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'^-^ ■: \ \^ :m^,\ ,0^ ' N^ ' "- • • • - ' ■'

.\- •> -'- '° nient of this
country, has in no less a defjree
assisted in the evolution of na-
tive art. From the settlement
of the colony to the present
day, her people have been dis-
tinguished for their elegance
and taste, and every decade has
produced a name that has won
its way to national recognition. The sump-
tuousness of the colonial life, — which was
housed in mansions, instructed by the best
English models, waited on by slaves, and




amused by the highest art the theatre then
afforded, has jilainly left its imjiress on
the minds of succeeding generations. In
whatever proceeds from Maryland is seen
that largeness of conception, fullness of
design, in either mental or material effort,
that evidences the generosity and freedom
that have always distinguished her mode of
life.

Successively has each stage of American
development received signal encouragement
through the brains and hands of her people.
When life became the price of indepen-
dence, lives were sacrificed with the same
grace with which they had been lived, and




Painted by
F. B. Mayer.



fiy

Courtesy
of "Dixie.'



My Lady's Visit," or Annapolis in 1750.



2



MARYLAND'S HISTORICAL PAINTER, FRANK B. MAYER.



when political science was fairly exhausted
in the maintenance of a government that
presented new and unsolved problems, many
of its most serious difficulties were over-
come by her men of law.

In the growth of American art, — which
gave the iirst strong evidence of existence
immediately after the Revolutionary period,
— Maryland has held an honorable, if not
a foremost, position.

But, strange to say, of all the men who,
by means of their art, have added some-



of both the artistic and the practical sides
of colonial life constitutes him an authority
of recognized worth.

Mr. Mayer was born in Baltimore of
parentage combining the traits of the South
of (iermany and the North of Ireland,
people who from their first I'esidence took
a solid and recognized standing in the com-
mercial life of the city. He early showed
a keen perception of color and form and a
quick sense of the ridiculous. A love for
mechanics developed with the study of art,



■ The
Old Clerk:-



Painlcd by
F. B. Maver.



By

Courtesy
of ^^Dixie."




what to the fame of their native state, but
one has sought to preserve the charming
and varied historical life and scenes with
which she is so richly endowed.

As regretable as this may be, no one
has depicted colonial life with truer sym-
jiathy or approached the task more fully
prepared than Frank B. Mayer, the artist
who for over thirty years has striven to
rouse the people of his state to an appre-
ciative recognition of the beauties of history
that surround them. He has succeeded in
many instances, for his intimate knowledge



but the latter obtained the mastery under
the tuition of Alfred J. Miller, whose pro-
minence as an artist, and kindly qualities,
had grouped around him a number of
devoted pupils. Mr. Miller's training in the
French school of 1830 and his subsequent
experience as artist of the expedition of
Sir W. C. Stewart in the then "Far West,"
gave him great advantages as a teacher
and a leader in historical art. He was suc-
ceeded as a teacher by Ernest Fischer, a
thoroughly educated artist of the Ant-
werp and Dresden schools, who, during his



.l/.l/i'r/..l.\7/N lIISTdinCM. VAISTIU:. FRAXK ]{. MAYER.



residence in Baltimore, gave instruction to
numerous students.

Of these Mr. Mayer was one, and while
acting as librarian of the Maryland Histori-
cal Soc'ifty he made the illustrations for
the works of his uncle, t"ol. lirantz Mayer,
on .Mexico and for the "Twenty Years of
an .\frican Slaver." The result of his labor
enabled him to accomplish the cherished
wish of actual acquaintance with our ab-
origines and as a traveler to know his own
country. \ summer spent among the Da-



Thunder Dance," two pictures founded on
these drawings, have been engraved for the
United States Dovernment. .After attend-
ing the treaties of Traverse de Sioux and
.Mendiita, which preluded the departure of
the last red man from the banks of the
Mississip])i (Mechasibil, an extended tour,
iiicluiling the Mammoth ("aveand .Mackinaw,
followed, and [jroved an object lesson in
home scenery and humanity.

In the interval between the instructions
of Miller and Fischer, Mr. Mayer was em-




" Benjamin
Franklin's
First Walk
in
Philadelphia.



Painted by
F. B. Mayer.



By

Courlesy
of * Dixie."



kota Indians, as one of the party accom-
panying the Commissioners of the < iovern-
ment who were to make the treaties which
created the State of Minnesota, and the
Dakotas. offered a rare opjiortunity to ob-
serve ceremonies and scenes which ordina-
rily took place only at long intervals, and
to see many types of the Indian collected
in an impurtant council. The artist, with
ever-busy pencil, filled sketch book and jour-
nal, which are already valuable as unique
records of a rapidly disai)pearing race.
"The Feast of iMondawmin" and "The



|)loyed by a Philadelphia publisher in draw-
ings on wood, illustrative of scenes in the
then recent war with Mexico, attention
having been drawn to his work by a litho-
graphic composition of the charge of "Cap-
tain ilay at the liattle nf Kesaca de la
Palme." While at work in Philadelphia he
passed his evi-nings in the life-school of
the Pennsylvania -Academy of .Arts in ac-
quiring a knowledge of the human form
and action, lie now resumed the use of
the crayon in making portraits, notably
those of Chief .lustice Taney, Chief .Tustice-



Frank B.
Mayer.



