In 1873 at the age of thirty-nine, Viktor Alexandrovich Hartmann, Russian architect and painter, died from an aneurysm. He was at the forefront of the Russian Revival, friend of and inspiration to many contemporaries in the field of architecture, art and music. Shortly after his death, Vladimir Vasilievich Stasov, helped to arrange an exhibition of Hartmann’s work.
Mussorgsky poured out his feeling about his friend’s death in a letter to Stassov. who shared the Russian nationalist tendencies of Hartmann and Mussorgsky and had brought the two men together in the first place.
Mussorgsky’s piano suite was not published until after his death, is dedicated to Stassov. Stassov, with whom Mussorgsky had discussed the suite as he composed it, explained in the first edition of the Pictures at an Exhibition: “The composer here portrays himself walking now right, now left, now as an idle person, now urged to go near a picture; at times his joyous appearance is dampened, he thinks in sadness of his dead friend. …”
Sir Georg Solti – Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1980
via Viktor Hartmann: Born May 5, 1834
From age twelve until age ninety-nine, William Henry Jackson was involved on some level with photography. After a tour of duty in the Civil War, he headed West and eventually settled in Omaha, Nebraska, where he opened a portrait photography studio with his brother Edward. As Jackson explained, however, “Portrait photography never had any charms for me, so I sought my subjects from the house-tops, and finally from the hill-tops and about the surrounding country; the taste strengthening as my successes became greater in proportion to the failures.” In 1870 he accompanied geologist Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden on an expedition across Wyoming, along the Green River, and eventually into the Yellowstone Lake area. Jackson’s images were the first published photographs of Yellowstone. Partly on the strength of these photographs, the area became America’s first national park in March 1872.
On one of several independent expeditions that he headed, Jackson also became the first to photograph the prehistoric Native American dwellings in Mesa Verde, Colorado. He finally settled in Denver, Colorado, where he worked as a commercial landscape photographer and continued to publish his photographs as postcards.