April 15, 2021

Episode 7: Two Paintings at The Met

Episode 7: Two Paintings at The Met

Image above: "Nightlife in Philadelphia—an Oyster Barrow in front of the Chestnut Street Theater", by John Lewis Krimmel;

Attributed to Louis Krimmel, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Below, announcement of the theater bill at the New Theater on March 8th, 1802, as printed in the Gazette of the United States, March 6, 1802:

There is further confirmation that the 1802 performance listed above, as remembered by William Wood years later, was in fact somewhat infamous in Philadelphia for years as being the one with the "Loose Loincloths". We can see another advertisement, four years later, for yet another group of Native Americans who travelled trough Philadelphia, this one a group of Oneidas , who plan to perform War Dances on the New Theatre stage. From Poulson's Daily Advertiser on April 2nd, 1806, the public is assured that "there will be nothing in their appearance or conduct to wound the feelings of delicacy." 



Here is the proof that Pavell P. Svinyin really did see a dance performance by Native Americans during his time in Philadelphia. The advertisement is for an exhibition of dances by "36 Indian Chiefs & Warriors" at the Olympic Theatre, Philadelphia, from Poulson's Daily Advertiser, September 3, 1812:



Selected Bibliography:

Cheek, Sheldon, "In a Scene of Daily Life in 19th-Century Philly, a Black Oyster Vendor Takes Center Stage," The Root online magazine (in collaboration with the Image of the Black Archive and Library at Harvard University). April 27, 2015.  https://www.theroot.com/in-a-scene-of-daily-life-in-19th-century-philly-a-blac-1790859633

"Communication," Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, Philadelphia, September 2, 1812, p. 2. Accessed via America's Historical Newspapers database, American Antiquarian Society.

"Exhibition of Indian Tribal Ceremonies at the Olympic Theater, Philadelphia,

"For One Night Only: Olympic Theatre," Poulson's American Daily Advertiser, Philadelphia, September 3, 1812, p. 2. Accessed via America's Historical Newspapers database, American Antiquarian Society.

Gibbs, Jenna M., Performing the Temple of Liberty : Slavery, Theater, and Popular Culture in London and Philadelphia, 1760-1850, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

Harding, Anneliese, John Lewis Krimmel: Genre Artist of the Early Republic. Winterthur, 1994.

"New Theatre, Monday March 8," Gazette of the United States, Philadelphia, March 6, 1802, p. 2. Accessed via America's Historical Newspapers database, American Antiquarian Society.

"Nightlife in Philadelphia—an Oyster Barrow in front of the Chestnut Street Theater",

Rubsam, Robert, "Outside the Frame: Native American Art at the Met," Commonweal, April 5, 2019. Online article: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/outside-frame

Svoboda, Marina, and William Whisenhunt, A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svin'in, 1811-1813. Acumen Publishing, 2008.

Wood, William B., Personal Recollections of the Stage, Embracing Notices of Actors, Authors, and Auditors During a Period of Forty Years. Philadelphia, 1855, p. 86. Accessed via Google Books.