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Subject: Edith Wharton’s, House of Mirth, 
From: "Elizabeth Powell" 
eliza bethpo 
Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2000 

Dear Natasha, 

I have just paid two visits to your site, (in the same day). I am more than impressed, it is so comprehensive! You must have invested a tremendous amount of very hard work, but it seems to be a labor of love for you. I expect these to be the first of many visits, the site is now bookmarked!  I must confess that my initial interest was the result of my anticipation of the theatrical release of the film "House of Mirth", ( my interest lies in the book of the same title and the actress Gillian Anderson) and the director Terence Davies' references to Singer Sargent's work.  I have a penchant for art works of this time period, I particularly admire Pre-Raphaelite art. I have also bookmarked the site you recommended for Whistler for future reference.  I have to say that before today I had no knowledge of Singer Sargent's work beyond the name, but I am totally hooked now! I really need to find a gallery here in England where I can view a number of works in all their glory, given that the net hardly ever does works of art justice, I can only assume that seeing these works in situ would be quite an experience.  I intend to indulge myself by viewing your site in its entirety, as time allows, (yes, I will bring a drink and sandwiches!) in the meantime thank you once again for this "visual and information treat",

Elizabeth Powell

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your letter and your praise. I’m glad you are enjoying the site and it’s very much a turn on for me to introduce Sargent to someone that knew little or nothing about him before. The movie "The House of Mirth" along with Edith Wharton’s book I found on the net (a full text version of the book is online as well). Thanks a lot. The movie has not yet been released in the states (they’re probably holding it till Christmas – which means they, the people in charge, think it’s good) what I read from surfing on the net here seems it’s a movie I want to see as well.

Speaking of that time period. I enjoyed a great deal the Television show  “1900 House” which took a family in England and put them in a house without the creature comforts of today and documented their life and just how easy we have it today. It was produced in London and highlighted the life of women, more than anything else, during that time – I enjoyed it tremendously.

Go to the Tate Gallery, London, they have a lot of Sargent’s work and thanks for turning ME onto The House of Mirth.

Best regards

Natasha Wallace

Elizabeth wrote back with these additional web sites:

Also see 
Subject: Sargent and Madame Ramon Subercaseaux
From: Kathie  Roskom" 
kj rg 
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000 


I just discovered your Sargent Virtual Gallery this week and I am thrilled.  When I first got on the internet a few years ago I searched for everything I could find on Sargent and there was precious little. 

But, as you know, you have to see the originals to really appreciate his work.  For years I had been going around to every museum I could find to be rewarded with maybe two or three paintings on display at a time.  When I found out about the retrospective....!  I half-joked with my husband that I would have to go to all three locations (especially since some works would only be displayed in one place).  I managed the first (and hardest) by spending a week in London at the Tate exhibit [the first stop of the major retrospective held in 1998].  However, my plans for DC & Boston [the other two host cities of the exhibit] were foiled when we ended up getting an opportunity "we couldn't refuse" to move to Australia.  From what I've read here it sounds like Boston's was the "best" but I have wonderful memories of London (and at least I had fewer crowds to deal with)!! 

I'm thrilled to find a site (and all these fellow Sargent lovers) where I can gather more information and images! 

My specific question relates to the painting "Madame Ramon Subercaseaux" which was in the retrospective.  . . 

[ Kathie goes on to ask about the issue of whether the painting of Madame Ramon Subercaseaux  was restored and/or repainted?]

 . . .Sorry, I see I've asked a question that's already been dealt with.  I found the section when I went back to print out the image.  I really must learn to "page down" when I go to sites!! 

This just illustrates how great it is to have this site/forum. 

Thanks for all your work. 

Kathie Roskom 

From: Kathie Roskom  <
k jr>
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 


Thanks for the kind response.  I came across the notes I took from Robertson's book "Time Was" when I was in London.  If you'd like to have them (it amounts to 200-300 words) I'd be glad to post them to you.  My favorite line is: 

"It is positively dangerous to sit to Sargent.  It's taking your face in your hands," said a timid aspirant; and many stood shivering on the brink waiting for more adventurous spirits to make the plunge. 


[I wrote back and said please send -- which she did in part: Time Was: the reminiscences of W. Graham Robertson]


Dear Kathie,

You letter, and letters like yours, are really my payday -- thank you!

I really enjoy hearing the history of your enjoyment of Sargent (how you probably see it), or obsession (how your husband probably sees it) however the case may be. It’s quite fun to read. It sounds like your husband is a good sport. He better be, right?

