Jervis McEntee Diaries

Friday February 14, 1879

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Friday, February 14, 1879, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Breakfasted with Joe Tomkins at the Brevoort after which we came over to my studio. We had hardly got here when the men came to put new sash cords in the windows and they kept my room cold and in confusion for more than an hour when we were able to sit down in comfort. We talked of Dwight and of Gertrude. He staid until noon. Hubbard and Homer Martin came in to see my picture. Hubbard said Gifford had told him about it. He said he spoke in great praise of it; that he had not heard him express himself so warmly in a long time. They both expressed themselves very unreservedly in admiration of it and Homer Martin said he thought it would mark a step in advance for me. He thought it my finest picture. Eastman yesterday commended it and told me Gifford had spoken in praise of it to him. I am delighted because it is quite unexpected. I know it interests me more than anything I have ever done before but I did not know how much that might be owing to its answering a certain mood and I could hardly think it would strike others as it did me. Gertrude could have told me. She would instinctively have known just how it would strike thoughtful people. I never painted with more feeling than on this picture and when we do work entirely from feeling it must result that there will be in our work what will find a response in some one who has experienced the same moving passions or emotions. Church came in and staid a long time and towards evening Julia Dillon who liked my picture very much. I am experiencing now an unexpected pleasure in the admiration of all these artists. In so far I am grateful but I am not happy. I slept badly last night, awoke with troublesome and tormenting thoughts and all day they have pursued me at intervals. I have painted some on the little heads and have made Gertrudes better. An invitation to an art reception at W. H. Vanderbilts on Thursday next. Shall not go.

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