John Wood Dodge

1855                Address Unknown, St. Louis, Missouri

1855-1857       Rooms over Hicks’ China Hall, Nashville, Tennessee.

1858                Address Unknown, Nashville, Tennessee.

John Wood Dodge, miniature portrait painter, daguerreotypist & farmer.  In the partnership of Dodge & Wenderoth and J. W. & E. S. Dodge was recorded in one announcement in The Daily Nashville True Whig and in eleven announcements and two advertisements in the Nashville Union and American.  The announcement in The Daily Nashville True Whig (Nashville, Tennessee) appeared on September 29, 1855.  Photographic Miniature Portraits.—Art has achieved a signal triumph in the Introduction of crystalotype likenesses.  In the hands of competent artists, Photography is destined to supersede miniature painting on ivory altogether.  The process is simple and sure.  The likeness is first daguerreotyped on glass, and then transferred to a very fine paper, prepared especially for the purpose.  They are then colored to the life.  The likenesses thus taken has all the accuracy of a daguerreotype, and all the beauty and finish of a painting.  They are much larger than the ordinary miniature, and can be furnished at about one-fourth the cost of the latter.  We noticed that our old friend, J. W. Dodge, formerly of this city, and whose skill as a miniature painter is well known here, has been for some taking likenesses upon this plan.  He is associated with Mr. Augustus Wenderoth, one of the finest artist in the Country.  We have before us a highly complimentary notice of their pictures from the St. Louis Republican.

We are pleased to learn that Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth will be in this city early October, and will open rooms for a short stay.—With the high reputation which Mr. D. enjoys here, and the acknowledge talent of his associate, there can be no doubt that they will find a lucrative patronage ready for them.

The first announcement in the Nashville Union and American (Nashville, Tennessee) appeared on December 23, 1855.  The Fine Arts—Photographic Miniature Portraits.—We take pleasure in calling the attention of our readers to the card of Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth in this morning’s paper.  Mr. Dodge is well known in this community as an artist who has no superior in this country in his peculiar department—miniatures on Ivory.  Hundreds of his pictures are in the possession of persons in Nashville alone—and whoever has the likeness of a valued friend from his pencil has a “thing of beauty” which will certainly be “a joy forever.”  Mr. D. has associated with him Mr. Wenderoth, an artist of the highest accomplishment, as an examination of some of his specimens will abundantly satisfy anyone.  Together they will not only furnish our citizens with those inimitable miniatures on ivory—celebrated wherever known—but what will prove, we believe, even more acceptable, are to furnish Photographic Miniature Portraits—a style of picture which is destined to a very great extent to supersede all others.  They present at once the faithfulness and accuracy of the daguerreotype, together with the beauty, finish, naturalness and ease of an oil painting—which they in reality are, more than any thing else.  The photographic process transfers to paper the form and feature with unmistakable accuracy in the minutest particulars, while the delicate touch of the artist’s pencil—a pencil already famous even without this aid—brings out in bold and striking relief a counterfeit presentment of the subject, perfect almost beyond credulity.—This photographic process enables the artist to enlarge the size of their pictures, and to prepare them with less labor, as well as more accuracy, and consequently at a reduced cost.  We advise those of our readers who are fond of the beautiful in art, after giving the card of Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth a reading, to call and examine some of their specimens, of which they have a few.  We can guarantee to the most matter-of-fact individual that he will find something in them to excite emotions of pleasure, and that he will at once resolve to have himself or some friend “done up” in their inimitable style.

The first advertisement ran from December 23, 1855 to March 26, 1856.  To The Public.  A Card.  The undersigned would respectfully announce to his friends and the citizens of Nashville and vicinity, that he has returned to the city for the purpose of pursuing his profession, and that he has associated with him the talented Artist, Mr. F. Augustus Wenderoth, and he feels assured, from their success in another State, that their efforts in their profession cannot fail to be received with favor by the lovers of Art in Tennessee.  Nashville, Dec. 23d, 1855.  John W. Dodge.

The Fine Arts—Photographic Miniature Portraits.  Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth would make known to the citizens generally, that they have taken Rooms over “Hicks’ China Hall,” North side of the Public Square, and are now prepared to execute (in addition to Miniatures on Ivory) the new Photographic Miniature Portraits.  These pictures are from Locket to Cabinet size, forming handsome ornaments for the Palor.  They possess the faithfulness of the mirror with the expression and coloring of life, and are Perfectly Permanent.