I added some of your comments to the discussion on Madame Ramon Subercaseaux at that page– as you can see, there hasn’t been an overwhelming number of votes on the issue – but that’s ok – its probably a select few that are interested in it.

I know you had nothing to do with it, but you Aussies did a great job with the summer Olympics, I enjoyed watching them.

Best regards


PS you are my FIRST person from Australia who has written. One of these days I’m going to put up a world map with pins locating every country that has e-mailed me – kind of corny – but hey –that’s me

From: Joseph
Date:  Thu, 19 Oct 2000

wonderful...a visual feast and a virtual education. thank you so much

joseph james foley 
covina, california

Thank you, Joseph -- Nat
Subject: The Met Exhibition
From: Wonsug Jung
li  e
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000

Hi, Natasha.
Long time no see, huh? ^^

Although I haven't get in touch with you for a long time, I've kept visiting your site. But actually I didn't peruse all your additions, sorry. -_-;;;

In August, I visited Metropolitan museum's Sargent show. Sargent's sketchbooks when he was in his early teens were very interesting. And since there were not really many oils, my attention went to his watercolors which I didn't pay great attention in the Boston retrospective. His Venetian watercolors were so great, and I regretted a lot that I had not seen carefully his watercolors in Boston.

[Wonsug also answered a few questions in the "help me find" section]

From: Wonsug Jung
lie df
Date: Nov 14, 2000

Hi, Natasha

There are two publications accompanying the Sargent exhibition at the Met.

One is "American drawings and watercolors in the metropolitan museum of art, John Singer Sargent" and as the title says it contains all the drawings and watercolors by Sargent in the Met. The price is rather steep($72 at the and it has over 700 plates but the color plates are only a hundred or so. The color plates are mostly his late watercolors. It has two essays and 4 sections with brief introductions. The essays are 'the formation of the Met's collection of Sargent's works' and 'materials and techniques' The reproductions of Sargent's early works are rather small.

The other publication is actually the reprint of the metropolitan museum of arts bulletin spring 2000, which is available via at around $10. It has 64 pages and all 70 plates are in  full color. Especially it reproduces museum's holding of all 10 formal portraits in oil by the artist. It has two essays. One is 'Sargent's career as seen thru the Met's collection' and it is kind of a collection of the sheets beside the paintings in the museum. the other is a little shorter version of the
above essay 'the formation~~'.

Hope it helps you.




From: Natasha


Good to hear from you and thank you so much for answering those outstanding questions. Did you, by chance purchase the book from the Met on the work they have? was it good? I'm strongly considering it for myself but hadn't heard from anyone who has seen it

All my best


From: Natasha

Dear Wonsug, 

This helps me a great deal. Clearly the small paperback is by far the better deal (for me) and I would have been terribly disappointed if I had gone ahead and ordered the full hardback volume only to find half of the images in black and white.

I’m adding your review of these books under the Bibliography section. Again thank you so much
for your input.


From: Craig Betts
 o lr
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000

Dear Natasha,

Thanks for a wonderful experience. I know nothing about art other than what I like and do not like. I have enjoyed Sargent's work for many years, particularly his portraits.

Thank you for putting together such an incredible site, it is obviously a labour of love.

Craig Betts

Thank you, Craig -- Nat

Subject: Sargent's Tite Street Studio
From: Bert -- the Pragmatic Romanticist 
Date: July '00 Posted: 12/1/00

[Editor's Note-- Bert wrote 3 letters over 4 months]

It's truly remarkable who all lived with a moments walk of JSS. Peter Warlock the composer lived on the same street as did - as you know - Oscar Wilde and Whistler. Mark Twain was nearby on his stay in London. Turner lived around the corner. Milne - the Winnie the Pooh creator walked down Tite Street on his way to school as a boy. Ian Fleming placed James Bond's home a few streets away. Mick Jagger has lived in the neighbourhood. Both Turner and Whistler painted the original Battersea Bridge.  I've got the address and pricing of a flat to rent for tourist at the north end of the street. It's an enchanting area from all I can gather........god, I want to go there........:).....and I will before I perish..... The man who lives at 33 Tite Street now, Julian Barrow,  is also an artist. 

The National Army Museum and the Royal Hospital are directly north east of 33 Tite Street. The whole area is bathed in a bohemian history that beckons ever so seductively ...........*sighs*......... I can't stop researching but wonder about the merits of all this and how the hell am I going to present it. Who cares......I'm having fun...... 

