previous next


To Thomas Crawford.

Boston, Aug. 1, 1843.
my dear Crawford,—The ‘Orpheus’ has not arrived, though from your letter I am led to expect it daily. I cannot disguise from you my trouble with regard to the placing of it. The Athenaeum possesses a very considerable collection of sculpture exhibited in a room originally contrived as an evening lecture-room, without any reference to the object to which it is now applied. It is dark, and with cross lights. The magnificent ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ of Michael Angelo, with their bold beauties, can be discerned only imperfectly, while busts and other smaller works of sculpture lose their effect. The ‘Orpheus’ must not go there; but where to put it we are at a loss. It has been proposed to exhibit it in a room in another part of the town, and afterwards remove it to one of the smaller rooms of the Athenaeum. But I feel unwilling to superintend its removal twice: it must take its permanent place on the pedestal when it is unboxed. The effect of the strong desire to provide a proper place for so beautiful a work of art will induce people to subscribe for a building to be devoted exclusively to art. I cannot doubt that such an edifice will be built within two years. Let me say now, as I said in my last, that I shall not fail in any effort within my power for your interest with regard to the ‘Orpheus.’ I have been told by the committee that the whole arrangement will be left to me. If Greene appears, I shall summon him as counsellor.

You have heard of Allston's death. The last two times that I saw him we spoke of you. I had counted upon his advice and influence with regard to the placing of the statue. He read your letter. I understood that, on the very evening of his death, he spoke of you and your works. As an artist, it will not be to you an ungrateful thought that this great master, in his latest hours, turned his mind to you.

I owe you, my dear Crawford, more serious thanks than I can express—much more than I was able to write in the scrawl of the last packet—for the beautiful bust you have sent me.1 I have felt humbled by such a gift, for I am in no way worthy of being preserved in marble in so noble a work of art; it seems to me like a travesty. I am, however, none the less grateful to your friendship and too favorable appreciation of my character. Your present is the most valuable article of property I possess; but it is more valuable to me as a testimony of your kindness and regard.

Longfellow is most happily married. I am most unhappily single still. We shall welcome Greene with wide-open arms, and listen to his talk of art and literature and Rome.

Ever most sincerely yours,

P. S. Felton, at whose desk I now write, sends his regards to you.

1 It arrived in June, 1843.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Orpheus (3)
Thomas Crawford (3)
George W. Greene (2)
Charles Sumner (1)
Henry W. Longfellow (1)
P. S. Felton (1)
Michael Angelo (1)
Washington Allston (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 1st, 1843 AD (1)
June, 1843 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: