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Subject: Clinton Portrait
From: Simone Simonian 
Date:  Wednesday, June 16, 2004 

Hi there Natasha;

It's been a while since we e-mailed, I don't know if you saw any part of the Bill Clinton speech, with regards to his portrait unveiling today or not, he said he wanted to thank Simmie Knox, the artist for making him part of history, and more specifically pointed out that his favorite portrait in the white house is of Teddy Roosevelt, painted by JSSargent, and the next one he loves is of Teddy R. by Lasslo, I thought that was a great acknowledgment. Take care and have a wonderful summer. 

I remain your ardent fan, Fondest regards, 

Simone Simonian.

Simmie Knox

Subject: Discussion Board
Jon Aymon (jo nay
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 

Dear Natasha Wallace, 

A website befitting a favorite artist, a person in the tradition of Manet and Velasquez before that. Sargent's "Jaleo" is fitting company for the masterpieces of his two great predecessors. is a discussion board I have been using since last November. The authors are in England, as I recall. I do perl scripting for my job so was able to set up the teemz discussion page readily. 

More important than easy for me to set up, it is easy and straightforward for other people to use. I had tried another product and it was very confusing to know 'what to click next'. 

In order to post a topic, you click 'agree' to an agreement and are then sent to a registration page. 

 . . .
Every discussion board requires visitors to figure out a few things. teemz seems to require them to figure out the fewest. 

Jon Aymon     

From: Natasha

Should I be interested? . . . . My gosh John, you have single handedly solved a problem I have continually wrestled with since the day I started this Gallery!!!! 

Welcome new Patron to the JSS Gallery

Check out the New Board


PS. Oh my gosh, I love your website and photos

From: Natasha
Date Aug 20, 2004

The past month has been spent learning the new ways of doing things on the internet, with a lot of help from Jon Aymon who as been a close partner – a kindly teacher maybe -- hanging in the background, feeding me hints and helpful code here and there – all in the effort to keep the JSS Gallery fresh and relevant. Unfortunately, a lot of this goes on behind the scenes – Jon and I are – in effect – keeping the infrastructure sound.

I get frustrated sometimes by the slowness of it all. But every now and then I wipe the dirt from my brow and look around (meteorically speaking – surfing the web for fun outside my Sargent focused project) but today I did and I found something which lifted my spirits tremendously – an accolade unsolicited and not intended for my eyes. On August 20, 2004 this was what was written:

Dear Vanessa --

(. . .) I'm going to be exploring Natasha Wallace's John Singer Sargent Virtual Gallery for a long, long time, here. Natasha's site is a beautifully done, informative, and enlightening labor of love, as well as one of the best examples I've seen yet of a book-like -- but better -- online arts publication. (. . . )



Who is Vanessa? Who is Michael? Oh-my-god, my heart went pitter pat. Well, if you believe what they write about themselves, then they are “2 Blowhards” who have come together to jointly write a Blog about passions, interests and obsessions in their lives, only this blog has an unusual twist of couching it in the form of letters to each other. Nicely done guys, I like this gimmick and fun to read.

So what would “2 Blowhards” call such a Blog, you might ask? Why it’s none other than the Check it out (go to)

Copyright Law
From: Gabriel (Chris)
(manx_   art
Sun, 22 Aug 2004  

Briefly to add to your Discussion of copyright [under Natasha's personal page]. It is not possible to copyright a photograph of a work of art in the public domain. With the case of Bridgeman versus Corel Corporation this old legal chestnut was finally settled. Bridgeman sued Corel for the alleged infringement of the purported copyright of their extensive collection of photographs of paintings from many internationally renowned art collections. The judge found in favour of Corel in that there is insufficent independant skill in taking a photograph to constitute a new copyright. Corel {and anyone else are free to appropriate their photographic images of non copyright art. Full details:

Kind regards
Gabriel (Chris)

From: Natasha
Date: Sept 1, 2004

Thank you Chris. Actually my “Discussion of Copyright” wasn’t intended as a “discussion” per say but more a position statement towards the issue after consulting with more than one attorney. But I should add, that I have spoken with them only in respect to how I have used images at my site and if I’m doing it correctly not regarding broader issues as you raise. 

I find your letter “highly interesting”, to say the least.  Obviously matters regarding “Fair Use” and “Public Domain” interest me, as well as forces that wish to restrict it. Though your letter may indicate that “Public Domain” is more open than what I have hitherto understood, I have tried, when I can, to keep up on issues.

