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Lessons in Likeness

Lessons in Likeness: Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920

Foreword by ELLEN G. MILES
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Lessons in Likeness
    Book Description:

    From 1802, when the young artist William Edward West began painting portraits on a downriver trip to New Orleans, to 1918, when John Alberts, the last of Frank Duveneck's students, worked in Louisville, a wide variety of portrait artists were active in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. Lessons in Likeness: Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802--1920 charts the course of those artists as they painted the mighty and the lowly, statesmen and business magnates as well as country folk living far from urban centers. Paintings by each artist are illustrated, when possible, from The Filson Historical Society collection of some 400 portraits representing one of the most extensive holdings available for study in the region.

    This volume begins with a cultural chronology -- a backdrop of critical events that shaped the taste and times of both artist and sitter. The chronology is followed by brief biographies of the artists, both legends and recent discoveries, illustrated by their work. Matthew Harris Jouett, who studied with Gilbert Stuart, William Edward West, who painted Lord Byron, and Frank Duveneck are well-known; far less so are James T. Poindexter, who painted charming children's portraits in western Kentucky, Reason Croft, a recently discovered itinerant in the Louisville area, and Oliver Frazer, the last resident portrait artist in Lexington during the romantic era. Pennington's study offers a captivating history of portraiture not only as a cherished possession but also representing a period of cultural and artistic transitions in the history of the Ohio River Valley region.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-2613-5
    Subjects: Art & Art History, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)

    Lessons in Likeness,Estill Pennington’s study of portrait painting in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley from about 1800 to the end of the First World War, will delight many readers. In this book he offers a general essay about Kentucky portraiture in that long century and provides a biographical checklist of individual artists, illustrated primarily with portraits in the collection of The Filson Historical Society. The book enriches our knowledge of Kentucky art and history in important ways. The author has been a student of Kentucky portraiture for many years because of his own family history and his strong...

    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xxiv)

    Between 1802, when the young Kentucky artist William Edward West began to paint portraits while on a downriver journey, and 1920, when the last of Frank Duveneck’s students worked in Louisville, a large number of notable portrait artists were active in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. The purpose of this study is to identify those artists, illustrate their works, and recall the cultural terrain on which they painted. Within these pages many lessons may be learned: lessons of established masters instructing young apprentices; lessons in likeness by different hands whose similarity indicates a preference for a prevailing style; and...


    • 1802–1835: Westward Movement, Eastern Instruction
      (pp. 3-41)

      In 1802 a young William Edward West went downriver to New Orleans with the Bourbon County farmer and distiller Abram Spears and en route painted Spears’s portrait in miniature, the first noted instance of Kentucky portraiture.¹ The miniature is still in the possession of Spears descendants. West is known to have painted only one other miniature, that of Margaretta Preston Brown of Frankfort, in whose home he is thought to have first seen the work of Gilbert Stuart, which he imitated in a portrait of Mrs. Brown’s brother-in-law, Dr. Samuel Brown, in 1805. During the first decade of the nineteenth...

    • 1835–1865: The Invention of Photography and the Coming of War
      (pp. 43-65)

      Several types of itinerant artists can be identified in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley by the trails left behind by their works. Seasonal itinerants from the northern Ohio River Valley worked in the deep South during the warmer winter months. Conversely, painters seeking to escape the intense heat of New Orleans pursued work in Kentucky during its more temperate summer, notably the team of Moïse and Fowler. Several well-established artists from northern, urban centers also pursued itinerancies in Cincinnati and Kentucky, drawn either by the potential for wealthy clients, as in the case of G. P. A. Healy, or...

    • 1865–1920: Exhibitions, Collecting, and International Trends
      (pp. 67-96)

      In March 1865 Congress established the Freedmen’s Bureau as a means of addressing the needs of African-Americans in the former slave states. In Kentucky, the Bureau established offices in Lexington, Louisville, and Paducah under General Clinton Fisk. Fisk reported to Congress that he had seen thirteen black soldiers whipped and two blinded in an attack in Lexington. There were reports of other assaults throughout the state. These episodes and the larger social issue of how the races could coexist in the postbellum world attracted the attention of two artists who had previously made their living by painting portraits but who...


