Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday November 19, 1887

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, November 19, 1887, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, Nov 19, 1887 I went to Ortgies' new gallery in 5th Av. and had an interview with him. An old law of 30 years ago has been lately hunted up and enforced which forbids auction sales in the evening. This is a virtual prohibition of picture sales. There will be no one selling my pictures in the day time. He told me they had already taken steps to have the law modified as soon as the legislature meets in January but as he said, no one can tell when it will be attended to although they hope to have it done at once. This sets me all adrift again and I hardly know what to do. He is to come and see me as soon as any thing is decided upon. Have felt somewhat despondent but went to work and began a picture and worked until dark. Went to the Century this evening and saw a number of friends Morse, Collins, Cranch, Edgar Ward, Champney, Moran, Shirlaw, Dielman and others. Eastman sat with me most of the evening. He got upon the subject of the Art Union and seemed to grow more and more savage as he thought of it. He lent it $500. He called Perry to him and almost ordered him to make a statement of its affairs and call a meeting of all the members to see what they want to do about it. I couldnt help a feeling that in some way he held me accountable for his having been roped into it, when the fact is I counseled not making him a trustee, not that I was not glad to have his aid, but because I knew it would be distasteful to him. With my other anxieties this sudden calling up this almost forgotten subject, seemed ill timed and most distasteful. Eastman can much better afford to lose what he put in than I can what I contributed, as he makes money rapidly and besides had the benefit of the wide distribution of the etching of his picture.

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