Joseph Sill selected diaries, 1832-1854

Sill, Joseph, b. 1801 d. 1854
Painter, Collector
Active in Philadelphia, Pa.

Collection size: 2 partial microfilm reels.

Collection Summary: Ca. 850 pages of selected art related excerpts from Sill's diaries. The diaries date from 1832 to 1854 and document his own painting activities, his association with the Artists and Amateurs Association, Artists' Fund Society, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He gives his reactions to the work of other artists as seen in exhibitions in Philadelphia and New York, especially at the National Academy of Design, as well as in private collections. He writes about panoramas shown in Philadelphia, purchases of works of art for himself and others, commissions to artists to paint pictures for him, etc. In particular he writes frequently of his friend, the collector and patron Edward L. Carey, and of Carey's collection. He often mentions John Sartain, James R. Lambdin, Peter F. Rothermel, Daniel Huntington, Thomas Sully, William H. Furness, Emanuel Leutze, George L. Saunders, Samuel B. Waugh, Paul Weber, William J. Hubard, Monachesi, and John Neagle. He tells of the founding and subsequent activities of the Art-Union of Philadelphia; the sale of Joshua Shaw's paintings and his misfortunes; the work and ill natured personality of William Page; meeting with and a drawing and description of John J. Audubon; a controversy between Robert W. Weir and Samuel F. B. Morse about who will paint the Mayflower Compact; V. G. Audubon's efforts to get subscribers for his father's book; and Bowen's lithographic shop.

He characterizes Edward Watmough and William E. Winner.

Biographical/Historical Note: Collector, amateur painter; Philadelphia, Pa.

Microfilmed for the Archives of American Art in 1955 by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Diaries donated to the Society by Edward Madiera.

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  • Microfilm reels P29-P30 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
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