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Auction archive: Lot number 15

1858 illustrated shipboard letter by "Father of American Experimental Physics"

Estimate
US$700 - US$1,000
Price realised:
US$420
Auction archive: Lot number 15

1858 illustrated shipboard letter by "Father of American Experimental Physics"

Estimate
US$700 - US$1,000
Price realised:
US$420
Beschreibung:

Title: 1858 illustrated shipboard letter by "Father of American Experimental Physics" Author: Rood, Ogden Nicholas Place: Publisher: Date: 1858 Description: Autograph Letter Signed (“Ogden). Aboard ship, sailing from America to Europe, July 17-21, 1858 4pp. To his sister Helen. With two original Cruikshank-like sketches in the body of the letter. The 27 year-old Rood was a Princeton graduate and protégé of Yale scientist Benjamin Silliman who had just spent four years in Germany, pursuing his love for painting while working as laboratory assistant to eminent chemist Justus von Leibig and physicist Heinrich Magnus. In this letter, penned over several days while crossing the Atlantic, Rood writes whimsically about shipboard “confusion”, with “small boots and babies, coffee and sea form, clouds and pies brought into unusual proximity” and humorously describes his American and European fellow passengers, including “a tremendous crowd of…very ugly looking…small boys…I spanked three of the most violent of these gentlemen and since then I have been treated by them with respect and even affection …” - these words accompanied by his sketch of a spanking. On the voyage, his academic interest was piqued by conversations with “a famous navigator and scientific shipmaster” about the invention of “a new nautical instrument for taking an observation on the light of the sun when the horizon is observed with fog”, while his artistic soul was stirred by the sight of “sea like blue and purple glass, warm sunshine and gloriously shaped clouds”. The mix of passengers offered “enough material…to write a novel, all sorts of characters from many nations, all sorts of noses, boots, beards…” He made sketches of several passengers which “have caused a great deal of amusement” and “increased” his “popularity”. Though the “abundance” of human material “hinders the motion of my pen”, since he could “draw as well as usual”, he also included a sketch of passengers in the crowded dining room, while recording the “multitude of sounds that…all at once fall on my ear” from a confusing jumble of voices. The letter provides early evidence of the genius of the gifted watercolor artist who became a renowned scientist. After returning to America that year with a German wife, Rood was appointed Professor of Physics at Columbia University, a position he held for the rest of his life. For his wide-ranging researches on electricity, microscopic photography, vacuums, x-rays and air pumps, Rood would come to be known as the “Father of American Experimental Physics” (DAB) But he is now best remembered for his 1879 classic study on the theory of colors in art, a book widely read in Europe, which greatly influenced French impressionist painters Seurat and Pissarro. Lot Amendments Condition: very good Item number: 251074

Auction archive: Lot number 15
Auction:
Datum:
25 Sep 2014
Auction house:
PBA Galleries

San Francisco, CA 94109
United States
[email protected]
+1 (0)415 9892665
+1 (0)415 9891664
Beschreibung:

Title: 1858 illustrated shipboard letter by "Father of American Experimental Physics" Author: Rood, Ogden Nicholas Place: Publisher: Date: 1858 Description: Autograph Letter Signed (“Ogden). Aboard ship, sailing from America to Europe, July 17-21, 1858 4pp. To his sister Helen. With two original Cruikshank-like sketches in the body of the letter. The 27 year-old Rood was a Princeton graduate and protégé of Yale scientist Benjamin Silliman who had just spent four years in Germany, pursuing his love for painting while working as laboratory assistant to eminent chemist Justus von Leibig and physicist Heinrich Magnus. In this letter, penned over several days while crossing the Atlantic, Rood writes whimsically about shipboard “confusion”, with “small boots and babies, coffee and sea form, clouds and pies brought into unusual proximity” and humorously describes his American and European fellow passengers, including “a tremendous crowd of…very ugly looking…small boys…I spanked three of the most violent of these gentlemen and since then I have been treated by them with respect and even affection …” - these words accompanied by his sketch of a spanking. On the voyage, his academic interest was piqued by conversations with “a famous navigator and scientific shipmaster” about the invention of “a new nautical instrument for taking an observation on the light of the sun when the horizon is observed with fog”, while his artistic soul was stirred by the sight of “sea like blue and purple glass, warm sunshine and gloriously shaped clouds”. The mix of passengers offered “enough material…to write a novel, all sorts of characters from many nations, all sorts of noses, boots, beards…” He made sketches of several passengers which “have caused a great deal of amusement” and “increased” his “popularity”. Though the “abundance” of human material “hinders the motion of my pen”, since he could “draw as well as usual”, he also included a sketch of passengers in the crowded dining room, while recording the “multitude of sounds that…all at once fall on my ear” from a confusing jumble of voices. The letter provides early evidence of the genius of the gifted watercolor artist who became a renowned scientist. After returning to America that year with a German wife, Rood was appointed Professor of Physics at Columbia University, a position he held for the rest of his life. For his wide-ranging researches on electricity, microscopic photography, vacuums, x-rays and air pumps, Rood would come to be known as the “Father of American Experimental Physics” (DAB) But he is now best remembered for his 1879 classic study on the theory of colors in art, a book widely read in Europe, which greatly influenced French impressionist painters Seurat and Pissarro. Lot Amendments Condition: very good Item number: 251074

Auction archive: Lot number 15
Auction:
Datum:
25 Sep 2014
Auction house:
PBA Galleries

San Francisco, CA 94109
United States
[email protected]
+1 (0)415 9892665
+1 (0)415 9891664
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