Drawn by
Katharine
Gassaway.



By

Courtesy

of^^Dixie."





■ 1


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MARVLAXI/S HISTORICAL VAISTHU. FHAXK I!. MAYKR.



5



Tjegrand of Marylanil, McMahon, W. II. Col-
lins and others, and bcjijan the practice of
oil in pictures of caliinet sizes, either as
scenes of familiar life ur in sulijects of his-
toric tendency clothed in the pictures(iue
dress of the last century, an anticii)ation
of the present interest in our colonial life.
Of these the picture in the ("orcuran (Jal-
lery, "Doing and Dreaming," "Indepen-
dence," "The Violinist," "Flato," Henry ("lav
as "The Hill Hoy of the Slashe.s," and "The
Open Gate," are examples, in the direc-
tion of historic illustnition the artist found



which town is interesting because of its
association with the reliable records of the
Karon Munchausen. The artist [irotitcd by
the ()ii[)orlunities afl'orded l)y ids captain's
familiarity with the Hollanders, for the
Statfords, father, son and grandson, had
sailed ships from Baltimore in that trade
and were in a measure adopted citizens of
15atavia. The success of the artist's com-
mercial venture in the way of tobacco was
no hindrance to his enjoyment of the
galleries of Rotterdam, .Amsterdam and
Hague, nor of the hospitality of the con-




"Thc
Washington
Cockade."



Painted bv
F. B. Mayer.



By
Courtesy



not only a congenial field, but his true
work subsequently developed in more im-
portant works executed either in Paris or
in his present studio in Annajiolis.

The cabin of the shij) Casilda of Balti-
more, at sea, during a voyage from this
port to Rotterdam, furnished Mr. Mayer
with a subject for one of his pictures, as
well as nautical scenes, such as "The Look-
out" and "Splicing a Hawser," the result of
material gathered at sea while a passenger
on the Casilda in 1S62. His first acquaint-
ance with Europe was made in the quaint
old seaport of Helvoetslius, in Holland,



signees of the Casilda. The marked peculi-
arities of Holland and the riches of her
art treasures were calculated to make a
deep impression. Antwerp proved not less
interesting, and Lille was so attractive that
the artist remained there for a while, but
soon pushed on to Paris, where, suddenly,
he came into a world of different character
and essentially modern.

In Paris Mr. Mayer entered the atelier
of Cleyre, the foremost exponent of classic
purity and precision, and found a friend and
adviser in l'>rion, the Alsatian artist, noted
for his fullness of design, richness of color



MARYLAND'S HISTORICAL PAINTER, FRANK B. MAYER.



and effect and sincerity of purpose and sen-
timent. The facilities which Paris affords
for the execution of worlvs of art and the
liberalizing influence which the exhibition
of every style of excellence produces incited
the exertions of the artist and resulted in
the favorable reception at the annual salons
of Mr. Mayer's work, figure subjects, in
treatment based on the style of Meissonier,
but varied in their selection, as shown in
"Pascal," "The Attic Philosopher," "The
Jester," "The Nineteenth Century," "The



downfall in the surrender of Sedan in 1870.
The artist shared the privations and
anxieties incident to life in a besieged city
encircled by perpetual combats and the cer-
tain doom of eventual conquest. Reduced
to a small allowance of food per day, aug-
mented by occasional supplements of horse
flesh, disguised or embellished with artistic
cooking; without communication with the
outer world, the routine of a non-combat-
ant varied by witnessing the cannonades
and combats from the walls of Paris, he



''The
Burning
of the
Peggy
Stuart."



Painted by
F. B. Mayer.



By

Courtesy
of *'D/.vi>."




Boar's Head," and "The Savoy Tailor."
Several summers and parts of winters were
passed by Mr. Mayer in the beautiful and
picturesque region of Savoy in the higher
Alpine villages. A visit also to relatives
in Wurtemberg, whose dwelling lay within
the shadow of one of Germany's greatest
cathedrals, surrounded by mediaeval gables,
was enjoyed as a realization of romance.
The last days of the Empire were seen
in the spectacular glory of the exhibition
of 1867, with the sovereigns of Europe
as the guests of France, followed by its



availed himself of the last opportunity af-
forded by diplomatic negotiations to leave
the beleaguered city in company with a
brother artist, a Herald correspondent and
two friends.

