George Harvey's Anglo American atmospheric landscapes

1 Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors…(Henry Graves, London, 1906), vol. 4, p. 17, no. 169.

2 Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, National Academy of Design Exhibition Record, 1826–1860 (New-York Historical Society, New York, 1943), vol. 1, p. 213.

3 David Willis McCullough, “George Harvey Boumeester from Hastings,” Hastings Historian, vol. 25, no. 4 (Fall 1995), pp. 1–6.

4 George Harvey, Harvey’s Scenes of the Primitive Forest of America… (George Harvey and Messrs. Ackermann, London, 1841), preface. It was published under the patronage of Queen Victoria (r. 1837–1901).

5 George Harvey, Colored Engravings of American Scenery: Proposals for Publishing…, broadside, Print Room, New York Public Library, New York. The first three pages contain Harvey’s New York address; the final page, dated September 9, 1841, in London, explains that, due to a lack of good colorists, the first part would be “put forth complete in itself,” the remaining scenes depending on subscribers.

6 For the English edition, see n. 4; the American edition was printed by Charles Vinton, New York. For the frontispiece/title page in the American edition, see Gloria Gilda Deák, Picturing America, 1497–1899… (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1988), vol. 1, pp. 315–316, and vol. 2, Fig. 468.

7 For the latter, see Jo Miller, Drawings of the Hudson River School, 1825–1875 (Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1969), p. 120, No. 72.

8 Harvey articulated his philosophy earlier, but he published it referring to Humboldt in George Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of the Forest Wilds and Uncultivated Wastes of Our Country… (Boston, 1851), pp. 7–8.

9 Donald A. Shelley, “George Harvey and His Atmospheric Landscapes of North America,” New-York Historical Society Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 2 (1948), pp. 104–113; Shelley, “George Harvey, English Painter of Atmospheric Landscapes in America,” American Collector, vol. 17, no. 3 (April 1948), pp. 10–13.

10 Richard J. Koke, American Landscape and Genre Paintings in The New-York Historical Society (New-York Historical Society in association with G. K. Hall and Company, Boston, 1982), vol. 2, pp. 94–113.

11 Stephen R. Edidin, “George Harvey: An Interpretation Based on His Watercolors,” 1977 (private collection), p. 5, suggests that the Reverend William Gilpin (1724–1804), an advocate of picturesque beauty, may have provided the framework for Harvey in his Last Work Published of the Rev. William Gilpin, known as Gilpin’s Day (London, 1810, republished 1824).

12 Cowdrey, National Academy, vol. 1, p. 214.

13 George Harvey to the Apollo Association, September 5, 1843, BV, American Art-Union, manuscript division, New-York Historical Society Library.

14 George Harvey, “Liberty Tree Building, 380 Washington Street, Boston, Nov. 1850,” printed flyer; copy in Boston Athenaeum library.

15 “Phosphoresence of the Ocean,” Knickerbocker, vol. 18, no. 2 (1841), pp. 162–163.

16 Cowdrey, National Academy, vol. 1, pp. 214–215.

17 American Institute of the City of New York, Catalogue Containing a Correct List of Every Article Exhibiting at the Fifteenth Annual Fair of the American Institute… (New York, 1842), p. 4, No. 161; copy in New-York Historical Society, Morse is cited on p. 1, No. 20.

18 George Harvey, An Index to the Original Water Color Drawings and Oil Paintings, Executed by Mr. Harvey, and Now Exhibiting for a Short Time at No. 322 Broadway… (New York, 1843), copy in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, library.

19 The Boston Athenaeum Art Exhibition Index: 1827–1874, comp. and ed. Robert F. Perkins Jr. and William J. Gavin III (Library of the Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 1980), p. 73, No. 25.

20 George Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of Our Country, an Outline of Its Social Progress, Political Development, and Material Resources… (Boston, 1851), p. 27.

