Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 20th.

Thursday. 22d.

Wednesday. 21st. CFA Wednesday. 21st. CFA
Wednesday. 21st.

Very warm and pleasant day. I accompanied Mr. Brooks to town and not having much of any thing to do, I sauntered into the Artist’s Exhibition for an hour. Four of the Boston Painters appear to have assumed the business of showing their works. Harding, Doughty, Alexander, and Fisher.1 The pieces of each are of very unequal merit. Harding does not appear to me to improve. Alexander has. Fisher and Doughty being needy are obliged to paint too much for sale. Nothing that I saw counterbalanced the unpleasant feeling produced by the multitude of portraits of people who have themselves painted without rhyme or reason for the mere gratification of their beautiful selves— of this vanity comes all the support our poor artists get.

Home. Mr. Shepherd and P. C. Brooks and his Wife dined. Mr. 316Stetson called in afterwards. Thus the afternoon passed and I only reviewed a little of the Epistle to Helen. Evening, Hume’s Essays, and writing without profit or aim.


Chester Harding, Thomas Doughty, Francis Alexander, and Alvan Fisher had recently banded together to establish at Harding’s rooms on School Street an “Artist’s Gallery” in which their works could be exhibited for sale. Unlike the annual exhibitions at the Athenaeum Gallery, the proceeds of which were used to purchase paintings for the Gallery’s permanent collection, the profits from the sale of tickets at the “Artist’s Gallery” were shared among the four artists (Mabel M. Swan, The Athenaeum Gallery, 1827–1873, Boston, 1940, p. 98–99).