19 NOVEMBER 1921, Page 13


[To 71IE EDITOR OF THE " &ECM ."1 Smz,—Iu a recent article of your issuing I noticed a lack of knowledge of S. F. B. Morse, crediting him only with the dis- covery of the telegraph. His work as an artist was very remarkable, as 'his canvases testify to-day. I have cut the enclosed from the Literary Digest for September 21st for your benefit, as well as for the benefit of your readers.—I am, Sir,

999 Forest Street, New Haven, Conn.

P.S.—Portraits by Morse aro to-day valued at several thousand dollars.

"Besides erecting a bust to S. F. B. Morse, an effort will. be made to re-establish at New York University the chair of fine arts first held by him in this institution. This is an unfamiliar side of Morse's life : ` The tentative plaits for such an art course include a series of lectures by the leading American artists. It is estimated that $125,000 would be needed to establish such a chair of art. Professor Morse's fame is so closely linked with his invention of the telegraph that it is not so generally remembered not only that Ito was an artist of merit, but also that he held the first chair of art to be established at any American college or university, at New York University's original home in Washington Square. It may be also recalled that the organization which grew into the National Academy of Design was founded by him, and that he was its first president, remaining in that office for sixteen years.' Morse, who was graduated from Yale in 1810, began his artist career during undergraduate days, and painted ` miniatures on ivory at $5.00 and profiles at $1.00.' He was an associate abroad of such American ` primitives ' as Washington Allston and Benjamin West. The London Adolph' Society of Arts gavo him a gold medal for a plaster model of the ` Dying Hercules.' When ho came home and became established in his professional career, he painted portraits of James Monroe; Chancellor Kent, Fitz- Green Halleck, and Lafayette. Science. began to share his attention with the arts, and finally became his dominant interest."