    • WILLIAM APTHORP ADAMS (1797–1878)
      (pp. 99-99)

      Edna whitley notes that the man announcing himself as R. A. Adams, a portrait painter, in the Paris, Kentucky,Western Citizenin 1848 is probably William Apthorp Adams. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Seth and Elizabeth Apthorp Adams, kin of John Adams, one of America’s Founding Fathers. The family migrated to Ohio around 1820. Adams began painting portraits in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1822 while reading law. During this time he became an itinerant portraitist and an associate of Thomas Cole (1801–1848), the noted landscape painter who was then in Steubenville, Ohio. Adams and Cole maintained their friendship...

    • BRUNO ALBERTS (1888–1970)
      (pp. 100-100)

      Bruno alberts, the younger brother of the artist John Alberts Jr., was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He studied with Frank Duveneck at the Cincinnati Art Academy from 1905 to 1908. He was active as a painter of landscape work in the local impressionist vernacular in Louisville, 1910–1935, where he was closely associated with the circle of Paul Plaschke. His paintingPaul Plaschke Painting Outdoorswas exhibited at the University of Kentucky Art Museum in 1981. When his brother became incapacitated in 1918, he became his principal caregiver. After John Alberts Jr. died in 1931, Bruno moved his family to...

    • JOHN BERNARD ALBERTS JR. (1886–1931)
      (pp. 101-102)

      John alberts jr.’s father owned a glass shop on First Street between Green and Walnut (present Liberty and Muhammad Ali) in Louisville where he designed stained-glass windows, a craft his son began to practice while still a teenager. Alberts studied with Frank Duveneck at the Cincinnati Art Academy for three years (1906–1909), where he also acquired a love for Diego Velásquez’s rich tonalities and painterly brushwork. Like other Duveneck pupils, he developed an artistically nurturing relationship with his master teacher, spending much time in Duveneck’s Covington studio and corresponding with Duveneck frequently upon Alberts’s return to Louisville. Alberts then...

    • FRANCIS ALEXANDER (1800–1881)
      (pp. 103-104)

      Francis alexander was born in Killington, Connecticut, to Neil and Esther Smith Alexander, a prosperous farming family. A precocious talent, he began to paint when, according to Henry Tuckerman, “on account of a slight indisposition, he was struck with the beautiful colors of some fish he had caught, and attempted to reproduce them in water-color.” Through the benefices of a local attorney, Prescott Hall, he pursued his studies in New York, 1820–1821, with Alexander Robinson. From 1821 to 1823 he was active in Providence, Rhode Island, where the patronage of Mrs. James B. Mason led to commissions to paint...

    • WILLIAM C. ALLEN (ca. 1810–1854)
      (pp. 105-105)

      William c. allen’s origins are unknown, although he was probably in Kentucky because of the presence of the extended family of his sister, Mrs. William Burton. He was active in Louisville 1838–1845. Allen painted the portrait of Boone shown here (Fig. 80) in late 1839 and offered it to the state House of Representatives for the House’s chamber; the offer was accepted in 1840. (A motion to pay Allen $500 for his efforts was tabled.) After exhibiting in Cincinnati in 1841, he went south to New Orleans. He advertised as a portraitist in the March 20, 1842,New Orleans...

    • JEAN AUBREY (1810–1893)
      (pp. 106-106)

      John auberg was born in Kassel, Germany, and subsequently active in Paris at the court of Louis Philippe, ca. 1838. While a resident of France, he took the French form of his name. He fled France during the revolutionary year of 1848 to work in Italy. Connections among the large German population of Cincinnati induced his migration to that city in 1853. Once there, he became known for his religious scenes, especially a large altarpiece he created for Holy Trinity Church, West Fifth at Mound Street, since destroyed. He advertised for portrait work in several locations between 1854 and 1869....

    • JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1785–1851)
      (pp. 107-107)

      John james audubon was born in Les Cayes, Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), to Captain Jean Audubon and a young woman named Rabin to whom the captain was not married and who died soon after the infant’s birth. His early years have been the subject of much speculation, including the mythic account that he was the lost Dauphin of France. Captain Audubon took the boy to France and legally adopted him in 1794. As to training, Audubon is said to have studied in Paris with Jacques-Louis David, ca. 1802; and to have worked with John Stein, an early Natchez, Mississippi, artist, ca....

