The Italian Presence in American Art, 1760-1860

By Irma B. Jaffe | Go to book overview

avoided inflammatory remarks about Catholicism as a religion. Instead he opposed Catholicism as a dictatorial, anti-republican political system that was dangerous to the United States. He presented evidence that an organization, the St. Leopold Foundation, had been formed to convert immigrants into efficient political agents of the pope. By virtue of their numbers and their blind allegiance to Rome, and because they would eventually be voters Morse concluded that the Irish already had sufficient power to incite mob rule and upset the balance of political power in the United States.

Morse felt it incumbent on himself to alert Americans to this unseen yet mortal threat. He charged that armed Jesuits and Catholic missions were already persuading the poor to interfere in elections. He frantically urged Americans not to

walk on blindly, crying 'all's well.' The enemy is in all our borders. He has spread himself through all the land. . . . Where Popery has put darkness, we must put light. Where popery has planted its crosses, its colleges, its churches, its chapels, its nunneries, Protestant patriotism must put side by side college for college, seminary for seminary, church for church,

in order to "redeem our children from the double bondage of spiritual and temporal slavery, and preserve to them American light and liberty." 30 As those passages indicate, Morse was not shy in Foreign Conspiracy about dressing his evidence in the rhetoric of hysterical nativism.

Seen in the light of Morse's nativist crusades of the late 1830s, the Gallery of the Louvre stands out as the last of his healthy interchanges with Europe. In that picture he had tried heroically to educate, elevate, influence, and protect the nation's developing culture by negotiating a delicate contract with the artistic patrimony of Europe. But few people in America cared about or even noticed his enterprise. Morse could have played it safe. He could have protected himself and his picture from the harsh light of public opinion by circumscribing its exhibition to the National Academy of Design, where he undoubtedly would have received the praise of his colleagues and the cultured patrons of art. But typically Morse wanted to influence the public, wanted his picture and himself to be agents of reform, wanted to test his worth as a person. In retrospect it was an admirable idea. But one he insisted on implementing on his terms, in his own, obscure discourse, and with his own intellectual and aesthetic biases. And so the Louvre invited catastrophe. The exhibition of a picture of European pictures in the Jacksonian America of 1833, in a city driven, in Morse's own words, by "commerce, commerce, commerce," where "boorishness and ill manners are preferred to polish and refinement," was an act both ambitious and foolish, and one that Morse would never repeat. 31


NOTES
1.
This essay is derived in part from my book Samuel F. B. Morse, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.
2.
New-York Mirror, XIV, May 27, 1837, 383.
3.
S. F. B. Morse, Academies of Arts: A Discourse, New York, 1827.
4.
S. F. B. Morse, Lectures on the Affinity of Painting with the Other Fine Arts, ed. N. Cikovsky Jr., Columbia, Mo., 1983.
5.
Morse, 1827 (as in n. 3), 24.
9.
T S. Cummings, Historic Annals of the NationalAcademy of Design

-104-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Italian Presence in American Art, 1760-1860
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 252

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.