Tuesday, June 11 - Last evening Gertrude and I returned from New York where we went three weeks ago today. During my absence I finished the picture "Kaatskill Woods" which Mr. Hoe bought of me while I was sick, besides a picture for Mr. Dunning and another Kaatskill brook which I laid in two years ago and which I intend for Mr. Chickering. We attended the unveiling of Ward's statue of Shakespeare, one of the most artistic festivals ever held in this country, visited the Art Museum for the first time, and saw Turners "Slave Ship" which I enjoyed as the bold expression of a great artist and as a piece of full rich color, but which is entirely outside of criticism from a naturalistic point of view. We spent an evening quietly with Bayard Taylor and his wife, and they one with us. Dined at Dr. Drapers, at Averys, at Vaux's and at Eastman Johnsons in his new city house in 55th St. The Taylors sailed in the Hamburg steamer Westphalia June 6. Thompson and I went over to see them off. Mrs. Taylor was a little sad but Taylor was as always in fine spirits. On our way back to N. Y. we called at the Cooks in Hoboken and saw them all. The weather all the while we were in the city was cool and pleasant and next year I think I would like to remain there until June 1. The Durand pic-nic came off Saturday, June 8 and was a perfect success. It had rained in the morning but cleared off before it was time for us to go but the woods were so wet that we had our table spread on the wide veranda of his house where we remained the whole day and every one seemed to enjoy it to the utmost. Nearly all came who promised to. Mr. Bryant came all the way from Roslyn in spite of the threatening weather. I was sure he would come if it were possible, and he seemed to enjoy the occasion exceedingly and made a nice little address at the lunch table. Palmer and his wife came all the way from Albany. Kensett was there with a young Philadelphia lady. Gifford and his sister Mary, Whittredge & his wife, Cranch, Geo. Hall, Wm. Hart & wife, Mr. & Mrs. Hicks, Hubbard, Mr. & Mrs. David Johnson, Mr. & Mrs. Eastman Johnson, Mr. & Mrs. Page, Ward, Falconer, Volmering, Brevoort and Miss Bascom, besides all Mr. Durands and Mr. Woodmans families and a Miss Hasbrouck and Miss Peck visiting there. Mr. Durand acknowledged the compliment in a speech which showed how deeply he was touched by this remembrance of the Artists. It was a most satisfactory day and I shall always remember with gratification that my suggestion was so heartily responded to and that we were able to show in so fitting a way our veneration for the old man. I received a letter from John Durand just before I left the city in which he told me the affair had had the happiest effect on his father. He had walked nearly over the Orange Mountain and was in the best of spirits. My greatest satisfaction is in the happiness it has afforded him. Downing went back to New York this morning. Dear little fellow, it was not without a pang that I bade him good bye for he is so good a companion so kind and amiable that I shall miss him sadly. He is going to spend the summer in the Adirondacs with Loring Brace and is most enthusiastic over the idea. What good times those two will have. I envy them their enjoyment and still more their capacity for enjoyment. I wrote to Mr. Horace Fairbanks a few days ago offering him my "Venice", which he liked, for $900 including frame.