Date: 9/26/00

 . . . I continue more research on the Tite Street / Chelsea project . . .  You've no idea how this whole thing has ballooned and I'm loving the areas it takes me to. I've bought a useful Michelin map of London at a decent scale that gives block by block house numbers making it very useful for isolating locations. Through all this I'm inhaling facts and figure by osmosis which will hopefully pour out in a cogent web site some day when my work permits. At one time I had over 75 books out from the library directly related to the whole venture. It is a joyous sojourn and gives me a rationale to read and look it the most diverse and perverse of books. 

Date: 10/21/00 

Item One - JSS on Tite Street - Alfred Egerton Layton ("Cooper") was Sargents Assitant -- what gives?

I read the following:

Cooper showed artistic talent early, exhibiting (for the first of forty times) at the Royal Academy at eighteen and graduating on a scholarship from London's Royal College of Art in 1911. While still a student, Cooper entered a competition for which John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was one of the judges. Sargent was perhaps the most celebrated artist of his generation, called by Rodin "The Van Dyck of our times." Impressed by the young artist's work, Sargent voted for Cooper, who came in second. Fortuitously, Sargent asked Cooper to work with him at his studio, the famous 31-33 Tite Street in Chelsea which had belonged to James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Cooper spent about a year there as Sargent's assistant, doing backgrounds and details for his paintings. What the master passed along to his disciple is evident on our cover. 
( )
I have not found any references to Layton in any Sargent book but am fascinated that someone else had a hand in the masters work. Which ones did he assist in? What role did Cooper play? Why is he never mentioned in any of the literature?

Item Two - Princess Diana in Tite Street.

As you know, I've found out that Julian Barrow - an artist - is the current owner of 31 Tite Street.

Apparently he loans out the studio.

From: The Artist Sudio

[The Tite Street studio]  was in Chelsea, by the River Thames, which was outside the city and quiet. Many other artists, including J. Whistler, Boldini, Furse and later, Augustus John, were also moving in that direction due to the growth of the city. . . 

Today, Sargent's studio is not a museum and is privately owned by Julian Barrow. He has lived there for over thirty years and knows much about the history of Sargent and others from that area.  Barrow is an accomplished landscape painter and portraitist. He is quite English – pleasant but private. Occasionally, he will loan out the studio for sittings, such as Nelson Shanks' painting Princess Diana or Margaret Thatcher
(The Artits Sudio)

From: Time International
While painting the life-size oil of PRINCESS DIANA in 1994, U.S. artist Nelson Shanks says, "I had to take into account the fact of her life--she was being barraged from all angles, and the fantasy-land situation just didn't exist any longer." The public can see the portrait for the first time when it goes on view at New York City's Hirschl & Adler Galleries next week as part of an exhibit of Brits painted by Americans. Shanks, 58, found Diana both pensive and optimistic, saying, "Physically, she's no shrinking violet--she's very strong physically and, I think, mentally as well." Before sittings began, Shanks assumed that they would take place in Kensington Palace, where the Princess lives. A friend had offered him the use of a studio in Chelsea, and, he recalls, "I gave her the option, and she said, 'Oh, let's do it there. I'd love to get out of here.'" 
(TIME International, April 22, 1996 Volume 147, No. 17)
Diana at 31 Tite Street.

I've looked at various pictures of the Tite Street studio trying to match what one sees at the right side of the picture below with little luck. Still, I'm fascinated that the rich and famous are still getting their "paw traughts" done at Tite Street. 
(The Thatcher and Diana portraits done at 31 Tite Street)

Take a look at some of Nelson Shanks work. This man is marvelous

Nelson Shanks' art.
Item Three - "..wonderful possibilities"

Question:  How is my work going on my Sargent in Tite Street site? 

Answer: Endlessly trapped in research mode.

I have,  however, come up with a name for it (at least it's todays name) My current mood is to name it  "..wonderful possibilities"

Why? Read on.

From the book "Walks in Oscar Wilde's London"

Sargent was indirectly responsible  for Wild's choice of Tite Street as a site for the house he built to live in with his bride. During the short period Wilde had shared Tite Street quarters with Miles, he witnessed Ellen Terry arriving at the Sargent's nearby studio, costumed for his famous portrait of her as Lady Macbeth. Wilde wrote" The street that on a wet and dreary morning has vouchsafed the vision of Lady Macbeth, in full regalia magnificently seated in a four wheeler, can never be as other streets; it must always be full of wonderful possibilities."