    • JAMES HENRY BEARD (1812–1893)
      (pp. 108-109)

      James henry beard was born in Buffalo, New York, to Captain James and Harriet Wolcott Beard. He migrated west with his family to Ohio, ca. 1819, and lived in Lorain, Geauga, and Lake Counties prior to settling in Painesville, Ohio, in 1821. After his father’s death in 1823 the eleven-year-old boy assumed support of his family by his craft, receiving instruction from a local schoolmaster, named Senter, before working with an itinerant limner, Jarvis Frary Hanks, ca. 1827. In the autumn of 1828 Beard began an itinerancy in the Western Reserve that ended in Pittsburgh in October 1829. While in...

    • GEORGE CALEB BINGHAM (1811–1879)
      (pp. 110-111)

      George caleb bingham was born in Augusta County, Virginia, to Henry Vest and Mary Amend Bingham, and migrated to Franklin, Missouri, with his parents in 1819. There his father opened a tavern; he eventually became a judge. Young Bingham became an apprentice to a cabinetmaker in 1827 but had already shown an interest in painting, copying engravings in a primitive manner with homemade pigments. He is claimed to have had some early instruction from Chester Harding when Harding was in Missouri to paint Daniel Boone. Bingham began to paint portraits in 1830, pursuing a Missouri itinerancy, during which time, ca....

    • CHARLES V. BOND (ca. 1826–after 1864)
      (pp. 112-113)

      According to a passport application made in 1856, Charles V. Bond was born in Rutland, Vermont; his birth date is obscured by a ship’s passenger list. He is identified by research at the National Gallery as having been twenty-two in 1848. He may have been the child of Eliel Bond, later identified in city directories as an innkeeper in Eaton County, Michigan, where the young Bond attracted attention in Detroit as a fledgling portraitist in 1840. TheWestern Statesmanof Marshall, Michigan, July 16, 1840, praises him as a “precocious genius in portrait painting” at the age of fifteen, who...

    • ALEXANDER BRADFORD (1791–1827)
      (pp. 114-114)

      Alexander bradford was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, to Austin and Elizabeth Hord Bradford, with whom he migrated to Newtown, Scott County, Kentucky, ca. 1807. He is listed as resident in Georgetown in the federal census for 1810 and 1820. His kinsman John Bradford ran the first printing press in Kentucky and served as chairman of the board of Transylvania University in Lexington. The Transylvania connection has caused speculation that Bradford may have been familiar with both George Beck and Matthew Harris Jouett, speculation enhanced by his clear appropriation of Jouett’s neoclassical format. What little is known of his career...

    • CARL CHRISTIAN BRENNER (1838–1888)
      (pp. 115-115)

      Carl christian brenner was born in Lauterecken, in Bavaria, Germany, on August 10, 1838, the son of a wine merchant, Frederick Brenner. He studied in Germany with Philip Frolig, a minor German Romantic practitioner. Like many other craftsmen, he was displaced by the revolutions of 1848 in Germany; he migrated to New Orleans in 1853, where there was a strong German presence in the arts community. He journeyed upriver to Louisville in 1854, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1864 Brenner married Ann Glass, with whom he had six children, including the artist Carolus Brenner. Carl...

    • CAROLUS BRENNER (1865–1929)
      (pp. 116-116)

      Carolus brenner was born in Louisville, the eldest son of the painter Carl Christian Brenner (Fig. 87). His father sent him abroad to study in the mid-1880s. He was a student at the Munich Art Academy and then pursued sketching expeditions to Vienna, Paris, and the Dutch countryside. Brenner returned to Louisville after his father’s death in 1888; there, in 1891, he painted a very striking three-quarter-length portrait of Captain William I. Hunt in military attire. That he was not terribly interested in portraiture may be ascertained from the extant numbers of still-life paintings in the sober Munich-school mood he...

