October 2006 - Revisions
Research into items within the collection is an ongoing process, with many additions and amendments to descriptions being made every month. However, it does seem appropriate to mentions major revisions through the Recent Additions Gallery. Three examples are shown here.
Firstly, there is a portrait of a baby in the American 2 Gallery that was previously unattributed, but is now believed to be by John Carlin.
Secondly, there is a portrait of a young man which was previously in the British 2 Gallery as by an unknown artist, but has now been moved to the American 1 Gallery, as it is believed to be by Raphaelle Peale.
Thirdly, there is a family group of nine portraits by Otto Eckardt of Dresden. These are shown in the European Gallery, but will now also be added into the American 20C Gallery, as they are of American citizens. The family concerned is the Marmet family and quite a lot of information has been found out about them. There had been a suspicion that the miniatures must have been painted from photos sent over to Germany, but until recently, no evidence for this practice had been found.
However, the Spring/Summer 2006 edition of the NYHS Journal comments on the Peter Marie Collection of Miniatures and in particular a contemporary view expressed in 1903 that "some of the miniatures did not even qualify as art, as they were not originals but paintings copied in Europe from photographs taken in the United States."
As an aside, this collector disagrees with that definition which attempts to exclude this type of miniature from being classified as art. Many miniatures by important artists from the 17C, 18C, and 19C are miniature copies of large oil portraits. Examples of these are works by William Birch, Henry Bone, and Henry Pierce Bone who all painted in enamels, but there were others who painted on ivory or other surfaces.
The narrow view of 1903 quoted above would seem to exclude these miniatures from being regarded as art as they are "not originals". Such an extreme view would also exclude photograpic and other art prints from being defined as art, whereas they are now regarded as collectible art.
Posted by Don Shelton at 6:53 PM