As for me in terms of images used here, I can only say  that I make every effort to show good faith and I would hope that the JSS Gallery would show the benefits of this good faith and the benifits of open knowledge.

Here are some addiitonal sites that I found of interest.

Subject: Accolades
From: Roy Stannard
roy stannard @
Mon, 02 Aug 2004

Dear Natasha,

I must congratulate you on this beautiful website. I have just spend nearly 3 hours looking and looking again, reading and re-reading. To say you have succeeded admirably in presenting the work, the man, the times, the cultural milieu is the merest statement of the truth.

Thank you and best regards

Roy Stannard
Sydney Australia

Thank you
From: Chris Blight
(kris pee
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004

Hi Natasha

i just wanted to say how much i`ve enjoyed looking at your site....i`ve rarely seen such an informative site with so many works of art devoted to one artist......and what an artist!

i`ve long been a fan of singer sargent's work and your site has helped my appreciation of that with such a comprehensive chronology of his work.....being an artist myself i can appreciate a little more what i see in his work.....helping mine in the process....

thank you


chris blight

Chris Blight

Oil on paper

From: Natasha

Dear Chris,

Thank you SO much for everything. I enjoyed your website and find it interesting that you are an engineer by trade – as if your art is the expression of the other side of your brain. Of all your work, I can really see the influence of Sargent in your painting of the “watcarguy”.

Good luck with your art and my very best to you,

From: Beth Schott
ews chott_ fine>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005


I can't tell you how wonderful I think your site is for portrait artists! I am not kidding when I tell you I visit on an average normal month, 4 times or more. I am so impressed with your cataloging of images plus the text is great!

Anyway I could help you seems the right thing to do!

I do have a website:

Thanks for everything!

Best to you,


From: Natasha

Thank you so much, Beth. I enjoyed looking at art at your site.

Beth Schott


From: Randy Bryan Bigham
ran  dybig
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005

I think you've featured Philip Alexius de Laszlo's Sketch of  Lady Duff Gordon and her sister Elinor Glyn both beautifully. I am proud to be associated with such an excellent source for great visuals and history. Your site has no peer, which means YOU deserve a title –– hail "Queen Natasha!"

There really is no other art site on the web that approaches the level of thoroughness in research or quality of layout that JSS Gallery offers. You have a right to be proud. I'm a newspaper editor and have seen the worst and the best in artistic page design and I think your site is top-notch in look as well as accessibility. The worst thing is a site that isn't easy to navigate ––– no matter how attractive the layout may be, if you can't move around on it well, you don't want to go back. JSS Gallery is both beautiful and practical. So return visits are a always a pleasure! (And you can quote that if you want! :))

(Editor's Note -  Randy is also a biographer of Lady Duff Gordon, "Lucile –– Her Life by Design," which has been completed and is in the process of publication.)

From: Natasha

Thank you, Randy. I know you meant what you said and I want to hug you for it, but the strength of the JSS Gallery is not what I’ve done but what  people LIKE YOU have done by embracing my vision – it’s the road less traveled and THAT’S made all the difference

From: Afzal Subhani
tol lyw ood
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2005

I always felt that JSS is among the very few greats! but now with this superb gallery the world can see for themselves the unique touch of "THE JOHN SINGER SARGENT"

From: Letter from Natasha Wallace
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005

The Hit Parade

I have been amazed at the continuing and growing interest in the JSS Gallery. Although different web trackers give different answers as to how many people are actually visiting the site, all are showing a continued upward trend in daily hits that has far surpassed what I even thought possible. I shouldn’t say though, that having a lot of hits has ever been a main objective of mine. In fact, in a deliberate attempt at featuring “other artists” close to Sargent whom are lesser known or completely off the radar screen of most people’s minds and treating them with equal weight and respect (with time invested) is hardly a winning plan for achieving the most “visited” website on the net. So I'm encouraged that the kind of visitors coming are some of the most erudite in the world. From day one, those where the kind of readers I was shooting for.


Unique visitors

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Eye on the Prize

In looking over the internet I’m continually intrigued by websites that have incorporated the participation of their visitors – for obvious reason. I hope I can gain insight and ideas of how to make the JSS Gallery better. There are two organizations that are just mind-blowing in what they have done and are doing.

The first of these is the Wikimedia Foundation which is best known for its free encyclopedia called wikipedia. As of today they have near a half million articles submitted by its visitors. What is so amazing about this is the ability of visitors to edit and contribute freely to an ongoing project and it’s all supported by donations and grants.

