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BY JOSEPH H. CHOATE
I come here as a life-long personal friend of Mr. McKim, who knew him from his boyhood up, to bear testimony to his wonderful virtues and merits and the signal beauty of his character. I have hardly ever known in human form a personality more charming, more fascinating than his. Whether it was the Quaker discipline under which his early days were passed, the strict hardships which he underwent, the spur of necessity, that drove him on, the innate love of perfect form and of beauty, the innate hatred of all that was hideous and ugly; there was a sweet reasonableness about him always and everywhere which seems to have accompanied him, flowing out from his person, a charming humanity which attached to him all who came in contact with him. I do not believe it was possible to know Charles McKim without loving him, or to have come in personal contact with him without admiring the wonderful features of his character.
One signal trait that he had was absolute loyalty in his friendships. I must refer to the ties that bound together three such great artists, three such brilliant geniuses as Charles McKim, Stanford White and Augustus Saint Gaudens. They were always united, always together, always in perfect sympathy, aiding each other, criticising each other, and all three inspired with the same purpose to elevate the noble arts to which they were devoted; and it was a terrible blow to the community and to the country when, in the short space of three years, they were all taken from us. Let me remind you also of his absolute devotion and loyalty to the members of the great firm which he founded and which is likely to continue his work and to transmit his great repute for many years to come. He was such a guiding spirit among them, so prominent, so active, so recognized by the community, and yet from the first to the last, during the whole period of their organization, he never would permit anything to be known or recognized except as the work of the firm.
And he was so modest withal! That was one of the most charming traits of his character—beautiful in person, lofty in ideas, commanding in influence—he was as modest, sensitive, tender as any woman or child could possibly be. When he came to London to receive—what, if he had been living he would again receive here, the tribute of his whole profession—the gold medal of the British Institute of Architects, which was given to him in 1903, he absolutely shrank from what he regarded as the terrible ordeal to which he was to be subjected in coming forward to receive that medal and say the few words of recognition and thanks that were expected of him. He was as modest as Washington was when he appeared before the House of Burgesses, on his return from his first successful military excursion into West Virginia, and, when on rising he was wholly unable to command words to acknowledge the compliment, the speaker said to him, “Sit down, Mr. Washington, your modesty is only equaled by your merits, and these are such that no language can possibly do them justice.” So Mr. McKim appeared in London with most characteristic modesty and dignity when he received the medal and accepted it, not as a tribute to himself, but to the great profession in America that he was proud to represent.
PRESENTATION OF MEDAL BY CASS GILBERT, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS
This medal has been awarded to Charles Follen McKim for his distinguished services to the arts, by the unanimous vote of the Convention of the American Institute of Architects. It is customary that on such an occasion the works and services of the man should be recounted and the basis of the award stated, with the reasons governing his selection. But in this instance it is not necessary to add one word to what has already been said, nor to recount the list of the works, in which he had a distinguished part, so well known and so imposing. His monuments in bronze and marble will long enrich his native land; his benefactions, not measured alone in the standards of commerce, have laid the sure foundation of even greater monuments in the hearts of his countrymen. But it is not for these alone that we offer this token of our praise and love. The award of this medal can add nothing to his honor. Titles, nor decorations, nor medals, nor any worldly thing, can add to worth. Character and merit are intrinsic. They are not conferred. Nothing we can do or say can add to their sum. Nobility is of the soul. Patriotism, self-sacrifice, patience, courage, achievement, are the evidences of greatness, and of these he gave full measure, even to life itself. Such a man needs no acclaim, but that our estimate of his life and works shall be known of men, and that thereby others be inspired in noble emulation; that we may testify to the world that in this age and among this people the great ideals common to the race are held in honor and in reverence, this medal is awarded. Mr. Mead, it now becomes my duty and my privilege, on behalf of the Institute, to deliver to you, his associate, co-adjutor and friend, this token of the respect, love and honor in which we all hold him.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE MEDAL BY
As the close friend and associate of Mr. McKim for thirty-seven years, it is with mingled feelings of sadness and pride that I am here to receive in his name the medal.
I well remember when I told Mr. McKim, on one of his last visits to the office, that this medal had been voted him, the deprecating smile he gave me, the smile expressing both modesty and pleasure. Such indeed was the man, modestly sinking his own personality to everything for the best, not only in his work but for the profession of which he was such an honored member.
In accepting this medal in his behalf, I shall place it in the hands of his daughter who will preserve it as a precious memento of the regard in which her father was held by the American Institute of Architects, of which he was such a faithful servant.
List of Sales
All paintings sold for $50 and over are here classified under the name of the artist, arranged alphabetically. F-. The words set in heavy-faced type in the following index are used in the general price list to indicate the name of the sale.
The sales here listed were held in New York under the auspices of the following firms:
American Art Association, 6 East 23d Street,
Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, 546 Fifth Avenue, and
Anderson Auction Company, 12 East 46th Street.
Anderson’s.March 3, 1909:—Paintings, drawings and prints belonging to the estate of Charles F. Chichester sold for $3,322. March 17, 1909:—176 paintings, engravings, etc., belonging to the estate of William Edgar Marshall sold for $2,574. Aoi paintings belonging to J. H. Andrews sold with others. (See Wales. Babcock.-Paintings belonging to E. C. Babcock sold with others. (See HayesBabcock.) Bierstadt Est.—18 paintings by the late Albert Bierstadt, N.A., sold for $7,580; American Art Association, January 22, 1908. Blakeslee, 1908.-151 paintings belonging to the galleries of T. J. Blakeslee sold for $110,495; American Art Association, April 9 and Io, 1908. Boughton-Smith.-261 paintings by the late George H. Boughton, N. A., R. A., and Henry P. Smith, sold by the executors, and paintings by A. T. Bricher and George H. Bogert sold for $16,247; Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, February 13 and 14, 1908. Brandus, 1908.-164 paintings belonging to the galleries of Edward Brandus sold for $127,827; Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, April 1, 2 and 3, 1909. Burton.—Paintings belonging to J. H. Burton sold with others. (See DunBurton.) Cole.—Modern paintings belonging to the late W. O. Cole sold with others. (See Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, February 18 and 19, 1909.) Combs.-Paintings belonging to the late George H. Combs sold with others. (See Tillotson.) Cottier.—113 paintings sold to settle the estate of the late James S. Inglis of Cottier & Co. for $85,550; American Art Association, March II and 12, I909. Courtney-Carlsen.—74 paintings belonging to the late Samuel G. Courtney, to James Carlsen, and to others, sold for $7,337; Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, February 7, 1908. Dun-Burton.—301 paintings belonging to Mrs. R. G. Dun, J. H. Burton, and to close many estates, sold for $18,010.50; Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, May 6, 7 and 8, 1908.