From: Natasha
Date 12/1/00

Bert, Please don't hate me for publishing this early. I just can't help myself!!!! 

<trying to look innocent and cute>

This is beautiful. Loved it. So will others. 

I think we are moving in parallel directions. 

Spending some time with the family over Thanksgiving (who by the way have the most wonderful “old” set of encyclopedias dated from 1960). It’s interesting to note that a lot of the current world books are either dropping the names of some of the people who were contemporary of Sargent or shortening the biographies of these people (assuming, I suppose, that they are no longer of interest to us today). Anyway, as we were all sitting around the house not doing anything I looked up:

Francis David Millet 
Edwin Austin Abbey
Carolus Duran (Charles Auguste Emile Durand) 
Roger Eliot Fry
Giovanni Boldini
James Carroll Beckwith
William Merritt Chase 
Charles Follen McKim 
Stanford White 

these are all people that show up over and over again in Sargent’s life and I want to start filling in with some information. I really love Boldini’s work and I think I’m going to do a brief page or pages on him [Giovanni Boldini].

I'm always thinking how this can be better, and I was thinking why don’t I just include gobs of paintings that these other artists did if I can find any (sort of like I did with the Venice photos) so people can get an idea of the work they were working on -- it's all relevant to Sargent as it gives a better understanding of the time period.

I think what I want to do when I have finished the Venice pages, is a series on Sargent in Spain, then  do a few pages on Sargent’s technic, but I don’t know, there are endless things one can do.

Subject Accolades 
From: Anne Greenberg <
A nnak>
Date: November 24, 2000


I have to say in my study of Art History, John Singer Sargent is now one of my favorite artists. Your web page is absolutely wonderful, not only with the many, many works of art, but the history and cataloging it contains. Thank you very much, I view it often for pleasure.  I have learned many facts from your web page, it is very interesting and it draws one into it's information.

Sincerely,                                                     Anne Greenberg

Thank you, Anne
Subjcet:  Accolades
From: Nick Ryan 
Date: 12/25/2000

I've only made it through 1890 so far, but I wanted to tell you what a great site you've created here.  Really, really, nice job.  What a wonderful testimonial to John Singer Sargent -my favorite painter.  If time travel were possible an attempt to meet him would be a priority.

Keep up the great work!


Thank you so very much Nick



Subject Seattle Art Museum show
From: Michael G Crane Jr 
c ra
Date: 2/19/01

One of the best sites on one subject or person I have ever seen. I'm new to the "Art" and will be seeing an exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum today from the works of JSS. The biography was just what I needed before I go. Thanks a million, great job!!!


Thank you Michael. I'm interested in hearing what you thought of the show -- let me know


Subject Accolades 
From: Scott Swanson
Date 2/14/01

Hello Natasha.  What a wonderfully composed piece of work.  I don't know your history of course, but I can't imagine the hours of work spent compiling this information.  Clearly a passion, wonderfully expressed.

Thank you, Scott
Subject Accolades, Links, & Stuff
From: Einar Kvaran - 
e ekv
date: April 10, 2001

Good evening Natasha: 

i have just discovered your amazing loving tribute to Sargent.  Since i am crazy about his work (shouldn't everyone be?) I'm planning on spending some quality time with both of you, but first i wanted to present you with a token - my two favorite art sites. 

One, Smithsonian Institution Research Information  [or it's Frontpage] is purely a research one, but it really is the place to go to find out about American art.  I'm a sculpture researcher myself, and this is THE place to go.  It even has some of my research in it, but that's another story. [hint on searching: last name first and no commas]

The other, Fine Arts in Hungary, is a site dedicated to Hungarian art.  there is some pretty amazing stuff here and I've found myself going back there to send my Valentines Day cards from (Love, from the Sacred to the Profane abounds) then B'day cards, cards for any and every reason.  . . .

[a few days later]

 . . . i continue to enjoy your Sargent collection.  i'm not particular web savvy, but it seems to me that you have collected your images from a wide variety of sources and have sort of bundled them together for our convenience.


Remedios Varo
Are you familiar with Remedios Varo?  She is marvelous.  if Sargent has a sort of Classic or Romantic elegance (I'm sure you say it better) then Varo is all those things with wonder and magic and a touch of surealism thrown in.  She is not as
literal as Sargent, but is as rewarding with and demanding of,  repeated viewing.

