1. Edward FitzGerald, the poet and translator, rendered The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám into English for the first time in 1858 in an edition of 200 copies, most of which were remaindered. Among the purchasers, however, were Dante Gabriel Rossetti and several other writers who called enthusiastic attention to the work. FitzGerald published four successive translations of the quatrains, rearranging the sequence of the verses each time.
2. Vedder, Digressions of V., p.403.
3. Ibid., p.404.
4. This document is in the files of the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York
5. Vedder to Joseph B. Millet of Houghton Mifflin Co. (dated 1883 but not in Vedder's hand), in Papers of the Houghton Mifflin Company, Houghton Library, Harvard University,Cambridge, Massachusetts (hereafter referred to as "Houghton Mifflin Papers, Houghton Library").
7. From "Notes for Preface to Omar Khayyám Drawings," undated, unpaginated manuscript in Vedder's hand, Papers of Elihu Vedder, American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York.
8. In the "Notes for Preface" (see note 6 above) Vedder related, in the third person, how "in the course of a fortnight after his arrival in Rome, May 7, 1883, he was enabled to separate the verses into proper groups and by notes and slight sketches indicate his intended treatment of each. This was the great work of the book; and in very few instances has he departed from the outline sketches."
9. Scholars point out that there was no inherent unity to Omar's verses: The Rubáiyát (quatrains) was simply a collection of four-line verses by the poet.
10. All editions of Vedder's Rubáiyát have a section titled "Notes," which follows the plates. The Notes are an edited version of the longer manuscript referred to in footnote 7. In them Vedder commented on his plates, interpreting both his own symbolism and Omar's quatrains. The following comments on the plates come from this source.
11. Vedder, Digressions of V., pp.408-9.
12. Edward FitzGerald's "Omar Khayyám, the Astronomer-Poet of Persia" is published as an appendix to the editions of the Rubáiyát illustrated by Vedder.
13. Vedder to Joseph B. Millet, November 17, 1883, Houghton Mifflin Papers, Houghton Library.
14. Anita Vedder's reply is preserved in her letter to Mrs. Speed, dated January 20, 1929, in the J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky: "This is such a small boy, I never thought of it as a nude but if required a fig-leaf could be added." Anita described the sculpture as "the charming bronze fountain modeled mostly by Charles Keck from Father's small model." Four bronze replicas were made, and two of them have draperies drawn across the loins.
15. Marjorie Reich, "The Imagination of Elihu Vedder-As Revealed in His Book Illustrations," The American Art Journal 6 (may 1974): 47.
16. Vedder to Agnes Ethel Tracy, March 28, 1887, in the possession of Mrs. Francis T. Henderson, New Tork. In the same letter he speaks of this painting as a replica, which he painted for reproduction, and remarks that it was stored with Joe Millet.
17. Anita Vedder, statement in the curatorial files of the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
18. Vedder to Carrie Vedder, January 23, 1900, Vedder Papers, AAA.
19. Rev. I:8.
20. Houghton Mifflin Papers, Houghton Library.
21. This statement is from the manuscript for Vedder's Noted (see footnote 7).
22. Always strongly supportive of her husband's aspirations as an artist, Carrie Vedder over the years increasingly took on the role of Vedder's agent, treasurer, and correspondent. In a lengthy letter to Agnes Ethel Tracy, dated December 8, 1886 she mentions "Love Amid the Ruins" about 30 x 12," as a painting then in progress. The first version of the painting, dated 1887, is known through a photograph, printed in reverse, in the Harold O. Love collection. In the introduction, Regina Soria notes the discovery of a frame for the painting inscribed "Amor Omnia Vincit." With her husband, Agnes Tracy visited Vedder's studio in Rome in 1878, and this slender, auburn-haired young woman became an admiring purchaser and even something of an entrepreneur in the placing of Vedder's paintings. She purchased the entire set of Vedder's drawings for the Rubáiyát for $5,000. It is thanks to her and her collateral relatives, the Francis T. Hendersons, who inherited the drawings, that they have remained together as a group.
23. Exhibition of Works by Elihu Vedder (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Institute, 1901
24. Houghton Mifflin and Co., Reproductions of Works by Elihu Vedder, n.d.
25. Vedder to Agnes Ethel Tracy, March 28, 1887, in the possession of Mrs. Francis T. Henderson, New York. Vedder must have referred here to the oil now owned by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, which was painted in 1886-7. Another version, copyrighted in 1887 and 1898, is owned by the Baltimore Museum of Art. A third version, which was copyrighted in 1887 and 1898 is reproduced in The Digressions of V., p. 393. The painting was also used as the frontispiece for Vedder's book of poems, Doubt and Other Things, published in Boston in 1922. Agnes Ethel had been on the American stage before her marriage to Frank W. Tracy, a wealthy businessman from Buffalo. After making a popular hit in a light piece called Frou Frou, she starred in several other productions before playing "a perfect picture of the most beautiful Ophelia" to Edward L. Davenport's Hamlet. See Laurence Hutton, Curiosities of the American Stage (New York, 1891), p.289. Possibly her most important contribution to Vedder's career was that she purchased and preserved the Rubáiyát drawings as an entity.