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Century Chest transcription 50

Letter 1

American art has at attained of such a degree of excellence that it can now be characterized as a distinctive national American school, great art is universal and is not confined to any fixed home or country and American artists living in any part of America who produce good pictures will receive recognition even in foreign lands where their pictures my be living and purchased. Is Colorado Springs producing at this writing any good and honest art? We have living here Mr. Lester J. Kelton a landscape painter who at this time is in Paris, France, but we will return here in the early autumn. This is Mr. Kelton's third trip to Paris. The foreign atmosphere has developed the work of this artist and enables him to produce something really artistic, he was [full of?] promise before he left for Paris and European travel and study, this year 1901 he has exhibited in the Paris Salon exhibit with his pictures well hung. Mr. Kelton has a studio in his home on North Tejon St. he is a native of Canada and came to Colorado for his health. He is about 40 years old, with increasing prospects for a successful future.

Mr. Charles Craig is an artist of long residence here, and a painter of Indians. He is a lover of nature always ready to learn from the divinest [sic] of teachers. His natural instincts are fine for art seeing [?] his talent having grown and matured almost without the training of school or master. Mr. Craig is a faithful worker. He has been greatly aided in his profession by Mr. Verner Z. Reed of this city a man of large wealth with artistic tastes and some literary achievement being the author of a few books that tell of western life and are illustrated by Mr. Craig. Mr. Reed has a fine home on North Tejon Street. In that home he has some good art. And will have a fine collection in time. Mr. Craig has worked among the Indians of New Mexico and Colorado. His pictures are representative of these tribes, are in demand in the East where they find purchasers at good prices, Mr. Craig is in the fifties as to age, and lives a quiet retired life entirely for this family and for art.

Mr. C. Lotare is an artist who recently came to this city and whose work for decorative purposes has been well liked. He has received [several?] remunerative orders recently finishing a good wall decoration for the library of Mr. J. P. Pomeray, who lives on Nevada Avenue. Mr. Lotare was born in Sweden and studied art in Paris and other European cities. Colorado College in this city has made an excellent start in its art department. At the head of this department as teacher and art inspirer is Mr. Louis Soutter of foreign birth how has lived in this country and city only a few years, this young gentleman had very fine feeling for art being extremely well versed several arts, while his really important work is painting. He has not yet accomplished any serious piece of work but he is on the road to such a consummation. I predict a successful future for Mr. Soutter in art, if he continues to advance in training and culture.

The newspaper clippings which I enclose will tell about the life and work of Mr. Harry B. Young who died in this city in this month of May last.

No person has done more for the advancement of culture in all departments of art in this city than Mr. Louis Rinalda [?] Ehrich who became a resident of Colorado Springs in the year 1855, having lived here since that time. Mr. Ehrich spent several years in Europe an while there became much interested in the study of art, and gathered one of the first collections of old Dutch paintings in America. These pictures were exhibited for a long time at the Yale art gallery at New Haven Conn but were sold in New York City in 1894. Some pictures remained in New York City, one example being living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, while several are hung in the art institute of Chicago, Ill. Mr. Ehrich lives in a delightful home No. 1700 North Cascade Avenue, in it are many beautiful things, choice and rare. He is the owner of some very fine pictures representing old and Modern art.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Russell Wray have studied art in Paris and are in love with the collectors art, surrounding themselves with many bits of antique furniture, old tapestries and rare things in pottery that have come from all parts of the country. They are and influence for art culture in the city.

Mrs. Parrish living here in an excellent portrait painter, she belongs to a family of painters, there are good examples of her work in this city.

We have one exclusive art store here dealing in pictures, and framing of the same, its start was made several years ago and it is know as " Seddon's Art Store". It is located on North Tejon Street.

In writing about the college I should have mentioned the fact, of artistic importance, of a start having been made during the past year, toward the establishment of a permanent art collection for that institution. As yet it is very invited but in it are some pictures that represent good and honest art, the "Perkin's" Fine Art Building was a well lighted gallery, and there the few pictures are hung, including some good examples of French, Dutch, and Japanese Art, also a few casts from the antiques was a smart beginning, but no doubt it will grow into something important among the wealthy men who own good pictures, and have the same thing in their spacious and lovely homes, may be mentioned, Verner Z. Reed, Percy Hagerman, G.J. Hagerman, R.P. Saire [?], John Y. Shields, Y.D.B. Bonbright. So much or so little of art in this city at the present time and generation!

