Manuscript Group 1049, John Charles Van Dyke (1856 – 1932), Art Critic, Librarian | The New Jersey Historical Society

Manuscript Group 1049, John Charles Van Dyke (1856 – 1932), Art Critic, Librarian

 

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

 

1049.  VAN DYKE, JOHN CHARLES
(1856-1932), art critic, librarian.

 
“”My Golden Age: A Personal Narrative of American Life

 

from
1861 to 1931.”  349 pages.  (photostat of corrected

 

typescript).

 
Unpublished autobiography of John Charles Van Dyke, a

 

librarian,
art professor, and critic. Van Dyke was educated privately
in New Brunswick and Trenton, and from 1868 to 1876 in

 

Wabasha,
Minn. He entered the Columbia University School of

 

Law
in 1876, and was admitted to the New York State bar a year

 

later,
but never practiced law. In 1878 he became librarian at the

 

Gardner
A. Sage Library of the Theological Seminary of the

 

Reformed
Church in America at New Brunswick, where he was to

 

remain
for more than fifty years. In 1889 he became a professor of

 

art
at Rutgers College. Van Dyke wrote or edited some thirty

 

published
works on travel, art history and appreciation. He also

 

edited
the <1Art Review,>1 1887-88, and <1The Studio,>1
1883-84. Van

 

Dyke,
as his autobiography reveals, studied the “”Old
Masters’, in

 

Europe
and lectured widely on art. In the 1880s he began to move

 

in
the artistic and literary circles of New York City and beyond,

 

becoming
acquainted with Edwin Booth, Andrew Carnegie,

 

George
B. McClellan (1865-1940), Charles Eliot Norton, Charles

 

Scribner,
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, and many others.  Van

 

Dyke
traveled in Europe, Asia, and the American West, and

 

served
from 1911 to 1924 on the NewJersey State Board of Educa-

 

tion.
Of particular interest in the autobiography are his

 

reminiscences
of the long friendship between his father, John Van

 

Dyke
(1807-78), and Abraham Lincoln.

 
Copied from original in possession of Philip L. Strong, 1977.

 

 

 

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