    • JOSEPH HENRY BUSH (1794–1865)
      (pp. 117-119)

      Joseph henry bush was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, but grew to maturity in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he worked with his father, Philip, a sign painter and innkeeper. Having attracted attention for his early abilities as a portrait painter, he was dispatched to Philadelphia in the company of his patron, Henry Clay, to work with Thomas Sully, 1814–1817. Bush remained in Philadelphia until 1817; that year he returned to Lexington and exhibited several works in Matthew Harris Jouett’s premises that were based on old master precedents. William and George Rogers Clark were among Bush’s most important early sitters in...

    • THOMAS CAMPBELL (ca. 1790–ca. 1858)
      (pp. 120-121)

      Thomas campbell is said to have been born in Scotland, though his birth and death dates conflict in two critical sources. He is first noted in this country in Baltimore in 1832, announced by a local newspaper as having arrived from Edinburgh. Campbell joined the lithographer Colin Milne in a printing business in 1834, while also acting as an agent for medicinal products, notably Morrison’s Hygeian Medicine. From 1835 to 1851 he moved between Louisville and Cincinnati and was one of the most peripatetic itinerant artists of the era. In his capacity as an agent for Morrison’s, he visited Louisville...

      (pp. 122-123)

      Washington bogart cooper was born near Jonesboro, Washington County, Tennessee, to James and Elizabeth Bogart Cooper, and raised in Carthage and Shelbyville, Tennessee. According to family lore, he studied with Ralph E. W. Earl, a portraitist and kinsman of Andrew Jackson, in Murfreesboro, 1822. He relocated to Nashville in 1830, where he was based for the remainder of his professional career. His younger brother, the artist William Browning Cooper, once reported him as having worked with Thomas Sully and Henry Inman during a trip east in 1831. Cooper kept a detailed account book of portrait commissions, of which the years...

      (pp. 124-124)

      William browning cooper was born near Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee, to James and Elizabeth Bogart Cooper. With the generous assistance of his brother, the painter Washington Bogart Cooper, he attended the National Academy of Design, 1832. Cooper returned to Nashville in 1832, moved to Memphis in 1834, then departed for Europe for a study tour, 1835–1838. Upon his return he worked as an itinerant based in Memphis from 1840 to 1853; he then moved back to Nashville in 1854, continuing an itinerancy that included Memphis, Columbia, Tennessee, and northern Alabama. He also worked in Washington, painting his fellow Tennesseans,...

    • AARON HOUGHTON CORWINE (1802–1830)
      (pp. 125-125)

      Aaron houghton corwine was born in Mason County, Kentucky, to Amos Corwine and his wife. He was given some instruction by J. Turner, an itinerant working in Maysville, in 1817, and also studied with Thomas Sully in Philadelphia, 1819–1820. Corwine was resident in Cincinnati after 1820, while also active in northern Kentucky, 1818–1825. In 1825 he painted Andrew Jackson while Jackson was visiting Cincinnati. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy, 1821–1822 and 1828–1829, and at the National Academy of Design in 1830. He traveled to England in 1829 for further study, but became ill and died...

    • RESON B. CRAFFT (ca. 1809–after 1877)
      (pp. 126-127)

      There is much confusing information about the self-taught itinerant variously known as Resin B. Craft, Reasoner Crafft, and R. B. Crofft. According to census records, he was born in Ohio. He is first reported as a portraitist in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1836–1844, where he painted Robert Filson. Noted as working in Louisville and Madison County, Kentucky, 1845, Crafft later worked in Iowa, 1847, and in Ohio in the early 1850s. He returned to Louisville in 1853. An extant portrait of two children in the Valentine family, signed and dated on the rear “R B Crafft, 1864,” may be a...

      (pp. 128-129)

      Patrick henry davenport was born in Danville, Kentucky, at the Indian Queen Tavern, which was operated by his parents, Richard and Elizabeth Tadlock Davenport. He was largely self-taught, although he may have had some experience working with Matthew Jouett and is reputed to have assisted Oliver Frazer in painting the full-length portrait of George Washington for the old State Capitol in 1838. Though there has been speculation that he began painting portraits at the age of fifteen, his first dated works are from the early 1820s. Davenport married Eliza Ann Bohannon in Vicksburg in 1827, and thereafter his presence and...

