Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Little Piece of History Comes Home

I spent a few hours at the Pompey Historical Society today going through a newly acquired collection of artwork. John Calvin Perry, my great great great grandfather, was an artist who lived and worked in Pompey, NY. The New York State Historical Association had recently agreed to give most of the John Calvin Perry Collection over to the PHS.

It's so exciting to see all of his work back in the town where it was created, waiting to be displayed and looked at by the many, many relatives who still live in the area.

The round painting and the one of Niagara Falls hung in the home of my grandparents until they were donated to the NYSHA.

As much as I love the paintings, my favorite things are the diaries and sketchbooks. To me, this is where the true spirit and character of the artist is revealed... what he was writing about and what he was drawing just for fun and practice.

I LOVED this little painting that I found in one of the sketchbooks.

A sketch of Perry's studio. I wonder if it was always that neat?

These are some of the ladies that work at the PHS that spent hours today showing me every little piece of the Perry Collection. It's tough to describe these crazy girls in words- you have to meet them. Pompey's past is in the most capable of hands. They work so hard and are so dedicated to preserving our local history. That black binder on the table is an illustrated catalog of the entire Perry Collection that they put together because the first binder wasn't quite up to their specifications. Years ago, a group of them typed up (on typewriters) all of the Perry diaries. I don't even know how many diaries there are, but there are a lot. And they're long. Today we came across a journal of a Perry relative in one of the filing cabinets that hadn't been typed up. One of the girls said "Oh, can I bring this home? I'm going to transcribe this tonight." I looked at her to see if she was kidding. No one else batted an eye. This is what they do. Now that they have computers, there will be no stopping them!


TSL said...

Yea! An artist blog, love them! And I love diaries, the older the better, and yet I've never have actually journaled myself. I suppose my blog is a semi-journal. I will enjoy your blog, and if interested I have a GIVEAWAY going, stop by if you have a sec. Looking forward to more of your posts.

TSL said...

PS - I just saw you haven't posted since January or Feb this year... I hope all is well, and I hope you do blog some more, I would love to read more about you.