Description of the daguerreotype exhibit, The New York Exhibition Of The Industry Of All Nations

Part 3.

A description of 24 of the 43 entries of the daguerreotype exhibit, continued from yesterdays post from the  Semi-Weekly Tribune of August 19, 1853.  One surprise is the addition of the name Drummond which is not found in the official catalogue, which was posted on 4/22/18.  Another name Dobyn, Richardson & Co. did not appear in the official catalogue but F. Moissinet was listed.  Dobyn, Richardson & Moissenet are listed together in 1853-1854 in New York City at 303 Broadway.

Mr. Lawrence exhibited a case in which softness of tone and distinctness of image are united with artistic arrangement.  The latter quality is especially noticeable in “The Three Ages.”  The mechanical execution of these pictures is unexcelled.  These pictures of Mr. L. were exhibited in London.  Mr. Brady’s collection is not very large, but there are a few very good pictures exhibited by him.  In Gurney’s collection the coloring of the background has a fine effect; there are some very well executed portraits, among which is one of Mr. Forrest, worth notice as a work of art: taken as a Whole there is less softness and more distinctness in this collection than in that of Lawrence.  The picture of Ware and his sister is an instance of a picture well developed when the chemical action extends to the margin of the plate.  D. Clark, New Brunswick, N. J., has four pictures of merit; and Van Schneidan a small collection of well-selected heads.  J. Brown has a collection of portraits of Commodore Perry and the officers of the squadron for the Japan Expedition, in half-size plates: the interest of this collection is much marred by the names of the officers not being attached underneath the plate; it is not too late to rectify this omission.  Haas has a whole-plate allegorical figure of a family man reading the paper at home—an excellent idea and well executed.  Besides this, he has a couple of other pictures, though on the whole his show is mediocre.  In the cases of Harrison & Hill there is displayed excellent artistic arrangement with very indifferent mechanical execution.  In the mammoth plates occupied by allegorical designs, the back-ground is wretchedly brought out—the plates were not properly cleaned, and are full of scratches; there are a few half and whole-sized pictures set in gaudy frames.

Webster, of Louisville, KY., has twenty-three pictures possessing clearness.  They have, however, been exposed a little too much in the camera; they lack warmth, but are otherwise well developed and exhibit good mechanical execution.  Alex Hesler has a collection of whole plates handsomely executed, possessing a nice arrangement of of the drapery, which has the effect of throwing the head out in good relief.  There is artistic arrangement in this collection, especially evinced in the picture “Driving a “Trade,” one of a series illustrating character and passion.  The panoramic view of Galena, Ill. Shows that city to advantage; and the three views of the Falls of St. Anthony possess great merit.  Mr. North, of Cleveland, O., has a case of pretty fail likenesses, perhaps exhibiting the lights too strongly.  Bisbee, of Dayton, O. exhibits a panoramic view of Cincinnati from Newport, upon six large plates.  This view is, without exception, the finest thing in the whole room; we might even go further, and say that it is the finest view by the Daguerreian process ever exhibited.  The mechanical execution is excellent, the perspective good, and the development unsurpassed.  The effect of the smoke over the southern part of the city is very finely given.  the distinctness of the letter signs, three-quarters of a mile distance and across the Ohio river, is well brought out.  The rest of the collection is fair, possessing no peculiar merit.  Williamson exhibits a poor collection.  Dobyn, Richardson & Co. have several whole size well-executed specimens, in which the mechanical part, the artistic arrangement and the chemical effect is good.  The “Cupid Reposing” is a very ungraceful picture of an ill-formed child, and the coloring is bad.  That of the Bateman Children, in character, is a good picture.  There are some exceedingly well executed heads in this collection.

Long, of St. Louis, has four frames of 180 heads of Wyman’s School, in that city, with the edifice and Principal; they possess no merit.  A likeness of Prof. Mitchell, Cincinnati, is well executed.  Some of the pictures in this collection are inverted with papier mache frames inlaid with mother of-pearl and tinsel.  As this style of frame appears in a few other collections we may as well here express dissent to the use of this material as being too gaudy and wholly unsuitable for daguerreotype plates. These latter are difficult to be viewed except in one light, and from the brightness of their surface, are much set off by deadened color on the frames, while the glare and iridescence of the papier mache add to the difficulty of discerning the picture; the use of such implies bad taste in the artist.  We felt this opinion growing upon us as we looked at them and found our view corroborated by a boarding school miss, who whisked alongside of us and caught by the colors, exclaimed, “Oh my! aint those “frames beautiful?”  Fitzgibbon has the richest exposition in the Fair—The most expensive frames with a large and passable collection.  The mammoth plate of Judge Colt is very good—That of Jenny Lind the best in the exhibition—those of McAllister, Julia Dean, Kate Hays, and Kossuth, are good pictures.  His collection of Indian Warriors, is a very fine one, which we understand is to be forwarded to the Ethnological Society of London, to have copies and busts made from them.  Masury & Silsbee, Boston exhibited twelve pretty and tasteful plates, with good arrangement and well finished.  The collections of Kilsey, Beals, and Howe do not require notice.  Whitehurst has a few good pictures in a large and passable collection; he has ten pictures illustrating the Falls of Niagara, which are very well executed.  Some of his large heads have their features out of all proportion.  Whipple of Boston, has a collection of photographic pictures, which he calls Crystallotypes, taken from Hyalotypes; there is a plate of the moon daguerreotyped, and one of the spots on the sun.  McDonnell & Co., Buffalo, have a very poor collection—so poor as not to deserve a place in the exhibition; the views of Niagara are fair.   Hawkins exhibits photographs on paper.  Drummond, eight plates of the order of Free masons in their lodge dress.  Fitzgibbon (already noticed) exhibits a very interesting case, which is a frame of electrotype copies from daguerreotype plates, very beautifully executed.  It should not be over looked upon as a mere curiosity to place a daguerreotype plate in a copper solution and take a copper cast from its surface by means of electricity: the copper cast looks much warmer in tone than the original.  It is to be regretted that Fitzgibbon did not complete this frame by the insertion of a third plate, by taking a second copy from the copper copy.  This would be in relief, like the original silver-plate, and is succeptible of being treated like an engraved plate; yielding, when inked, prints resembling mezzotint.  Besides the above collection of daguerreotypes, there is an assortment of cameras, lenses, stereoscopes and photographic paper, which are of interest to those practicing these beautiful arts.

Part 4 posted tomorrow omissions from the above description published in the Semi-Weekly Tribune on September 2, 1853.

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