Thursday April 3, 1890
Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, April 3, 1890, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Thursday, Apr 3, 1890 Varnishing day at the Academy. I went up about 9 oclock and spent the forenoon there. I was struck by a certain repugnance to any thing like agreeable color in some of the pictures and a liking for egg shaped, colorless, expressionless faces. To my mind Maynards picture of the syrens [sic] is the most clever picture in the collection, showing more imagination and the recognition of finer qualities than are shown in bare facts. A great throng of aggressive looking young men, seemingly amateurs who paint as being an elegant pursuit shows what a change has come over the body of the artists who were my contemporaries. I talked with Hicks and although he is a well preserved man he struck me a having grown old. My Autumn picture "The Fall of the Year" has an excellent place on the line in the south side of the South room. My "Winter in the Country" is on the second line in the West room, with disagreeable greenish pictures about it entirely inharmonious with it. It does not look well to me. However I cannot complain. As usual there are various opinions about the exhibition. To me the collection as a whole is about up to the average. I painted on the little portrait in the afternoon but I have a feeling it will not amount to any thing. Downing and I went over to the Grand Opera house and saw Rose Coghlan in Peg Woffington. We got the best seats in the Parquette for 75 cents. I call Rose Coghlan a miserable actress. Her tones and accent are outrageously fake and stagey, which is a fault I have always found with her. The rest of the company were very good--better far than she was, notably the Triplet of Tom E. Weber, The Mabel Vane of Miss Helen Bancroft. We both enjoyed the play.
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