Anyway, I just discovered a very good site of her work.  like your Sargent collection I suspect that this site will be one to return to again and again.

there are two books out on Varo, and i have both.  I can recommend both. . . 

Well i hope you enjoy them as much as I know that I'm [enjoying] your take on Sargent. 


Einar E Kvaran 

Good Evening Natasha: 

I use mostly the sculpture part of the SIRIS data base, and it can be a little overpowering at times. 

I was one of the researchers for the sculpture part. In 1992-93 (or close) there was a attempt made to inventory ALL the outdoor sculpture in the USA, and I ended up as the Southeast michigan coordinator. (I live in Ann Arbor, MI) we took pictures of everything, so they have them, i just think that getting that info online was not a priority of theirs. 

I doubt that they allow any of their stuff out on inner library loan, but it can't hurt to try. I've tried to get some of their taped interviews, but one has to go to Wash DC and listen there.  And i have no illusion that the site that you put up was simple of easy. I little bit of web tinkering that i have done has convinced me that it is demanding work. Thanks for putting in the time and effort for all of us. 

Which brings me to my next point. 

How/why did you develop an interest in Sargent? I do have a point of view - a preconceived one, about this sort of thing. 

I believe that people get the sort of interest that you obviously have with Sargent and that i have with architectural sculpture in general because there is a past life connection. Perhaps you knew Sargent, or posed for him or just were very moved by his work at a pivotal period in your past. 

I won't go on too much more because you might have already checked out on me. Reincarnation is not everyone's cup of tea 

Thanks again and remember, good art does not always match your sofa. 


From:  Natasha


Thank you so much. I enjoying Varo and have looked at this site a few times now, and am enjoying her more each time.

I am still just so blown away by the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. I checked the paintings on Sargent and there are over 1,000 entries just for his paintings -- obviously many of which I don't have. I looked for images but can't find any (though just the information on titles, ownership, sizes etc is incredibly important) and from what I can tell this is basically a wonderful Catalog to the primary information. Is there any primary images, papers etc? Do you know if you can get these through intra Library loan? I assume you don't live in Washington DC or the United States, so I'm wondering how you manage to access images or papers that you are looking for when you do research, or have you tried? I'm very much interested on how you've been able to use this site.

Your right about me gathering images from across the net and compiling them here at my site for Sargent -- that's exactly what I've done. You would think that in itself would be a relatively easy job, but surprisingly its taken a lot of time

just love your links, will add both them and your comments


From: Natasha 

Dear Einar,

You're right, I do have an affinity for the time period (I like to call it a romantic notion).  I could go into a long dissertation on why I chose Sargent, but I've pretty much covered that subject in my "personal Interviews." Start at the first and go through them one by one, I think they're kind of fun to read. It's more happenstance than anything else why him and not anyone else. What I haven't covered in those interviews is that when I finally decided to really go after this subject ("that" being Sargent) it came from a belief that it would be pure folly to try and tackle someone who is generally considered at the top of the heap, such as Monet, or Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso or whomever. So much had already been written on those people and who was I to come along and do better -- someone that has no background at all in art historian? So I figured, instead, I'd pick someone a little off the mainstream and quickly establish myself and my site as being one of the best in the entire world on the net for that subject.

That was a very naive notion, of course. Once I got into this, I quickly discovered a whole wealth of people out there who have spent a great deal of their time and effort in the study of Sargent and his art. People who are far brighter, far more educated, and far more knowledgeable about just about everything than I ever could be. 

There is this great book, and I forget the name exactly, but it was called something like  "The Worldly Philosophers" or something like that. The guy wrote it just out of grad school and tackles all the great economic theories (which was required reading in one of my classes) and he said in his preface, that if he'd known what he knew at the end of it, he would never have started -- it was just too daunting. 

There is a lot of that here. If I knew what I know now, I would have considered myself totally crazy. Me? someone who knows next to nothing about computer codes? Me? Someone who knows next to nothing about art history? If I believed in reincarnation my former life probably wouldn't have been Lady Agnew, but her wire-hair terrier dog (if she owned one) because of my tenacity. Once I set my teeth into something, I tend to never let go. Yes, I'm compulsive. Yes, it probably boarders on some sort of neuroses. Yes, I'm probably driven and to what end? If you can't figure it out, you're not alone. 