Painted Photographic copies of various sizes, taken of Daguerreotypes, when accompanied with a description of the complexion, color of the eyes, hair, dress, &c.  Specimens of the different styles, painted and plain, can be examine at their Studio.  dec.28.

The second announcement appeared on February 15, 1856.  Photographs Of The Legislature.—Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth, the distinguished artists, will take a Photographic view of the interior of the House of Representatives, with the members (and we presume their lady friends in the gallery,) this morning at 10 o’clock, if the day proves a favorable one.  If the day should be unfavorable, the picture will be taken on the first bright day following, at the same hour.  The interior of the Senate chamber will be taken on the day after that of the House, at the same hour, if the weather is fair.

The third announcement appeared on February 16, 1856.  Interior View Of The Hall.  Mr. Parks submitted a resolution which had just been put into his hands, inviting Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth, Photographic Artists, (conformably to their application,) to take a Photographic Miniature of the House of Representatives at any time it may suit their convenience, and requesting the Door-keepers to extend to them the necessary freedom of the Hall and facilities for that object: and he moved that the rule be suspended for its consideration.

And, accordingly, the rule was suspended, and the resolution was adopted….The Speaker read to the House a communication from Dodge, the Photographic Artists, stating that he would be prepared to take his interior view of the Hall to morrow (Friday) morning at 10 o’clock, if it should be a fair day; and, if not, on the first fair day following, at the same hour….

The fourth announcement appeared on May 16, 1856.  Photographic Miniature Portraits.  The studio of our friends, Messrs. Dodge & Wenderoth, over Hicks’ China Hall, north side of the square, has become the very general resort of that large class of our citizens of both sexes so justly celebrated for their high appreciation and liberal patronage of every thing truly excellent in the fine arts.  The reputation of Nr, Dodge alone as a miniature painter on ivory, in this city, where he has been so long and so favorably known, is of itself sufficient to attract all connoisseurs.  But there are other no less important features connected with his studio.  The introduction of the new style of pictures, known as Photographic Miniature Portraits, proves a most successful card.  These pictures, when painted, possess all the beauty of the ivory miniature, and, in addition, all the accurateness of outline and feature of the daguerreotype.  Besides they have the advantage in point of size, and are less expense in proportion.  Mr. Wenderoth is himself one of the most accomplished miniature painters in the country, as the specimens of his workmanship abundantly prove.  In the art of Photographing he is entirely au fait, and with his superior apparatus can exhibit pictures equal, if not superior, to any ever taken in this or any other country.

Mr. Dodge has recently returned from a visit to his family in the mountains, and is prepared, in connection with Mr. W., to attend to all orders.  Photographic Miniature Portraits can be readily taken from Daguerreotypes or Portraits.  We recommend those who wish to see something really superior to visit the studio of Dodge & Wenderoth.

The fifth announcement appeared on August 2, 1856.  Bank of Tennessee—Counter Notice.—We saw yesterday some specimens, of a new issue of the Bank of Tennessee, of the denomination of ten dollars, issued in lieu of their red brick tens, which have been withdrawn.  These notes are payable at the counter of the Bank here, and are being put in circulation in this city.  As specimens of Bank note engraving, they are equal, if not superior to any thing we have ever seen.  The face of the bill in on a yellow ground, and presents fine miniatures of Jackson, Polk, and Hon. Cave Johnson, President—the first two taken from J. W. Dodge’s Ivory Miniatures, and the latter from a Photographic Miniature by Dodge & Wenderoth….

The sixth announcement appeared on October 18, 1856.  State Fair.  Premiums….Report.  Agricultural And Miscellaneous…Display of Apples.

J. W. Dodge, Cumberland county, prem.  Pronounced the finest ever seen by all.

The seventh announcement appeared on October 22, 1856.  Sale of Fine Fruit.—Mr. Dodge premium apples will be sold at auction, at Odd Fellows’ Hall to-night at 8 o’clock.  Those, therefore, who desire a dish of that delicious fruit, will, of course, attend.

The eighth announcement appeared on November 15, 1856.  Cumberland Mountain—Fine Fruit And Vegetables. 

