E-Museum of Pyrographic Art

Antique Hall


to the Salon of
J. William Fosdick
Featured in an 1899 article
An American Artist in Burnt Wood
by Charles H. Caffin

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"An American Artist in Burnt Wood" by Charles H. Caffin

From THE ARTIST Magazine, February 1899, pp. 86–89.

Because the above article was acquired from a microfilm printout that was later transmitted by FAX is the reason why its resolution is so poor despite the E-Museum's best efforts to digitally restore it to some semblance of acceptability. The images, of course, are not acceptable as such, but suffice here for the purpose of documenting them, if nothing else. This is especially true for the second (untitled) image, as that work was the only one of these heretofore unknown to the E-Museum.

For the remaining images, there are other salons here in the E-Museum where they can be viewed, starting with the first one, which is found (likewise untitled) on p. 94 in a 1900 article entitled Burnt Wood Decoration. View the third image from this article—J. W. Fosdick at work in his studio—as the opening image of his 1894 article, as well as in the Antique Hall. The fourth work above entitled "The Glorification of Joan of Arc" can be viewed in an excerpt from the 1901 article entitled American Studio Art at this link and in various other places linked from the Antique Hall in the E-Museum, as well, including the Smithsonian's site.

UPDATE—January 2010: The E-Museum has discovered a good image of the second portrait displayed here. You can see that profile portrait of a lady with braids in another 1899 article on display here in the E-Museum entitled FIRE ETCHINGS. It is displayed twice there: within the article as well as in a larger version below it.

Research is underway to learn why the caption of "The Glorification of Joan of Arc" here in this article by Caffin indicates that the triptych is in the Boston Museum, whereas today it is in the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This is the second reference found pointing to Boston instead. The first reference indicates that the triptych was on loan to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for the year 1896. If Caffin's 1899 caption is accurate, perhaps Fosdick's masterpiece stayed longer at the Boston museum before it came into the possession of collector William T. Evans, who donated it to the Smithsonian in 1910.

In the article above, C. H. Caffin (on p. 86) states that the father of J. William Fosdick owned several works by Ball Hughes; however, it is believed that he overstated that claim and that the Ball Hughes works acquired by Fosdick's father were only two, not several. References to those two works have been found in various other sources (see, for one, entries 29 and 30 in the 1889 catalogue of his St. Louis exhibition).

If you have either any questions to ask or any information to offer regarding these works by J. William Fosdick, or any of his works, please e-mail the E-Museum Curator.

You are leaving the J. W. Fosdick Salon
of the 1899 article
An American Artist in Burnt Wood
by C. H. Caffin

You can return to the

Antique Art Hall,

or continue on your tour to one of the following

Pyrographic Art Exhibit Halls:

Portraits and Paintings

Decorative and Applied Art


Folk and Traditional Art

Children's Pyrographic Art

Special Pyrographic Art

The Book Store and E-Museum Library

Pyrographic Tools and Techniques

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated. Please e-mail the E-Museum Curator.

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©2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.
Last updated 5 February 2011.