189 - Camp Life: The Card Players

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Creator:M. Stadtfeld
Title:189 - Camp Life: The Card Players

Rogers, John (b Salem, MA, 30 Oct 1829; d New Canaan, CT, 26 July 1904). American sculptor. Beginning in 1863, Rogers decided to concentrate on the plaster figures and groups (known as the 'Rogers Groups') that were to remain popular for the next 30 years. His first major group, Checker Players (1859), was based on his own 1850 clay model (itself based on a design by David Wilkie) and was followed by several Civil War subjects, including Union Refugees (1863) and How the Fort Was Taken (1863), which appealed to the patriotism of many Americans. Such works as the Fugitive's Story (1869) reflect Rogers's abolitionist sympathies and illustrate his talent for combining recognizable portraits (of leading abolitionists) and accurate details of contemporary dress and furniture with a more generalized evocation of human compassion in simply composed groupings.
The small figures were mass-produced in molded plaster, built on metal armatures and painted in a single earth tone to reduce costs. Rogers developed a mail-order business, based in New York, and his groups were widely advertised. Catalogues of his works were issued from 1866 to 1895, latterly by the Rogers Statuary Company. Rogers produced about 100 different groups, with 87 titles and 13 variations, selling in all about 80,000 pieces. His work was also a popular subject for stereoscopic publishers, and at least 40 different groups were made available in that medium. Rogers's inexpensive groups, almost all selling for between $10 and $15, were seen by critics and by sculptors wedded to the dominant ideal tradition as pandering to the uneducated public, but he defended his scenes of everyday life and his groups based on the better-known writings of Washington Irving, Shakespeare, and even Goethe, as a way of developing a broad-based appreciation of sculpture among those who had never purchased it before. By the time of his retirement in 1894, changing tastes had relegated his work to obscurity. Only in 1937 did a representative selection of the 'Rogers Groups' enter a major public collection (New York, NY Hist. Soc.). Rogers was the only active representative in sculpture of the Realist and genre traditions predominant in mid-19th-century American painting, and his strongly anecdotal works remain a unique chapter in American sculptural history. From "Grove Art Online." The CDV imprint contains the following information: Roger's Groups, Card Players. Published & Photographed by M. Stadfeld, 711 Broadway, N. Y. Entered according to Act of Congress by John Rogers, in the year 1863, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the U. S in the Southern District of N.Y.

Subjects:United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Photographs | Plaster sculpture--Photographs | M. Stadtfeld (Studio : New York City, N.Y.)
Collection:Marshall Dunham Photograph Album, circa 1861-1865.
Institution:LSU Libraries Special Collections
Contributors:LSU Libraries. Special Collections
Original Material:

Louisiana State University Libraries, Special Collections ( http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special )

Marshall Dunham Photograph Album (Mss. 3241), Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

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Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original material is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws. Permission to reproduce this image must be requested through the Special Collections Division, Louisiana State University Libraries.

Related Materials:

Marshall Dunham Photograph Album



Persistent Link to Item:http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/u?/LSU_MDP,607