The extraordinary agricultural resources of the extensive table land of the Cumberland mountains are attracting considerable attention of late…

We are led to these remarks by the very gratifying circumstance of receiving from the hands of our clever artist friend, J. W. Dodge, Esq., a basket of those magnificent apples from his orchard on Cumberland mountain, in Cumberland county.  A case of these apples was exhibited at the late State Agricultural Fair in this city, and attracted universal attention.  We heard gentlemen who had attended Fairs in the oldest States in the Union, where there were contributions from the best fruit growing regions, say that they had never seen anything to compare with these apples.  At the conclusion of the Fair, Mr. Dodge sold his apples at auction, and some of the finest specimens brought as high as ten dollars and forty cents per dozen!—the best sale of apples on record.  As to the quality of this fruit, we assert, unhesitatingly, that it is superior to any we ever tasted.  Mr. Dodge has on his mountain farm some twenty or thirty of the best varieties, all thriving in the most remarkable degree….

In addition to the apples we are under obligations to Mr. Dodge for a specimen of the Irish Potatoes grown on the mountain.  They are of the red meshannock variety, and as fine specimens of Irish potato as we have ever saw. …

Mr. Dodge has several barrels of these apples for sale, and those wishing to enjoy something particularly luxurious in the way of fruit, will be accommodated by calling at his studio, over Hicks’s China store….Mr. D. has been for twenty years more or less on the mountain, and is familiar with its beauties, resources and attractions generally, and next to painting a good picture, delights in expatiating upon them.

The ninth announcement appeared on December 28, 1856.  Cumberland Mountain Land at Auction.  Valuable Stock Farm. 

I will offer at public sale, on Saturday, the 19tgh day of January, a beautiful and valuable tract of land, lying on the table of the Cumberland Mountain, in Cumberland county, about 26 miles East of Sparta, on the road to Knoxville.  This Land is a part of the tract upon which I reside and immediately adjoining my celebrated Fruit Orchard.—It contains about 1200 acres…A plat of the land can be seen at my Painting Rooms, over Hicks’s China Hall on the Square…

The tenth announcement appeared on October 26, 1856.  Mechanics’ Institute.  Second Annual Exhibition.  Premiums Awarded…Class No. 6—Marble Work, Paintings, Drawing, Daguerreotypes, Etc.

J. W. & E. S. Dodge, Nashville, Miniatures on Ivory…………………….      5

J. W. & E. S. Dodge, Nashville, Photographs, plain and colored…….…..         5

A. Larcomb, Nashville, Ambrotypes……………………………….…….      5

Hughes Brothers, Nashville, Daguerreotypes………………………….…  5

The second advertisement ran from April 14 to May 9, 1857.  A Card Having sold my Photographic rooms, apparatus, materials, &c., to Messrs. Hughes Brothers of this city, with a view to reside permanently at my home in Cumberland County, I take great pleasure in recommending them as my successors.  They are gentlemen of skill and experience in their profession, and I trust they may receive that full and liberal share of business which has ever flowed upon me.

The Messrs. Hughes have engaged a corps of artists of superior abilities, and I have no hesitation in saying that they are fully qualified, in their several departments, to give perfect satisfaction to all who may desire the finest Photographs, either plain or elaborately painted.  J. W. Dodge. 

Hughes Bros., (Successors to J. W. Dodge,) No. 46 Public Square, Nashville.  Photographs Either Plain or Colored, from the smallest in a Pin to Life Size on Canvass.

This is a new feature not heretofore attempted in Tennessee.  Our patrons can now have old Daguerreotypes of deceased friends copied as large as life, and color returned by describing the complexion, color of the hair, eyes, dress, &c.  The public are respectfully invited to call at the Gallery and see specimens, over Hicks’ China Hall, Public Square, Nashville.  P. B. & G.  [sic.]  F. H. & C. C.  

The eleventh announcement appeared on May 8, 1858.  Spring Fair.  Third Day, May 6th….Fine Arts.

Color Photographs—Mrs. W. G. Harding, (by Dodge) premium; C. C. Hughes, Certificate.

Ambrotypes—C. C. Hughes, Premium.

Uncolored Photographs— C. C. Hughes, Premium.

John Wood Dodge is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide A Biographical Dictionary 1839-1865, does record him as a dioramist and miniaturist active in New York City 1830-44; New Orleans 1848-1849; and Huntsville, Ala in 1854.  Current research suggest that while in St. Louis in (1854-1855) he colored photographs for Enoch Long.  Illegible advertisement in the Daily Missouri Republican dated May 30, 1855.

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