Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday July 21, 1888

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, July 21, 1888, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, July 21, 1888 Went to N.Y. by the Powell to see Mr. Wells at the Cosmopolitan hotel. He wants me to visit at his place and if I see anything there I would like to paint he would like a picture. He said he wanted a picture of mine for several reasons. I told him frankly I did not care to paint portrait views and avoided it when I could, that there were two ways of looking at his proposition. If he wanted particularly a certain local scene painted by me I would do it for him as well as I could. If he wanted a work of art from me I would advise him to leave the subject and treatment to me. He said he understood my objections but gave me to understand that he wanted a visit from me at his home, wanted his family to meet me and if I found nothing there to interest me why he would have something else. The result was I promised to go there some time in September and would write him. Mrs. Wells whom I met was an agreeable lady and also invited me cordially. He seems to feel grateful to my father for his kindness to him in 1843 when he had Yellow fever at the old Mansion House and evidently wants the satisfaction of a visit at his home from me particularly as he failed to have a visit from my father and mother. It is rather a curious case and I am anxious to recognize and respect his feeling of gratitude to my father. I lunched with him and he came up to the boat with me on my return. It was not a hot day in town except when one exercised. On the boat going down it was a little too cool if anything but the boat is far the pleasanter way of traveling in hot weather. I found a letter from Mr. Seager of Dry Brook saying he would take me for August.

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