257. Nancy R. Davison, “E. W. Clay’s Life in Philadelphia: A Moment in Time,” Vol. 43, No. 2 (Autumn 2018), 2–30, 20 illus.
Stimulated by the 2006 discovery of E. W. Clay’s European scrapbooks, Nancy Davison has reexamined and contextualized Life in Philadelphia, Clay’s visual satire on black society in Philadelphia, 1828 to 1830. The hand-colored etchings are essentially theatrical set pieces complete with dialogue. The situations and interactions of the characters are real and nuanced. The extravagant clothing is exaggerated but reflects actual prosperity. This truly is a moment in time. Life in Philadelphia’s relaxed attitude of racial mockery is in stark contrast to representations of African Americans made just a few years later, when race relations deteriorated in response to the abolitionist movement and declining economic circumstances. Includes an appendix listing the entire set of 14 plates as cataloged and numbered by the author in her PhD dissertation based on examination of prints in the collections of the Library Company of Philadelphia, The New-York Historical Society, and the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
258. Kevin Hugh Lynch, “Lithographic Luminaries Illustrate American Music, 1835 to 1861,” Vol. 43, No. 2 (Autumn 2018), 31–50, 22 illus.
The production of illustrated sheet music covers was an important component of the job work that supported lithographic studios. Sometimes the design and execution were assigned to young artists beginning to master the medium, but skilled European artists used it as a point of entry into American shops, and specialists in portraiture were always in demand. Kevin Hugh Lynch has assembled a visual feast of lively, entertaining, and topical cover illustrations drawn by the best artists of their time. The artists singled out for attention are: George T. Sanford, James Queen, Peter Kramer, Francis D’Avignon, Leopold Grozelier, Robert Cooke, Winslow Homer, Alphonse Bigot, Fitz Henry Lane, and Napoleon Sarony.