Observations on American Art: Selections from the Writings of John Neal (1793-1876)

By Harold Edward Dickson | Go to book overview

Introduction

I

Today few persons who have studied the development of the arts in America could, upon request, identify John Neal. Ask anyone to name the first real milestone in the art literature of our country, and the answer very properly would be William Dunlap A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, which appeared in the Fall of 1834. In this solid two-volume work there is to be found no single mention of John Neal. Yet in the preceding decade Neal had written copiously of our native arts, both in American and British publications, and had won extensive though not universally favorable recognition for his expressed views. In Randolph, a Novel, published in 1823, in a series of articles contributed the following year to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and in the pages of The Yankee; and Boston Literary Gazette, which he edited at the end of that decade, Neal had discussed the leading American artists and their works; had done so, moreover, with unprecedented acumen and enthusiasm. In the years just preceding the founding of the National Academy of Design and the closely- timed deaths of Charles Willson Peale and Gilbert Stuart, events which to an extent signalized the beginning of a new era and the end of an earlier one in American art, Neal's writings most adequately summarized the accomplishments of the young republic in the fine arts. If not actually the first American to win his spurs as an art critic, he was certainly the first to use them effectively.

Neal in his scattered articles attempted no collection of information on a scale comparable with Dunlap invaluable History. Although one may go to him for a great deal of first hand observation that has its indubitable worth as source material, he had no such extensive acquaintance with the practitioners of the arts as had been acquired by the much older Dunlap. But as much as for the artist lore he recorded, it is for the vigor and originality of his delivery and for his having written when he did that Neal deserves some consideration as a forerunner of the "American Vasari."

By the 1820's the arts in America were fast coming of age. Throughout the country the general outlook for the artist had expanded greatly since the opening of the century. Witness, as indicating a growing concern for the arts, the founding early in the century of the first academies of the fine arts at Philadelphia and New York. In both places annual exhibitions were instituted, beginning respectively in 1811 and 1816. Nor were these the only cities in which efforts, elsewhere less successful, were made to found art organizations. These institutions did much to improve the professional stand-

-ix-

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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
Observations on American Art: Selections from the Writings of John Neal (1793-1876)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Selections from the Writings of John Neal *
  • Randolph, a Novel (1823) 1
  • Bladwood's Edinhurgh Magazine (1824-1825) 26
  • The Yankee (1828-1829) 38
  • Brother Jonathan (1843) 66
  • The Atlantic Monthly (1868-1869) 69
  • Appendix 93
  • Index 109
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 115

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.