As I look back, I couldn't have been more happy with my choice of artist. It may have all started as happenstance, but  Sargent has opened a whole cornucopia of possibilities and I'm now convinced I couldn't have picked a better painter. It would have been fun to have homed my energy in on an artist such as Winslow Homer -- and someone needs to do on the net. But as significant as he is, I would have found myself painted into a corner -- maybe. Sargent just about touched everyone and went just about everywhere. He was involved with just about every type of art. The fun thing about my site has been as much about the people around Sargent as it was about the art. As an historian, it's the story of Sargent that ties it all together so wonderfully and I'm as enthralled with the story as I am with the art.

I'm continually amazed at such a wide variety of people who adore his work, and amused by the diversity. So diverse in fact that Sargent just might be the only thing that some have in common. Some people love his watercolors and hate his oils. Others are vise versa..  Some are only interested in his work in Britain. Some only in France, etc. But unanimously he's considered to be a painter's painter; and that has brought me in contact with high quality people that understands art at a much deeper level, on whole, than the average art fanatic. It would seem I've somehow managed to get myself right in the middle of a very hip crowd. . . . and all by mere happenstance.

Subject Accolades 
From: "Paul Twyford" 
p twy> 
Date: 4/6/2001

Hello Natasha,

just a quick note to let you know that in wanting to find out about Sargent online, I used Metacrawler and found your URL. 

 I'm most impressed with the format you've used, including the historical context. I'm only up to Sargent's 21st year, but life calls me for now.  I'm looking forward to finishing -yes, I know..- Sargent, and to discovering whom else you've worked on.  Last year I was searching for the "Pre-Raphaelites", and while finding jpgs, I was left to scouring bookstores -which of course, made the publishers happy. 

Congratulations and continued success as you continue to share the nuggets from your explorations of the gold mines of cultural history.   (think I overdid that last sentence... <g>   just a BIG thank-you! )

Paul Twyford
Vancouver, B.C. Canada 

From: Natasha

I think you did, just fine on the last sentence. Thank you very much for your praise, it means a lot to me and I hope the years 22 through 59 were just as enjoyable

Best regards


Subject: Cornell University Library (Making of America)
From: Michele Lener 
m ich ele.le 
Date: 4-9-01

Dear Natasha,

In the "Scribner's Monthly", vol. XXII, July 1881, n° 3, page 321: third part of an article on "The younger painters of America" by William C. Brownell, there is an engraving of a study by JSS, appeared in the 1879 exhibition of Society of American Artists (the finished picture had been shown at a previous Society exhibition). You could find it (and many other very interesting contemporary informations about JSS etc.) in the website of Cornell University Library (Making of America) containing a large collection of old american magazines (1815-1926) searchable with an easy engine.

I hope to hear from you, ciao

Michele Lener

From: Natasha

My Dear Michele 

Long time, no hear. It's good to to get your note. 

I can't believe this. You have run across an amazing jewel here. This is unbelievable!!!!!!! I spent one evening reading through articles and have quickly found 3 others I want to read but haven't had time yet. This has me so excited about yet another page I want to do on . . . . . well (let me keep that a secrete for now, since it takes so long to get these things finished).

Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!!

I have noticed that just since 1998, the internet has been exploding with information, that isn't just reference material but Primary Data. This site (Making of America) is so incredibly significant. It's very difficult to find archival information on magazines that are older than a hundred years. Even if you go to research libraries, you'll find the microfiche awkward to work with and difficult, if not costly to copy pages. THIS (the Cornell University Library's site) is what the net should be all about. One can not praise Cornell enough for doing this. One can not over estimate its significant. And for someone who's interested in Americana in the late 19th century, one could not be more flabbergasted by such a stash of information. 

More! More! Get us more!

Without hesitation, the envelope please . . . . . . And the Coveted Natasha Thumb goes to . . . 

 Drum roll . . . 

The Cornell University Library (Making of America), for it's boldness, for it's farsightedness, for its significance in bringing to the world, magazines and books --  the history of America -- and who we were as a people, in this amazing website.

Subject:  The Amazing Rita Lydig
From: Stephanie
Date: 3-13-01

Goto page for letter and response

Subject Accolades
From: Umberto Vettori 
v et 
Date: 4-18-2001

Thank you very much for your extraordinarily wonderful and useful work. . .