    • SAMUEL H. DEARBORN (ca. 1786–1852)
      (pp. 130-131)

      Samuel h. dearborn was born in Boston, the son of Benjamin Dearborn. He was apprenticed to a wood engraver, Abel Bowen of Boston, and then worked in Pittsburgh 1804–1805 as a miniaturist. Dearborn was active in northern Ohio, 1805–1809, before he appeared in Lexington, Kentucky, May 1, 1809, according to an advertisement in theKentucky Gazette.During this time he was boarding in Frankfort with the widow of Thomas Love, Elizabeth Young Love, of whom he made two profile portraits, as well as portraits of all her children. He also made a rough watercolor sketch of a view...

    • MANUEL JOACHIM DE FRANCA (1808–1865)
      (pp. 132-133)

      Manuel joachim de franca was born in Oporto, Portugal, to a family of wine merchants. He is said to have been a student in Lisbon at the Royal Art Academy, but he fled civil unrest in Portugal in 1827, embarking for America and landing in Philadelphia. Once there he became an associate of Thomas Sully, ca. 1830, who admired his work and recommended him to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While in Philadelphia de Franca married Mahaloth Dawson, with whom he moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was active from 1830 to 1838 as a painter of Roman Catholic...

    • JOHN WOOD DODGE (1807–1893)
      (pp. 134-134)

      Born in new york, John Wood Dodge was apprenticed to a sign painter, but he began to paint miniatures following study at the National Academy of Design, 1826–1827. Because of a respiratory ailment he moved south for the more moderate climate, arriving in Nashville in 1840. For the next ten years he used that base to launch a career as an itinerant. He worked in central Kentucky, 1839–1849, and wintered in New Orleans, 1848–1849. Although known primarily as a miniaturist, he painted several portraits “in small,” including one of Henry Clay with his dog beneath a tree...

    • ALONZO DOUGLASS (ca. 1810–1886)
      (pp. 135-135)

      Mary sayre haverstock et al. report that Alonzo Douglass was born in the District of Columbia, although Edna Talbott Whitley records it as someplace in Georgia, prompting the nickname “Georgia Coulas.” He was in Cincinnati by 1829 and was intermittently active there until 1853. Douglass worked with Aaron Houghton Corwine in 1828, during which time he is likely to have painted a portrait of James Morsell (Fig. 103). This portrait is a stunning tribute to Corwine, as the large format and vivid coloration closely resemble that artist’s work. It is interesting to consider (though it is mere speculation) whether the...

    • ROBERT SCOTT DUNCANSON (1821–1872)
      (pp. 136-137)

      Robert scott duncanson was born in Fayette, New York, to Lucy and John Dean Duncanson, descendents of freed slaves from Virginia, according to Joseph Ketner. Previous oral history had assigned his birth to a Scotsman and a mulatto woman, as repeated by Rayford Logan and Michael Winston. Duncanson was reputed to have had some early education in Canada and was known to have worked with his father as a house and ornamental painter in Monroe, Michigan, until he moved in 1841 to Mt. Healthy, just outside Cincinnati. Once there, he began a career as a portraitist, although he also began...

    • FRANK DUVENECK (1848–1919)
      (pp. 138-139)

      Frank duveneck was born in Covington, Kentucky, to Bernard and Katherine Siemers Decker, emigrants from Oldenburg, Westphalia, Germany. When his father died soon after Frank’s birth, his mother married Joseph Duveneck, who adopted the child and gave him his name. Duveneck’s mother was a devout Roman Catholic who had served as a maid in the home of the artist James Henry Beard. She attempted to direct her son’s budding artistic talent to the church. Joe Duveneck was a prosperous grocer and brewer whose beer garden was one of the centers of German life in the transriver area. Frank was apprenticed...

    • JOSEPH ORIEL EATON (1829–1875)
      (pp. 140-141)

      Joseph oriel eaton was born in Newark, Ohio, to Orin and Mary Fidler Eaton. According to Wilbur Peat, Eaton ran away from home in 1845 with two early works he had painted, a portrait of George Washington and one of the local Methodist minister. The portrait of Washington he sold as a tavern sign. Making his way to Indianapolis on the proceeds, he set up as a portraitist, charging five dollars apiece, and attracted the patronage of Dr. Abner Pope, who introduced him to Jacob Cox. He became a pupil-assistant to Cox in Indianapolis, 1845, then moved on to Cincinnati...

