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Christopher Cranch
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Artist
    (March 8, 1813-January 20, 1892)
    Born in Washington, District of Columbia
    Birth name is Christopher Pearse Cranch
    Author of 'The Last of the Huggermuggers, A Giant Story '(1855), 'Kobboltozo, A Sequel to the Last of the Huggermuggers,' 'The Aeneid of Virgil' (translation, 1872), 'Satan: A Libretto' (1874),'The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems' (1875), and 'Ariel and Caliban with Other Poems (1887)
    Contributed to the Transcendentalist journals, 'The Dial,' 'The Harbinger,' and 'The Western Messenger'
    Compiled his caricatures and sketches in a collection known as 'The New Philosophy Scrapbook'
    Most famous for his sketch of Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous 'transparent eyeball' passage in 'Nature' (1836)
    He was a vegetarian.
    He had a career spanning fifty years, but he is exclusively remembered as the caricaturist who depicted Emerson as a long-legged eyeball in a hat, wandering aimlessly in the hills.
    He abandoned his career as a traveling Unitarian minister to join the Transcendentalist movement.
    He was unable to stick with one solid artistic medium and, as a result, is almost completely forgotten.
    He took part in the ill-fated fiasco of an experiment in West Roxbury, the Utopian Brook Farm.
    He tried to disown responsibility for a cartoon lampooning 'The Dial,' a publication he frequently worked with.
    He authored an offensive, now-lost cartoon depicting Margaret Fuller as an Brunnehilde-style dominatrix.
    He critiqued Emerson's poetry as lacking sensuality after Emerson expressed disappointment in Cranch's poetry not living up to his expectations.
    His cartoons lend retrospective understanding to the complexities within the Transcendentalist movement.
    He was a renaissance man: a minister, teacher, editor, caricaturist, children's book author, poet, translator, musician, and landscape painter.
    He was fluent in Greek, Latin, and German.
    He was a protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom he idolized.
    Emerson apparently found the 'transparent eyeball sketch' of his to be hilarious.
    He defended Margaret Fuller, after her death, from unfair characterizations in Nathaniel Hawthorne's biography.
    He was deemed to be one of the colorful and inventive personalities within the Transcendentalist circle, often leaving everyone in stitches with his biting wit.
    He managed to eke out a good review from then-literary critic Edgar Allan Poe (who at the time seemed to hate most everything he came across).
    Likewise, Emerson was disappointed in most all of his protégés, so it wasn't anything personal.
    He became a full Academician of the National Academy of Design, in 1864, after getting elected in as an Associate 14 years earlier (1850).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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