and concern with such presumably secondary matters left most of Jefferson's contemporaries unmoved, he wrote to his friend INIadison "I : ast on the subject of the arts.
When Trumbull came back from Europe in and was elected surely did not 1804, he involved himself with the affairs of the Academy vice-president. Whatever prestige he may have had (it its match public interest in the his delighted view of himself) Academy, and the casts were did little put away to improve in storage. 30 2. Art in a Cold Climate There was a slight flurrj' of interest and a torrent of oratory when De Witt Clinton (who had been mayor of New York City and was later to become governor of the state) tried to revive the Academy home in bished known a building as the and opened the newly decorated it, in He 1816.
Is the opening of this infant institution," he declaimed, "instruction less necessary than the labour of proving that these arts have not an injurious effect, but a beneficial effect ujion the morals, and even on the our country. " It fire companies . . " He did lift its supports for its not, however, despair. a hardy plant," he said. " THE ENVIABLE ARTISANS Latrobe surely knew as well as anyone in America that there was one corner was far from "neglected, stunted, trodden under practitioners were prospering.