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Street view of the Masonic Temple, in Boston, printed in 1865 -- at the end of the Civil War -- when the magnificent Gothic-revival building was newly built. This folio print also shows surrounding buildings and street traffic. The artist, Merrill G. Wheelock, was also the architect of the building.
Merrill G. Wheelock was an American architect and watercolor artist, producing landscapes and portraits. Born in Calais, Vermont, he was working in Boston as an architect in 1853, and as a portrait painter from 1858 to 1861. He was a member of a prominent New England family whose members lived in Vermont and in Massachusetts, where he was born. According to Marcus Warren Waite in The Wheelock Family of Calais, Vermont, Wheelock designed the Masonic Temple in Boston.
John Henry Bufford (1810-1870) began as an apprentice of William S. Pendleton in Boston, then came to New York and worked for Endicott and for Nathaniel Currier (who soon thereafter founded Currier & Ives). Bufford worked under his own name in New York from 1835 to about 1840, then returned to Boston, where he first worked in association with B.W. Thayer until 1844. From 1845, he was in business as J.H. Bufford & Co., a major lithographic establishment of the period, though he still sometimes co-published works with other companies. Bufford’s work was wide ranging in subject and of high quality, encompassing many important views of Boston, New York, and New England; a major series of whaling subjects; portraits, including an important one of Abraham Lincoln; Civil War scenes; genre prints; and music sheets. Among his apprentices from 1855 to 1857 was the young Winslow Homer, who later became one of America’s greatest artists. Prints from 1865 to 1867 bear the name of J.H. Bufford & Sons. Bufford ran his firm until his death in 1870, after which his sons took over operations for several years. In his classic reference work on American lithography, Harry T. Peters says of Bufford: “His work is almost invariably good, his sense of the essential in the general field seems to have been second only to that of Currier & Ives, his importance can be seen, and his contribution to Americana is in the very first rank” (Peters, 127).
Full publication information: Printing by “J.H. Bufford’s Lith./ Bufford’s Print Publishing House, 818 Washington Street, Boston.”
George C. Dempsey, Boston, is identified as the seller with a marginal blindstamp.
Groce, George C. and Wallace, David H. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564-1860. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969. p. 94 (Bufford), p. 678 (Wheelock).
“Merrill G. Wheelock.” Wheelock Family Geneaology. 23 May 2004. http://www.wheelockgenealogy.com/ged/ralphdsc/d0001/g0000012.html#I677 (3 August 2005).
Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 118-127.