Secondly, is Started in 2003, Mozilla is an open source code browser built to rival the dominance of Microsoft and provide a browser that adheres to the WWW consortium and away from proprietary code that keeps people chained to a single vendor. In the two years since it was founded they have produced the Firefox browser and other things (which I'm using by the way). They give it away for free and it’s all supported by individuals and organizations that believe in their mission. Just recently, I was in my car and listening to National Public Radio, Science Friday (March 11th) and they had on the President of the Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker. One of the callers asked an obvious question of how they pay their bills? It turns out the foundation is run by only 17 full time employees. Think of it, 17 people who have coordinate efforts with countless volunteers all over the world to put out a browser that has managed to capture roughly 8 percent of the browser market from the behemoth Microsoft!!!

One other site which I have been following with interest is the The Athenaeum. This is a brilliantly conceived and designed art website by one guy (though I’ve noticed the history of his site has been taken down) In fact, now that I’m looking for it, I can’t find anything about the webmaster at all. Anyway, I guess I won’t go into it as he apparently would rather it not be public. But the strength of The Athenaeum is that people can add paintings – upload painting on their own. Though it hasn’t exploded with participation yet, that I can see, it is only a matter of time until it does – it’s a wonderful website with a good mission.

JSS Galleries Future

I’m always asking myself what is the next step for the JSS Gallery. I love to dream big – really big. Now I’m not sure that a totally open format such as wikipedia  is the ideal for the JSS Gallery, I do like the idea of allowing people to contribute in some way which can harness the open community mission which I want to accomplish. Nor am I saying that JSS Gallery should have such a broad mission  scope that the  Athenaeum has, but I think there are things to learn from these sites in the way they are set up. If you look at one of the mozilla website pages - here – at the bottom where it says Edit this Page  -- select people (who have a password) can actually change the code directly. I want to be able to do something like this -- apparently I can and it's called bugzilla.

How do I get there – LOL – well if it were easy I would have already been there. One thing is very clear, I need to bring people on board that care about the future of the JSS Gallery and want to see it continue if in the event something were to happen to me. In the near future I hope to form a stearing committee to help chart the direction of the gallery.

I need your help.

Natasha Wallace

From: Chuck Clausen
chuck cl a
Date: Sep 25, 2005

Dear Natasha,

This site is a major artistic construction in itself and an astounding tour de force to boot. I'm so grateful for your efforts. You have made the normally difficult task of learning about the life and times of Sargent and his contemporaries accessible, sensible and truly enjoyable in a way no book can duplicate. I can't believe I said that, but it's true, you have.

From: Natasha


you are soooo kind to say such nice things!

I keep comments such as yours and feature them front and center at the front page -- yours is a keeper!!!!! thank you so very much.
From: Mary McKay-Eaton
ta  im
Date: Apr 11, 2006

Dear JSS Gallery,
My husband found your site and emailed me about it.  I immediately checked the URL and your site just blew me away!  When I stopped hyperventilating over the high resolution (and BIG!) pictures, I began browsing my favorite paintings.  Imagine my glee when I saw the links to detailed sketches, views, essays and other extras you've thrown in.  This is more than just an eye-candy site, it's a feast for the mind.  THANK YOU!
It is strictly in the spirit of constructive concern that I would like to know how to contact you if I find any typos in the text.  For instance, at
there is a typo, where the word 'expatriate' is misspelled as 'expatriote'.
Because I have two young children still learning to read and spell (I expect to show them this site) and because anything on the internet acquires a sense of definitive authority once online, could you see your way clear to correct this typo?  I realize that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of the small mind, but the maintenance of proper spelling and usage in the digital age of spellcheckers is something I like to encourage whenever possible.
I would like to reiterate my admiration and appreciation of your efforts in bringing JSS Gallery to the world-- it is simply wonderful-- and thank you again for your time and consideration in this matter.
Very sincerely yours,
Mary McKay-Eaton

From: Natasha

Bless your heart!!!! I want to hug you.  Your kind words are what really feeds me and recharges the batteries.

I so welcome editing help, and I’m afraid there is probably a lot of help that needs to be made. I have a lot of talents but self editing is not one of them. Go here to learn how to help.

As you might have noticed I keep kind and generous comments about the site which are said maybe in a slightly different way which I feature randomly at the front page – yours is keeper!!!




Copyright 1999-2005 Natasha Wallace all rights reserved