Date: 5-2-2001

I profit by the occasion  . . .to add some thoughts for my reasons why I liked your work. Reasons that add to your contagious passion for your subject  (passion alone doesn't explain the value of your site. Indeed passion can be a hindrance and only add confusion). The best thing about your presentation is in its accuracy, readability, the large number of cross referenced material, the large amount of news concerning the time period, the letters, opinions and comments of contemporaries that recreates the feel of the time which is so far from today sensibility.

Probably due to my professional mental training and habits I prefer by far to see just the facts rather than all the faint words which often are used in descriptions of artistic works. (One person who was a teacher of mine in chemistry said when we were having trouble describing some unclear results in our research, that we should cut short the discussion in our papers:  "facts are sacred, interpretation is free!").

I mean the reader should be put in the position to judge for himself  about the work, and the main task of the author would be to provide all the elements necessary for this purpose. It is very uncommon to find since in most cases the author prefers to speak about himself; in other words, it is a question of intellectual honesty, respect, humility and a lot of other virtues that are too long to enumerate here; among them however, I can't forget the love for the listener.

In my experience this last one is the most difficult element to find  because it includes all the others and it is the distinctive feature of a good teacher. All these things I found in your precious work. It was for this reason I decided to write you. 

Sincerely Yours. 


From: Natasha

wow . . .  I've talked with other people who have felt the same way about how best to present and discuss art (or any topic I suppose), but I don't think I've heard anyone lay it out so clearly. In many ways it's an ideal I've been striving for. There was something I heard the other day which I really liked. They said a person can be ignorant about something (in the sense of being uninformed) yet still be highly intelligent. Just because you're not an expert doesn't mean you're stupid. That's a simple enough truism, I suppose, but it's something I've always felt. I just always assume people are brighter than me . . .  which probably isn't that big of a stretch <grin> so I don't dare pontificate too much. 

I also suffer from a bit of dyslexia and  I can get lost easily in difficult books. So for me to really understand something, I really need to lay it all out. To think that I might have obtained that for others in some small way? . . .  wow! . . . you just made my day.

<big smile>

Thank you so much!


Subejct: " I can't believe it!!!"
From: Lorne Quarles 
l or ne.qu 
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001

I'm in awe of your work on JSS.   Thank you very much.


Thank you
Subject: Accolades
From: Chantal <ICQ web mesage>
Date: 7/29/01

This website is wonderful! I have discovered dozens of paintings I had never seen. Thank you.

From: Natasha

And thank you for saying so

-- Nat

Subject: Accolades
Jerry Dienes 
j e
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001

Hi Natasha:

I am writing to just let you know that you (with your contributors) have done a superb job in putting together one of the most easily accessible and visually pleasing art web-sites around. It is exemplary. I am only recently learning to really appreciate JSS - my friend Robert has been trying to get me to "see" his work for years, but your website continually shows me new pieces I've never seen before, and great, clear reproductions! I've just finished your 'thumbnails' section- what a great way to quickly survey a masters ouevre. "Pointy" was a great way
 to go out too!

As an artist myself, I am continually amazed at the consistently solid compositions JSS makes. They are always worthy of study, in a day & age when only photographers seem to understand & use composition. His watercolors too are amazing for both their adroitness,  impressionism-by-way-of-classicalism, and the aforementioned compositions.

Thank you again! I wish I could do more to help. A "classy" corporate sponsor would be great, and would take care of those pesky and detracting ads.

Thanks again, keep at it!
 -Jerry Dienes
 New York, NY

 P.S.: are you yourself also an artist?


 You mean all those beautiful watercolors has not put the ineluctable desire to  express some of your own views and vistas? Oils is my specialty, and I'm trying  to teach myself wc, but I should take a class. It's so different from oils. Oils  you work, generally, from dark to light. WC you work from light to dark. JSS's  oils too, while sketches in some way, were quite large (thanks for putting the  dimensions in inches as well as centimeters!). I guess the crux of his  paintings, oil or otherwise, is DIRECT and PRECISE observation from life, using  impressionist principles but with the full range of values (as the academic  painters did) as well as colors.

 Sorry about the sponsor problem. Persevere, it's a worthy cause! You've probably  looked into the countless JSS societies and clubs...did you ask the Board of the  New York Academy here in New York? They certainly are committed to that kind of  art, though the school is only a shadow of how great it was in the 80's.


Thanks Jerry for your letter, I (like you) hope that in time a corporation of the highest class, supplying the best of services or products sees the benefit of associating and supporting a website of  such as this  <wink>

Anyway, cheers and thanks for the support


am I an artists? No, I'm not. I play around a little bit but I my work does not earn that title.


