The American Replica
DOI link for The American Replica
The American Replica book
An invaluable record is Edward Strahan’s Art Treasures of America, published from 1881. The study of autograph replicas presents a number of challenges. In collections of artworks by contemporary artists, which characterize those formed in the United States in the decades following the Civil War, autograph replicas were numerous, but few of these collections have remained intact. The autograph replicas that Shinn writes about were frequently copies of works from the Luxembourg Gallery in Paris, that is, paintings purchased by the French State, which had attained official recognition and public visibility. The creation of an autograph replica often involved a reduction in size. The decoration of William Thompson Walters’s Baltimore townhouse suggests that he would have agreed with Sheldon’s assessment of the copy in Artistic Houses quoted. Walters left little in the way of correspondence or personal writing to shed light on his motivations for acquiring paintings, whether autograph replicas or new works he commissioned.