The Vanity of the Artist's Dream

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American (Newport, RI 1785 - 1862 Washington, DC)
The Vanity of the Artist's Dream, 1830
Former Title: The Anatomy of Art Appreciation
Former Title: Poor Artist's Study
Former Title: Still Life, The Vanity of An Artist's Dream
19th century
Creation Place: United States
Oil and graphite on canvas
89.2 x 74.9 cm (35 1/8 x 29 1/2 in.)
frame: 109.2 x 94.6 x 5.1 cm (43 x 37 1/4 x 2 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Grenville L. Winthrop, Class of 1886
, 1942.193
Department of American Paintings, Sculpture & Decorative Arts
signed: l.c. on edge of book: C. B. King 1830 [For all the other inscriptions see Appendix A in American Paintings at Harvard, Volume I.]
James Fullerton, Boston (by 1832); Thomas R. Walker, Utica, NY; by descent to Muriel Matthews; purchased by Grenville L. Winthrop; his gift to the Fogg Art Museum, 1942.
Edgar P. Richardson, American Romantic Painting, ed. Robert Freund E. Weyhe (New York, NY, 1944), p. 40, no. 44, ill.

Wolfgang Born, "Notes on Still-Life Painting in the United States", The Magazine Antiques (New York, September 1946), Vol. L, no. 3, pp. 159-160, fig. 6

Wolfgang Born, Still-Life Painting in America, Oxford University Press (NY) (New York, 1947), pp. 27-28, fig. 69

Fogg Art Museum and Benjamin Rowland, Jr., Real and Ideal in American Art, exh. cat., (Cambridge, MA, Summer 1948), cat. 14

Virgil Barker, American Painting: History and Interpretation, The Macmillan Company (New York, 1950), pp. 305, 307, pl. 39

Edgar P. Richardson, Painting in America: The Story of 450 Years, Thomas Y. Crowell Company (New York, NY, 1956), pp. 158, fig. 72

Paul Zucker, Styles in Painting: A Comparative Study, Dover Publications Inc. (New York, NY, 1963), p. 274, fig. 221

Corcoran Gallery of Art, A Catalogue of the Collection of American Paintings in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Volume I: Painters Born Before 1850, Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C., 1966), p. 50

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT, 1967), n.p.

Harold E. Dickson, Arts of the Young Republic: The Age of William Dunlap, exh. cat., The University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC, 1968), p. 56, fig. 116

Alfred V. Frankenstein, After the Hunt: William Harnett and Other American Still Life Painters 1870 - 1900, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA, 1969), p. 88

William Dunlap, History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, Dover Publications Inc. (New York, 1969), vol. II, p. 261, pl. 228

Daniel M. Mendelowitz, A History of American Art, Holt, Rinehart & and Winston (New York, NY, 1970), p. 220

James Thomas Flexner, Nineteenth Century American Painting, Chanticleer Press (New York, NY, 1970), p. 194, ill. opp. p. 191

William H. Gerdts and Russell Burke, American Still Life Painting, Praeger (New York, NY, 1971), pp. 52-53

Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 39, ill.

Andrew J. Cosentino, "Charles Bird King: An Appreciation", The American Art Journal, Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (New York, May 1974), vol. VI, no. 1, pp. 54-71, pp. 58-60 and note, ill. p. 58 as fig. 6

Marie Louise d'Otrange Mastai, Illusion in Art: Trompe l'Oeil, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1975), p. 275, pl. 313

Andrew J. Cosentino, The Paintings of Charles Bird King, 1785-1862, Smithsonian Institution for the National Collection of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C, 1977), pp. 28, 80-83, 188, cat. 501, ill. p. 81 as fig. 79

Kynaston McShine, ed., Joseph Cornell, exh. cat., ed. Kynaston McShine Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, NY, 1980), pp. 59-60, fig. 15

William H. Gerdts, Painters of the Humble Truth: Masterpieces of American Still Life 1801-1939, exh. cat., University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO, 1981), p. 75

Kenneth Baker, "Things and Things to Come", The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA, July 8, 1982), ill. p. 20

Andrew J. Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie, The Capital Image: Painters in Washington DC 1800-1915, exh. cat., Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington, D.C, 1983), pl. 1

John Wilmerding, Important Information Inside: The Art of John F. Peto and the Idea of Still-Life Painting in Nineteenth-Century America, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C., 1983), p. 131

Michael David Zellman, ed., American Art Analog, Chelsea House Publishers (New York, NY, 1986), vol. 1, p. 101

Chad Mandeles, "William Michael Harnett's 'The Old Cupboard Door' and the Tradition of Vanitas", American Art Journal, Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (New York, Summer 1986), Vol. XVIII, No. 3, pp. 51-62, p. 56

Carrie Rebora Barratt, "Sir Thomas Lawrence's 'Benjamin West' for the American Academy of Fine Arts", The American Art Journal, Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (New York, 1989), vol. XXI, no. 3, pp. 36-38, fig. 13, fig. 14 (detail)

Carrie Rebora, "Sir Thomas Lawrence's 'Benjamin West' for the American Academy of the Fine Arts", American Art Journal (1989), vol 21, no. 3, pp. 18-47, pp. 36-38, fig. 13, fig. 14 (detail)

Doreen Bolger, Marc A. Simpson and John Wilmerding, William M. Harnett, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art / Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1992), p. 191, note 23

Wayne Craven, American Art: History and Culture, Brown & and Benchmark Publishers (Madison, WI, 1994), p. 156

Grantland S. Rice, The Transformation of Authorship in America, The University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL and London, England, 1997), cover page

Eleanor Heartney, A Capital Collection: Masterworks from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art and Third Millennium Publishing Limited (Washington, DC, 2002), p. 32

Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), pp. 468-470, cat. 205, ill.

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., ed. Stephan Wolohojian The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (New York, NY, 2003), pp. 454-456, cat. 205, ill.

David Bjelajac, American Art: A Cultural History, Prentice Hall, Inc. (2005), pp. 186-187, fig. 5.29

Rowena Houghton Dasch, "Unraveling the Deception: Trompe l'Oeil as Guide to Charles Bird King's Picture Gallery, 1824-1861", Athanor (Florida State University Department of Art History, 2008), XXVI, pp. 47-50, ill. p. 50 as fig.3

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 149, ill.

Laura Turner Igoe, ""All Things Perish: Joseph Biays Ord and the Plight of Antebellum American Still-Life Painting", Athanor (2010), vol. XXVIII, pp. 65-73, p. 72, fig. 7

Sarah Cash, ed., Corcoran Gallery of Art: American Paintings to 1945, Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 2011), p. 64, fig. 2

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 27, 328-330, cat. 292, ill, fig. 48 (detail), and Appendix A

Exhibition History
Real and Ideal in American Art, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1948 - 09/01/1948, 14
Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967
American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972, 39
Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/29/1995 - 05/13/2001
Annual Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1832, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1832 - 12/31/1832
A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004, 205
For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004 -
Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011
Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013