Mary A. Bartow
Colorado Springs,
August third,
Nineteen hundred and one

Letter 2

Law Office of Alfred Bartow,
Room 32 Hagerman Blgd,
Colorado Springs, Colo.

August 4th, 1901


Mrs. Mary A. Bartow, the writer of the foregoing and hereto accompanying article, was selected one of a committee of two (the other being the Mr. Henry Russell Wray referred to) to prepare a paper on art and artwork in Colorado Springs to be deposited in this 20th Century box. Pressing duties arising from the "Quarto Centennial Celebration" have made it impossible for Mr.Wray to so the part assigned to him, and it is but fitting that a word be recorded of the artist-lady who has done all the work on this subject, and whose modesty forbids any reference to herself. The ladies of Colorado Springs in this day and generation are notable for their unobtrusive and retiring dispositions. Having had the pleasure of Mrs. Bartow's acquaintance for more than a quarter of a century, and knowing of her work during all of that time, I may be pardoned for assuming to speak ex cathedra, as it were of her art life on this occasion. Mrs. Mary A. Bartow is the only child of Jacob B. Van Alstyne and Mary Barker. She was born at Watertown, Wisconsin, December sixth 1848. She painted her first picture (in oil) at the age of seven years, and from thenceforth the brush, palette and easel have been her constant companions. She has told me there have been times when she was a little short of color. Her art education was received in the city of Chicago, during the years from 1869 to 1883 when and where she was know as Mrs. "Mary A. Wright." Many of her pictures are signed by that name or the initials "M.A.W." She was a charter member of the "Bohemian art Club" of Chicago at this time Know as "The Palette Club" of that city, and was a regular exhibitor at the annual exhibition of these clubs for many years. She is a landscape and Marine or "seascape" painter (as you 21st century folks will doubtless say) and her work received the approval of the American Water Color Society of New York City as was evidenced by the acceptance and hanging of one of her pictures "on the line" at one of its exhibitions in the early eighties. Mrs. Bartow paints both in oil and water colors, and her work is to be formal in homes of culture and wealth in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Watertown and Mankisha, Wis. and other eastern cities. Even at this early day everything is "East" not "West" of the Missouri river.

Since May 1889 Mrs. Bartow has resided in the west. She was at the head of the art and music department of "Chadam [?] Academy" (Nebraska) for about nine years, and moved to Colorado Springs in January 1898. During her comparatively short residence here she has become thoroughly identified with the art life and work of this city and the productions of her brush are to be formed in the homes of a number of our art loving and cultural citizens. Among these who now occur to me may be mentioned my class mate at Yale - Mr. Louis R. Ehrich, Mr. Verner Z. Reed, Mr. M.J. Montgomery, Mr. James Connor, Mr. J.G. Fechheimer and Mrs. Claude Sachs. (Mr. Sacks is the editor of "The Mining Investor" and one of the proprietors of the "Gazette"). It is but fair to say that those who most fully understand and enjoy Mrs. Bartow's pictures are themselves artists. She belongs to no well defined school of painters. She inclines forward the "Impressionists", not the extremists of that school, but she detests detail in landscape paintings. She paints nature as she sees it, and if you do not see it as she does, you are the loser thereby. Her handling is characterized by a boldness which frequently surpasses masculinity, and here coloring is exquisite in its poetic richness and natural delicacy. If the palette knife is needed to produce the effect she does not hesitate to use it. She despises the commercial spirit in art, and would rather give a picture to an appreciative admin of it, that sell one at a large price to a person who did not understand its merits. A rather severe critic herself, she enjoys the criticism of these who she thinks know what they talk about. Many of her better productions she has given to her son Mr. J. W. Wright of this city, and it is possible that you 21st century art lovers may find some of these in the Perkins Memorial Hall of Colorado College, one hundred years from today if you are interested enough to look for them.

Alfred Bartow
Yale 1869 whom the subject of this sketch honored by becoming his wife, and who has loved her wisely, but not too well, that were impossible- "Many Happy Returns!
Hopefully yours &c. &c. A.B.

Twas such as she Rudyard Kipling had in mind when he was inspired to write the following beautiful lines-


"When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are 'twisted and dried',
"When the oldest colors have faded and the youngest critic has died,
"We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -lie down for an aeon or two,
"'Till the Master of all good workmen shall act on to work anew."
"And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair,
"They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushed of comet's hair;
"They shall find real saints to draw from, Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
"They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all.
"And only the Master shall praise them, and only the Master shall blame.
"And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
"But each for the joy of working and each in this separate star,
"Shale draw the thing as he sees it for the God of Things as They Are."

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