New York: M.B. Brady, 1864. Hardbound. Oblong clamshell box of maroon library buckram, white lettering on spine; grey linen over 3 opening edges. Contents include original wraps bound into an oblong hardcover book in maroon buckram and, separately, a stapled packet of 18 photocopied sheets. The book contains as follows: the catalogue of 18 pages followed by 10 sepia photographs by Matthew Brady, with paper guards (not tissue). The photocopied sheets are duplicates of the 18 pages of the catalogue, to minimize thumbing through this delicate book. The book measures 15" x 11". The mounted photographs are typically 7.5" wide and 5.5" tall. Heavy at 9 pounds (about 4 kilos) and will require extra postage. This copy is ex-library with usual marks, including ink and perforation stamps on the title page and ink stamps to the margin of each photograph. Three stamps touch the actual photographic image but not in a crucial place. The binding and clamshell box are solid, but several pages have detached (likely prior to being rebound). All are laid in. There are a few spots of white paint on the front lower edge of the clamshell box. A bit like Miro. Item #135718
The actual title page reads: "Recollections of The Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Fair, New York. April, 1864," and the following page reads, "Catalogue of The Art Exhibition at The Metropolitan Fair, in Aid of The U.S. Sanitary Commission. NY: J.E. Trow, Printer, 1864. 18 pp. This catalogue lists 360 works, including Church's "Heart of The Andes" and "Niagara", Bierstadt's "Rocky Mountains" and Leutze's Washington Crossing The Delaware". It was not the largest of the Sanitary Fairs held during the Civil War, but the Metropolitan Fair had the biggest draws." This book, however, was published by Brady and included 20 original mounted photographs of works in the exhibition, and artists who participated in the organizing of the exhibition. I have been able to locate three complete copies of this book containing 20 mounted and copyrighted photographs. They are located at the SI-AAA, NYHS and the New York Public Library. I have inspected both the NYPL and the NYHS copies and they are identical to each other. (The Worldcat record for the NYPL copy states that it only has 10 mounted photographs, but this is in error, based upon my inspection). The NYHS copy is known to me via the restoration work and frame reconstruction done upon Leutze's "Washington Crossing The Delaware" which was undertaken by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A third copy is known at the Archives of American Art, Worthington Whittredge Papers, described as follows: "Also included is Whittredge's copy of RECOLLECTIONS OF THE ART EXHIBITION, METROPOLITAN FAIR, NEW YORK April, 1864, photographed and published by Mathew B. Brady (New York: 1864). The volume contains a financial "Statement of the Art Department at the Metropolitan Fair in aid of the United States Sanitary Commission," August 5, 1864; the "Catalogue of the Art Exhibition at the Metropolitan Fair ... "; and 20 photographs by Brady, including one of Whittredge in a group of men (probably the Committee on the Fine Arts, of which Whittredge was a member), and 19 of the art hanging at the art exhibit." Our copy does not have the financial "Statement" alluded to in the AAA copy above. This images contained in this copy all are of art that was in the exhibit. Each image includes multiple works of art. This is a rare opportunity to acquire non-Civil War Matthew Brady photographs, and also an ultra-rare Civil-War era American Art book illustrated with photographs. As it is incomplete, it is sold as a collection of photographs of a most important Art Exhibition of the mid-19th century.