They had purchased a landau and two
horses and joined the procession of Ameri-
cans and Russians who entered the German
lines, and diverging at Versailles, sought
different routes to their destinations. Un-
der safe conduct the party of the landau
were directed to reach Belgium by passing
from post to post of the invading army.



.l/.lA')7..1.\7r,s' HISTORICAL PAINTER, FRANK B. MAYER.



The journey amid the realities of war,
but through a picturcsiiue country, was
replete with incident, thoujjh not devoid of
danger, the party being exposed on one
occasion to the tire of a French battery
and again menaced by the danger of law-
less "franctireurs" or freebooters. Sedan
and its battletield, the ancient cities of
Rethel and Uht-ims, and, after passing into
Belgium, the Forest of Ardennes and the
old castle of (Jodfrey de Houillon, were
visited. Through Dinant and Namur the
party reached lirussels and thence, after a
stay in Antwerp, renewing former pleasant



magazines and in the pictures he has pro-
duced. Of these the more important are:
"My Lady's Visit," or " Annajiolis in ITf)!);"
"The Founders of the Haltimore and Ohio
Railroad," in the Directors' hall of the com-
l>any; "The Planting of the Colony of Mary-
lan(i," recently purchased by the State; and
numerous smaller works of great interest
and technical excellence. A number of
the.se paintings have been engraved. At
the Centennial of 187G, held in Philadelphia,
Mr. Mayer was awarded the medal and
di])loma for figure painting, in which he has
made his greatest successes. Many of the




^Talking
liusiness.'



Painted by
F. B. .Mayer.



By

Coiirtesv
of '^Dixie.*



impressions of the City of Rubens and Van
Dyke, the artist reached London.

Since his return from Europe Mr. Mayer
has resided chiefly in .\nnapolis, where one
of its old houses serves him as a workroom,
and from its many windows commands on
all sides the ever-varying views of clouil,
city and water, an advantage and luxury
unattainalile in the midst of our commer-
cial metrojiolis and dear to the artist as a
constant school of instruction.

Ilis aim has been the illustration of
Maryland life and history, and he has used
brush, ])encil and pen in contributions to



artist's recent works are included in the
collection of the Crescent Club of I'alti-
more, among them several figure studies of
uncommon grace, and the large paintings,
"St. Tammany," "The Marching Poorest,"
and "Portrait of Capt. Cornwallys," the
first two of which are extremely interesting
subjects drawn from Indian life, executed
in strong color and very original in treat-
ment.

.\s a valuable record of the Sesijui-Cen-
tennial of his native city, the artist illus-
trated the memorial volume with sixteen
outline designs, giving the prominent



8



MARYLAND'S HISTORICAL PAINTER, FRANK B. MAYER.



features of the great procession. Among
his portraits are those of Cecilius Calvert,
presented by J. H. Rieman, Esq. to the Cin-
cinnati Museum ; Mayor Latrobe, in the City
Hall of Baltimore : and Dr. James Hall,
Governor of Liberia, which was sent to
Africa. Mr. Mayer painted the Coat-of-
Arms of Maryland which hangs in the hall
of the Commercial and Flour Exchange of
Baltimore, and also made the designs for
the proposed further decoration of the hall.
One of his most popular paintings is
"Seventy-Six," or "The Continentals," which



is known the length and breadth of the
country. It has been reproduced in many
forms and is considered one of the repre-
sentative pictures of the period of which it
treats.

"The Burning of the Peggy Stuart," a
memorable event in the Colonial history of
Annapolis, is the subject of the artist's
latest important work. It was acquired by
the State very soon after its completion,
and now hangs in the House of Delegates
as a companion to the large canvas, "The
Planting of the Colony of Maryland."



Painted by
F. B. Mayer.



By

Courtesy
of "Dixie,'^




■The Planting of the Colony of Maryland.'



Editor's Note; — In 1891 Mr. Mayer finished one of his most famous historical paintings, entitled :
" The Founders of The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad," which is the frontispiece of this article. The painting
now adorns the walls of the Directors' Room of this Company in Baltimore. In it are the portraits of twenty-
nine of Maryland's renowned sons; each figure being an exact copy of the best portrait of the subject repre-
sented, in existence at the time the work was executed. These great men are gathered together in an
allegorical picture, attired in the fashions of their day. This painting is remarkable, not only for its artistic
merit, but for the national prominence of the men who appear in the group.



FROM STAGE-COACH TO RAILROAD.



BY El.IIlU S. Rll.KY.



T( ) meet the objections of the inconven-
ience of travel to the "antient and
chief seat of frovernment," the alarmed
citizens of St. Mary's City, in 1



Online LibraryBaltimore and Ohio railroad company.om old catBook of the Royal blue (Volume 17) → online text (page 1 of 41)