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Celebrity's Picture: Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Portraits to Observe Historic Changes

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Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow / NPS, Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

Steven Alonso Schoff was a premier engraver and etcher of his time, creating bank notes as well as portraits. He trained in New England, New York, and Paris.

Schoff expertly transformed many soft-edged paintings and drawings of Longfellow into the hard lines of commercial prints without losing the spirit of the original work.

He produced, for example, an etching that maintained the loose style of pastel and captured Alexander's sense of the rumpled intellectual. Though unsigned, the frontispiece to Samuel Longfellow's 1891 <em>Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow</em>, vol. II, is probably Schoff's work.

Compare it to his signed 1862 engraving of a somber Longfellow after C.P.A. Healy's oil portrait.

See slide 31
<a href="http://americanhistory.si.edu/prints/05schofc.htm">150 Years of Print Collecting at the Smithsonian</a>


Item 25 of 35