The Jervis McEntee Diaries - March 9, 1883

Diary Entry:

Friday, Mar 9, 1883 Today was to be the beginning of Wiggins' great storm, of which however there are not the slightest indications. Painted on my picture. It lacks something which I cannot quite determine but I hope soon to finish it. Julie brought Margaret our fat black cook over in the afternoon and I made a full length sketch of her in about an hour, greatly to her delight. She said she "didn't know she was so good lookin," and repeated over and over "now that's a good picture.[?] She was afraid I was going to make "one of them funny pictures." That was what I wanted to do, but I was afraid of offending her. I wanted to paint a "black woman in white" for the "Zig Zags". Eastman telegraphed me to come up and see his portrait of Mr. Archibald and to dine. I rode up to 34th St. and walked up Broadway and 7th Avenue from there. Saw the Casino, a fine building and the new opera house, an immense structure. The great number of high apartment houses give that portion of the city a foreign look. Eastman had finished his portrait and I think it admirable?one of his very best. We were struck with the strong resemblance to my father. As usual Eastman is behind time in sending to the Academy. This and another portrait are going tomorrow although last Wednesday was the last day for receiving pictures. Mrs. Johnson was going out to dancing school with Ethel and they sat down to dinner. Presently she called to us to know if we would have our dinner with her. We started down stairs and I sat down with her. Eastman did not come for some time and she was in great haste. I carved for her. In the midst Ethel had lost or mislaid something and a boy called with a package to collect something. She had only a ten dollar bill and he had to go get it changed. Another boy came with another package for more money. The first boy came after a long time and meanwhile Eastman had arrived. The servant in opening a bottle of wine pushed the cork in and all went wrong. Eastman said to me in his comical way, "You're the only man we dare invite to dinner." Said to his wife he "hoped they would get off" which they did after a little. But it was all very funny and Mrs. Johnson is always good natured. After dinner we talked about the growing extravagance of the day and the disappearance of anything like simple hospitality. Mrs. Johnson returned about 9 and I came to my room a little after 10.

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