Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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California News

Artist:
Gabriel Harrison (American, 1818–1902)
Date:
ca. 1850
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
Plate: 14 × 10.5 cm (5 1/2 × 4 1/8 in.) 6 × 4 13/16 in. (15.3 × 12.2 cm) Case: 2 × 15.3 × 12.3 cm (13/16 in. × 6 in. × 4 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.334
Not on view
Harrison drew on his background as a playwright, poet, and actor for his role in this daguerreotype, posing with his employer, Martin Lawrence, and his son. The group gathers eagerly to listen to the latest news of the California gold rush, which was followed with great excitement in New York throughout the 1840s and 1850s. Harrison took his inspiration for this genre scene from a painting of the same title by the American artist William Sidney Mount (1807–1868).
Inscription: Signed on the plate, recto: "G. Harrison"; inscribed with the title and mention of the London Crystal Palace Fair of 1851 on plate verso [unconfirmed]
R. Bruce Duncan, Northbrook, IL; [Paul Katz]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, December 6, 1983

Fort Worth, Tex. Amon Carter Museum of American Art. "Photography in Nineteenth Century America," October 26, 1991–January 5, 1992.

Amherst, Mass. Mead Art Museum, Amherst College. "Photography in Nineteenth Century America," February 1, 1992–March 29, 1992.

Oakland Museum of California. "Silver and Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush," January 24, 1998–July 1, 1998.

Smithsonian American Art Museum. "Silver and Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush," October 30, 1998–March 7, 1999.

Crocker Art Gallery. "Silver and Gold: Cased Images of the California Gold Rush," August 13, 1999–October 10, 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861," September 19, 2000–January 7, 2001.

National Gallery of Canada. "Acting the Part: A History of the Staged Photograph," June 16, 2006–October 1, 2006.

Vancouver Art Gallery. "Acting the Part: A History of the Staged Photograph," February 3, 2007–May 13, 2007.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photographs. "Grand Illusions: Staged Photography from the Collection," August 10, 2015–November 15, 2015.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 85.

Sandweiss, Martha, ed. Photography in Nineteenth Century America. Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1991. p. 86, pl. 27.

Voorsanger, Catherine Hoover, and John K. Howat, ed. Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.

Pauli, Lori, ed. Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre. 1st ed. New York: National Gallery of Canada, 2006. p. 81.



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