Cover: Francis Calley Gray and Art Collecting for America, from Harvard University PressCover: Francis Calley Gray and Art Collecting for America in HARDCOVER

Francis Calley Gray and Art Collecting for America

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$15.95 • £12.95 • €14.50

ISBN 9780916724603

Publication Date: 10/17/1986

Short

272 pages

6 x 9 inches

24 halftones

World

Francis Calley Gray (1790–1856) is remembered today primarily as the donor to Harvard of an exceptional collection of prints, which later formed the nucleus of the Fogg Art Museum collection. Yet he led one of the most cultivated and remarkable lives of early nineteenth-century America. Son of a wealthy merchant from Salem, Massachusetts, he was educated at Harvard, practiced law with Daniel Webster, and served as a state legislator. He was founder or board member of nearly every important cultural institution in Boston, including the Linnaean Society of New England, the Boston Athenaeum, and Harvard University.

As a young man he spent two years in St. Petersburg as an assistant to John Quincy Adams (then ambassador to the Russian court), visited retired President Jefferson at Monticello, and later was a close friend of such Boston luminaries as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edward Everett, Nathaniel Bowditch, and Louis Agassiz. His polymathic mind led him to assemble a systematic collection of shells, to publish scholarly articles on economic theory, ancient Italian burial customs, and the “Gloucester sea serpent,” to direct a major effort for American penal reform, and to become the nation’s first great print connoisseur and collector. Gray’s role as a print collector forms the centerpiece of this first biography of the archetypal Boston intellectual. In exploring Gray’s vision for America and the role art was destined to play in it, Marjorie B. Cohn presents a vivid and fascinating picture of the developing ideas, tastes, and cultural aspirations of the young nation.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos, by Tom Siegfried, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Tom Siegfried, author of The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos

In The Number of the Heavens, Tom Siegfried, the award-winning former editor of Science News, shows that one of the most fascinating and controversial ideas in contemporary cosmology—the existence of multiple parallel universes—has a long and divisive history that continues to this day. We spoke to him about the possible existence of a multiverse and the co

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.