February 9, 1852

 

Boston_art_club_design_wm_emerson

Architectural Rendering of Boston Art Club, ca. 1882

Feb 9th  Monday  Went to Boston with Oliver  spent

the forenoon in looking at pictures.  dined at

Mr Orrs.  Afternoon Mrs Stevens & Mrs Morse

went with us to look at pictures.  purchased 

two engravings one of them painted  returned to

Mr Orrs and spent the evening in playing 

cards  Very fine weather

Evelina’s boring Sunday in North Easton gave way to a few fun days of shopping in Boston. Leaving Jane McHanna to manage the house in her absence, she traveled into the city accompanied by her middle son, Oliver (3), the only son who wasn’t working. The two of them spent the day looking at “pictures” – prints and paintings, probably – and ended up buying two engravings. That one was “painted” meant that it had been hand-colored.

Where did they shop? At a gallery? At an artist’s studio? Amory Hall on Washington Street was one facility that accommodated artists at the time.Who was selling engravings in 1852? Readers, do you know?

It’s hardly arbitrary that Oliver (3) was the son who shopped for art with his mother. Besides being the only male in the family at liberty to take his mother into town, Oliver (3) loved art. He would collect paintings, prints and sculpture all through his life, in fact, especially after he and Anna C. Ray had married and built their large homes in North Easton and Boston. Before becoming governor, Oliver (3) traveled a great deal as a salesman for O. Ames and Sons and, in the process, bought art for himself at galleries in New York City and elsewhere. In the 1880s, he was also president of the Boston Art Club, an artists’ consortium begun in 1854 – 1855 that expanded to include wealthy patrons such as Oliver Ames.

2 thoughts on “February 9, 1852

  1. I’m trying to place the Boston Art Club. It looks a lot like the building on Berkeley Street that spent some time being the natural history museum, then became Bonwit Tellers, and is now a clothing retail store of a different name. The proximity to the church, however, suggests it is perhaps the site of the Ritz, or further down Newbury Street. Do you have an address for it?

    • 270 Dartmouth Street, although no longer the Art Club. According to Wikipedia:
      “The Boston Art Club floundered […] as the Great Depression, and World War II and a fall in Membership eventually made the need for the large Club House unnecessary. In 1950 the Club House was closed and is now a Public School: The Muriel Sutherland Snowden International School at Copley.”

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