Jervis McEntee Diaries

Saturday January 25, 1890

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, January 25, 1890, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, Jan 25, 1890 Mary and I went to a reception at Joe Cornells. It was cold and windy. There was the usual canopy over the side wall, the usual crush of well dressed women. After paying our respects to the host and hostess, Joes daughter Mrs. Young and his sons wife we got away quietly. What people do this sort of thing for is a mystery to me. I cant see what pleasure or satisfaction it can be to any one except as an occasion to air fine dresses. In the evening as we were sitting in the Parlor Julia Wilkinson came in. She had been to Princeton and had expected to meet Robert here but had got left and he had gone home. We arranged to go up with the 9.55 train on the West Shore tomorrow and I took her to the Everett where they usually stop and where she had a room and then went around to the Century where I spent the evening pleasantly. Eastman Johnson asked me if I knew Howard Butler and I told him I did not. He said "I have nominated him for the Century and I want to find someone to second him as I have never seen any of his work." I asked him why he proposed a man he knew nothing about and his reply was "I didn't say I knew nothing about him" when he went away. I couldn't help thinking however that a man who nominated an artist had better know something about what sort of an artist he was. I see Eastman is on the committee of selection of the Society of American Artists and I understand has been soliciting funds for a new Society which is a direct rival of the Academy. I do not know that I ought to conclude that he is joining the general drift away from our own artists over into the devotees of everything which is not American but I am afraid the society he moves in is having its influence upon him and I almost at times have to acknowledge that we are drifting apart.

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