1. Creator/Author:
  2. Alexander H. Ritchie (1)

Authors of the United States

Creator:
Alexander H. Ritchie
Location:
unknown place made
Origin Date:
1866
Materials:
paper, print
Measurements:
overall: 30 1/4 in x 44 1/2 in
Item ID:
71.2009.081.0494
Holding Institution:
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, courtesy of the Indiana State Museum
Available for Viewing:
No
Category:
Fine Art

Description

This steel engraving of the most famous American authors of the middle of the nineteenth century was done from an 1866 painting by Thomas Hicks titled "Authors of the United States." The painting and engraving depict 44 nineteenth-century authors. James Fenimore Cooper commands the central position in the group composition with text in hand and directly under the sculpture of Shakespeare. Surrounding him are the other luminaries of mid-century American literature such as Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Irving, and Poe. They are shown in a majestic setting with 13 seated in the front row. Another 23 are standing behind those seated. The remaining authors are shown standing on the staircases on either side of the room. Statues on the upper balcony are of the founders of modern vernacular literate: Goethe, Shakespeare, and Dante. A few books are depicted on the floor in the foreground as well as laying on the two smaller tables at each side of the image. The title is printed in the lower margin. For the published key to this engraving see ID number 71.2009.081.0582. Part of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, courtesy of the Indiana State Museum