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Vice President of the National Academy of Design, Author of the History of the
IN TWO VOLUMES.
GEORGE P. SCOTT AND CO. PRINTERS, 33 ANN STREET.
A HISTORY of the Arts of Design in the United States, given by a series of biographical notices, which should show not only the progress of improvement in those arts, but their present state, necessarily includes the biography of many living artists.
To publish the biography of the living is objected to by some. They say, if truth is told, the feelings may be wounded; and if mere eulogium is aimed at, truth will be wounded, the public deceived, and that which pretends to be history, will become a tissue of adulatory falsehood. But of public men—and every artist is a public man-the public have a right to demand the truth. The most interesting portion of my work is the biographies of living artists; and it throws a light upon the lives and actions of those who have departed, which could not be obtained in any other way. Every artist wishes, and ought to wish, that public attention should be called to him. It is for him so to conduct himself, both as an artist and a man, that his works and his actions may defy scrutiny, and his reputation may be increased by a knowledge of the truth.
The artist, the author, and every other public man may rely upon it, that their lives will be scrutinized in proportion as they attain the celebrity which they desire. They may likewise expect that the world will be curious, and wish to be made acquainted with them after their decease, and that some one will be found whose interest it is to gratify this curiosity. If the biographer should do them injustice, the time is past in which they might defend themselves; but if the living find themselves misrepresented, they can rectify errors or rebut slander.