Thanks JD

Subject: Accolades
Jim Sowa
ja s 
Mon, 3 Sep 2001 

Hi Natasha,

I'm a real fanatic of John Singer Sargent's works and enjoy your website very much.  I was in England last year and visited the grave of Singer Sargent.  Would you like a scan of it or do you already have it?

Anyway, keep up the good work.  It's very much appreciated.

Jim Sowa
Lafayette, Indiana 

Date: 11/5/2001

I've finally located the info I needed for the Sargent gravesite; three photos are attached.  Let me know if there's anything else I can provide.

 Jim Sowa

From: Natasha

It's amazing that you wrote because I just resently found a website on the Brookwood Cemetery where Sargent was layed to rest. Would love for you to send more images of this.

From: Natasha
Date: 11/6/2001


this is fantastic!!! I like the personal touch of discribing how you got there. it adds color and is helpful to others that want to go. As you will see I have it up on the web now

Not sure what else you could add. maybe a photo of the train station if you had it . . .  or something like that. Your more than welcome to make any comment on your personal feelings about finding the site and what Sargent's art means to you -- or not, either way, its up to you. Thank you so much, it is from your help and people like you that the site is what it is and growing. And from all of us -- the fan-atics:

thank you



Subject: Accolades
From :  Thomas Scott 
tsc ott 
Date :    Wed, 19 Sep 2001

{Editor's note -- Thomas pitched in and sent some notes on picture numbers for on available books and he also added . . .]

 . . . I've been meaning to relate to you, for about two years, how glad I am that this site exists.  You have done an unbelievable job with the site.  I've had it book marked since I first found it, and always enjoy looking through the many pages of images.  Anyway, I just wanted to try and  help out- and to thank you for your tremendous undertaking.


 Thomas Scott, Amateur Sargentologist

Thank you Scott. Not only does it mean a lot to me, but to hear from a Sargentologist is very rewarding. I'm very grateful for your help, it makes the site all the more helpful to all of us. Thank you again


Subject: Paintings exhibited at International Exposition of 1889
From: Russell Mackie
Rus sellj
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 

I am a college student at San Jose State University.  I am doing research on the International Exposition of 1889.  In your website you mention that John Singer Sargent displayed six paintings at this exposition.  If you happen to know which paintings he displayed there I would greatly appreciate you sending me that information. 
Thank you so much for developing this website and for any help you can give me! 

Russell Mackie 

From Natasha
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 

What a fantastic question. It's one of the reasons why I haven't finished a web page on the Exposition of 1889. I simply don't know which paintings he exhibited.

I'll tell you what, you let me know which book on Sargent you have at your libraries near you and I'll tell you which don't mention it.

Maybe someone else can dig this up for us.


Subject: You missed a painting
From: Jolyn Wells-Moran, Ph.D.
 jwe llsm> 
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001

I think, on the Sargent web site, you have missed the painting of the two, a man and woman, laying on a blanket. The woman, I believe, wears a scrlet color dress and the grasses and ground are extremely well done.

Date : 
              Tue, 9 Oct 2001
Sorry - I meant on your "best" list. I saw it in an exhibition in Seattle  with Madame X and the painting of the Asian girl applying make-up, among  others, last year. It's an oil painting. Don't know where to find it.


From: Natasha
Date 10/9/2001

Oh I've missed a lot more than one, Jolyn. If Sargent painted (conversatively speaking) 900 oils and something like 2,000 watercolors; and if my site has something like just over 600 paintings then I have but a mere 20% of Sargent's total output. 

If you have the image, know where it is -- is it an oil or a watercolor? -- send it to me


Okie dokkie artichokie, I'll keep an eye out for it.



Subject: Accolades
From: "bjørn pierri enevoldsen"
en evo> 
Date :   Thu, 18 Oct 2001 

Dear Natasha,

what a very great site! I'm a big fan of sargant, and you made a site that shows his work in a very easy to [follow] manner. I spent more than an hour just looking at thumbnails, and then the high resolution ones the other day. and today I will look at the text. and I will definitely be back many times again! and I have already recommended your site to some of my friends, that I know is gonna love it. I'm an artist myself, and have often spoken about Sargants work during my Academy years but there he was not appreciated at all!

Best wishes 

Bjørn P. Enevoldsen
-- Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen
   Nørre Side Alle 3, st. th.
   2200 Copenhagen N

Thank you so much. I love hearing from other countries.

- Nat

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