21 For the 1836 oil, see Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815 to 1865 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1949), pp. 298–299, No. 132. For the National Academy, see Cowdrey, National Academy, vol. 1, p. 214.

22 Graves, Royal Academy of Arts, vol. 2, p. 124; vol. 4, p. 17.

23 John E. Thornes, John Constable’s Skies: A Fusion of Art and Science (University of Birmingham Press, Birmingham, 1999), especially, pp. 46–47, 81–88, 141–147.

24 Christine Jones Huber, “George Harvey’s Atmospheric Landscapes: Picturesque, Scientific, and Historic American Scenes” (master’s thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989), pp. 88–91.

25 A variant, Hudson River from Osborne (Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, New York), is illustrated in Miller, Drawings of the Hudson River School, p. 120, No. 71.

26 George Harvey, Harvey’s Royal Gallery of Illustration, Next Door to the Haymarket Theatre. A Descriptive Pamphlet of the Original Drawings of American Scenery, Under Various Atmospheric Effects… (London, 1850), p. 27; copy is in Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, New York.

27 Painting the Town: Cityscapes of New York, ed.Jan Seidler Ramirez (Museum of the City of New York in association with Yale University Press, New Haven, 2000), pp. 88–89, No. 9.

28 Harvey, “Liberty Tree Building.”

29 George Harvey, Syllabus of a Course of Eight Lectures, by George Harvey, Esq., On the Discovery, Resources and Progress of North America, (North of Virginia); Illustrated by More than Sixty Pictorial Views, Illuminated by the Oxy-hydrogen Lime Light (Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, March 1849); copy in the library of the Boston Athenaeum.

30 George Harvey, “A Few Hints on the Philosophy of Size in Its Relation to the Fine Arts,” Knickerbocker, vol. 23, no. 2 (1844), pp. 156–159.

31 Olive Tooley, “A Print-Colourer’s Art: The Work of William Mason (1809–1875),” Country Life, vol. 164 (October 19, 1978), pp. 1174–1175.

32 For the lantern slide, see Fine American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art and Primitive Arts, Christie’s, New York, October 19, 1990, lot 141.

33 The title of the slide is listed in Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of the Forest Wilds, p. 23. It is unclear whether it was the view of Niagara from the Canadian side that was part of his atmospheric landscapes. His more general view of the falls from the Canadian side (Brilliant Afternoon) is listed in his Harvey’s Royal Gallery of Illustration, pp. 24–25, No. 28.

34 Deborah Rebuck to Kevin Avery, February 11, 1991, personal correspondence.

35 Harvey issued a separate announcement for each of these series in 1849, each with different contents but both titled (with variations), Syllabus of a Course of Six Lectures…On the History, Resources, and Scenery of North America… illuminated by the Oxy-hydrogen Lime-Light. The first was published by the London Institution; no publisher is given for the second. Copies of both are in the library of the Boston Athenaeum.

36 Harvey, “Liberty Tree Building.”

37 Harvey, Harvey’s Royal Gallery of Illustration, pp. 8–9.

38 Bulletin of the American Art-Union, series for 1850, no. 3, p. 47.

39 Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of the Forest Wilds, and Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of Our Country.

40 Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of the Forest Wilds, p. 7.

41 Harvey, Harvey’s Illustrations of Our Country, p. 13.

42 Harvey, Harvey’s Royal Gallery of Illustration, p. 13. For Howard, see Thornes, John Constable’s Skies, especially pp. 188–191.

43 Huber, “George Harvey’s Atmospheric Landscapes,” pp. 5, 52–53. A letter from Harvey to John Eliot Howard on September 27, 1866, begins: “As you have the original drawings of my once contemplated work on America,” transcript by Barbara N. Parker, files of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

44 Nancy K. Anderson and Linda S. Ferber, Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise (Brooklyn Museum and Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1990), pp. 23, 25, 116. Thanks to Kevin J. Avery for the reference in the New York Evening Post.

ROBERTA J. M. OLSEN is curator of drawings at the New-York Historical Society.

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[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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