The Jervis McEntee Diaries - March 29, 1879

Diary Entry:

Came to my studio with an overwhelming feeling of depression this morning and an utter inability to go to my work. Calvert came in after a little and towards noon I went up to the Academy, this being varnishing day. The first thing that caught my eye from the head of the stairs was my picture "Clouds" in the place of honor in the Academy, in the centre of the large South Gallery. There was a large gathering of artists, many of them entire strangers to me where I used to know them all. Many spoke most encouragingly to me of my picture as an exceptional work and fully meriting the best place on the walls. I was quite overcome by this spontaneous recognition and felt to the full the pleasure of a genuine success. Weir was there. His picture "Forging a Shaft" was hung above the line but looked finely. He was greatly disappointed at its position but I consoled him by telling him I believed its position was owning to its having arrived late from the Paris Exposition. It looked finely in spite of being above the line and really could be perfectly well seen. I took a hasty glance around and am convinced of the high character of the exhibition and feel that it must attract unusual attention. Weir came to my studio and lunched with me. All the respect shown me and my work made me feel much better and I passed the day better than I feared I would. In the evening Mary and I went in the rain to Booths last reception as they go to Chicago on Thursday. We had a very pleasant evening. Mrs. Hugh (Genl Scotts daughter) and her daughter were there. Haven Putnam, his wife and her sister Mirs. Hill, Du Challen, Mr. Hill author of a life of Poe and Miss Nichols. We staid until nearly midnight.

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