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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

During this month of May, in the year 1851, the following poem appeared in the pages of "The Photographic Art Journal:" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ON SEEING MR. ANTHONY'S PORTRAIT OF JENNY LIND. By Mrs. Anna L. Snelling. 'Tis true to life! In every line we trace The quick emotions of her radiant face, The mild, firm lips, the genius-lighted eye, The brow of lofty thought, serene and high! In gazing thus we almost dream the while, Those lips are parting with their wonted smile, That heavenly voice in fancy we can hear, Breathing the welcome to her friends so dear. But more than this--Oh, matchless child of song! Once more the raptured soul is borne along On the full tide of melody to rise, As if on seraph pinions to the skies! The chiseled features of the loveliest face-- The form of symmetry and matchless grace-- What are they to the bright, o'ermastering soul, Subjecting all things to its sweet control! 'Tis thus with thee--thy features in repose, Might lack the brilliant coloring of the rose, But genius lends them that celestial ray Nor time nor change can ever take away. ------------------------------------------------- Also in the same issue, under the "Gossip" section: ---------- --"I am going to take pictures for thirty-seven and a half cents! Kill the daguerreotype business in that place and then leave it." Such were the words we heard issuing from the mouth of a daguerrean machine--we will not say artist, for it requires taste and skill to be an artist, and one who can so wantonly degrade so beautiful an art can be possessed of neither. In fact we must apologise to all worthy machines for classing him among them, for he is totally unworthy of so honorable a position--we should have said, botch. The last part of his sentence, however, was very grateful to our ears, and we could not refrain from answering, "the sooner the better, if you mean the business." As to his "killing the business" we think that he flatters himself, and that, on the contrary, having killed his own reputation as a photographer, he is obliged to quit it, his customers undoubtedly congratulating themselves at the event. It almost makes us weep to see such men pursuing so beautiful an art, and we cannot avoid giving vent occasionally to our feelings. ----------------------------------------------------------------- may1-95

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