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American art: its awful altitude; a satire. Edited by William Coyle, 1864

Frankenstein, John

Portrait painter, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: xxii, 136 p., illus., 20 cm.

Summary: Reprint of the 1864 poem by Iohn P. Frankenstein, American Art: Its Awful Altitude, a 112-page poem in which he criticized successful American artists, patrons, and critics by name. After the Civil War, he settled permanently in New York City, where he spent the remainder of his life as a recluse.

Biographical/Historical Note

John P. Frankenstein emigrated from Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio, with his family of artists when he was fifteen years old. Entirely self-taught, he was encouraged by local sculptor Hiram Powers to pursue a career in art. Frankenstein soon became a professional portrait painter and sculptor and spent much of his career working in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York. After losing some important patronage later in his career, and unable to achieve critical and financial success, he became bitter and resentful of the art world.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel CO3 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

How to Cite This Collection

American art: its awful altitude; a satire. Edited by William Coyle, 1864. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.