|Dates of Creation||1865/05/29|
|Scope & Content||
[May 29, 1865]
William S. Mount, N.A.
You have lost a great patron of the arts in Abraham Lincoln. Mr. [ ] is of sterner stuff.
I have just seen Major French he advises that you should send [ ] you can procure it for that purpose [ ] the full length of Bishop [ ] for exhibition to the members of Congress next winter. The [ ] says he will put it in good position in the Rotunda a fireproof building; but I thought I would speak to my neighbour, Mr. Middleton upon the subject. Mr. Middleton is a Vestry-man in what was Dr. Butler's Church and Clerk of the Supreme Court of the `United States. He evidently thinks the Bishop's portrait won't answer, dismissed from the Church &c. Commodore Bailey's now would be just the thing. Major French and I however wish to see the Bishop. You must exercise your own best judgment.
I left. with the Major a copy of Frank Leslie's pictorial containing a view of your new Academy of which I told the Major you was one of the founders. Mr. Jabez Munsell and his son, Harry, Who have just left us, will give you a description of the stair-cases, which they examined for the purpose at my request. Miss Henrietta Thompson will tell you all about them, and more too. But, my dear Sir, you must look at them yourself and also study the works of that old Revolutionary soldier, the pioneer of your art in this Country, Col Trumbull; he very well knew what to paint, but could not so well execute, whereas Leutz and Powell, so beautiful and perfect in coloring and execution are deficient rather superfluous in design. I am afraid I have written something foolish to an old painter; but you wanted my views and I have not read Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discourses; that must be my inexcusable excuse.
Mr. Middleton thinks you require political influence to succeed in obtaining the order from Congress; that of Senator. Morgan and Gen. Schenck would in Mr. Middleton's opinion be very effective. I however don't approve of your log-rolling. I don't believe you have any experience in that business, nor desire to have. Mr. Middleton the Major and I all think that the exhibition of one of your pictures, the full length of the Bishop or, what Mr. Middleton prefers, Com. Bailey to the Members of Congress in the Capitol next winter would give occasion for your friends to speak for you.
Are you not acquainted with Gov Seward? You might see, now when convalescing with Dr. Verdi's approbation and your violin. Where the Governor is in good health he, is very difficult of access I would suppose, so much correspondence. Which reminds me, so farewell.
Your friend and Obedient Servant
JOHN M. GARDNER.
Washington, D. C.
29th May, 1865.
Box 430, P.O.