The Style of Life

Aspects of domestic life were highlighted in Godey's Magazine and Lady's Book, arguably the most popular and influential periodical in the country. "We are happy to see that cookery books abound," wrote editor Sarah Josepha Hale. "We hope they will be the blessed means of reforming American cookery, which at present is decidedly the single thing in which we do not beat the universal world." In addition, Hale pronounced that the fashions of 1846 "will be found far superior to those of any previous era." When it came to shelter, classical forms were under challenge from the more ornate. Architect Andrew Jackson Davis, together with landscape gardener and architectural critic Alexander Jackson Downing, crusaded to change American taste away from the Greek Revival and toward the more picturesque Gothic. Pronounced Downing in the September 1846 issue of his new journal, The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste, "The Greek temple disease has passed its crisis. The people have survived it."

William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant
Henry Kirke Brown
Marble, 1846
19 3/4 inches
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Museum of American Art; gift of H. K. Bush-Brown (NPG.66.22)

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