Reprint of the 1864 poem by Iohn P. Frankenstein, American Art: Its Awful Altitude, a 112-page poem in which he criticized successful American artists, patrons, and critics by name. After the Civil War, he settled permanently in New York City, where he spent the remainder of his life as a recluse.
American art: its awful altitude; a satire. Edited by William Coyle, 1864. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
35mm microfilm reel CO3 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
John P. Frankenstein emigrated from Germany to Cincinnati, Ohio, with his family of artists when he was fifteen years old. Entirely self-taught, he was encouraged by local sculptor Hiram Powers to pursue a career in art. Frankenstein soon became a professional portrait painter and sculptor and spent much of his career working in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York. After losing some important patronage later in his career, and unable to achieve critical and financial success, he became bitter and resentful of the art world.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001