Cole's Circle


Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878)

American journalist and poet, editor/owner of The New York Evening Post, and frequent contributor to The Knickerbocker magazine. Both Bryant and Cole came to New York City in 1825, meeting at the Bread and Cheese Club, where they began a lifelong friendship with fellow artist Asher B. Durand. Bryant, like James Fenimore Cooper, sought to create a uniquely American style of literature, although he was equally entranced by the antiquities of Europe and often gave lectures on Greek and Roman mythology at the National Academy of Design. Bryant is perhaps best known for "Thanatopsis," a poem that explores themes of mortality, similar to those addressed by Cole in his work. Bryant gave Cole's funeral oration at the National Academy following the artist's death in 1848.