    • CLEMENT R. EDWARDS (1820–1898)
      (pp. 142-142)

      Clement r. edwards was born in Woodstown, New Jersey, and moved, with his family, to Cincinnati in 1830. After an apprenticeship as a sign painter in 1837, he opened a portrait studio there in 1840. In 1842 he pursued additional training in Philadelphia. Edwards joined the army in 1847 and, while serving in the Voltigeur Regiment during the Mexican War, he made sketches and studies for a subsequent painting of Chapultepec Castle, now in the Filson collection. Following the war he returned to Cincinnati, 1848, and resumed his portrait career there until 1856. He was active as an itinerant in...

    • AARON C. ESHELMAN (1826–1878)
      (pp. 143-143)

      Aaron c. eshelman was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was active as an itinerant in Bourbon, Fleming, Harrison, and Montgomery Counties, ca. 1845–1874 (Fig. 109). His only listing in the census records is from 1860, when he was recorded as living in Shawhan, northeast Bourbon County. There are many of his works extant in the area where he worked, and he was especially admired for his images of children. His portrait of Lena Benton, thought to have been painted in 1874, is reproduced in Arthur Jones and Bruce Weber’sKentucky Painter,who commented that Eshelman’s “sitters appear awkward because...

    • TREVOR THOMAS FOWLER (1800–1871)
      (pp. 144-145)

      Trevor thomas fowler was born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at the Royal Academy, London, 1829, and at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 1830. He made his first trip to America in 1830 and established a studio in New Orleans, at 10 St. Charles, which he would maintain for the rest of his life. He garnered considerable public notice in 1840 when he painted portraits of William Henry Harrison and Henry Clay, rivals in the presidential election of that year, as well as a portrait of Andrew Jackson. Active as an itinerant in the Mississippi River Valley, 1840–1854, with...

      (pp. 146-147)

      Godfrey nicholas frankenstein was born in Darmstadt, Germany, the second son of John and Anna Dracht. He emigrated with his parents to Cincinnati in 1831, at which time his father changed the family name to Frankenstein, in accord with their German point of origin. He began his career as a self-taught portraitist in residence on Foote’s Row, Cincinnati, 1838. It is likely he was painted by his brother John, who was then engaged in scholarly studies, not long after. Frankenstein made a study excursion to Niagara Falls in 1840, and the falls became one of the most frequently repeated scenes...

      (pp. 148-148)

      John peter frankenstein was born in Darmstadt, Germany, the eldest son of John and Anna Dracht, with whom he emigrated to Cincinnati in 1831. Although briefly apprenticed as a copper engraver there in 1833, he, like his brother Godfrey, became a self-taught portraitist, active on Foote’s Row in Cincinnati, 1836–1838. Between 1838 and 1843 he pursued an itinerancy in Boston, Albany, Philadelphia, and New York. At the same time, from 1839 to 1844, he was also active in Louisville, especially in 1839, painting members of the extended Rowan family. From 1849 to 1854 Frankenstein was based near his family,...

    • OLIVER FRAZER (1808–1864)
      (pp. 149-150)

      Oliver frazer was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, to Alexander and Nancy Oliver Frazer. The Frazer brothers, Alexander and Robert, had emigrated from Ireland in the aftermath of Emmet’s Rebellion of 1803. After landing in Philadelphia, they moved west to Paris, Kentucky, where they became established silversmiths. Alexander moved to Lexington and married on December 20, 1804, but died in 1810, leaving the care of his young son to his brother, Robert. Oliver Frazer had some exposure to Matthew Harris Jouett, 1826, and briefly studied with Thomas Sully (ca. 1828) in Philadelphia before traveling abroad in 1834 to study in...

    • WILLIAM FRYE (GEORGE WILHELM FREY) (1812 or 1819–1872)
      (pp. 151-152)

      William frye was born George Wilhelm Frey in Reslau, Germany, but he was reared in Vienna, where his father was a wholesale cloth manufacturer. He began his art studies in Prague, and while there, according to Minnie Frye Coleman, he “became fascinated with Fenimore Cooper’s stories of the noble red man, and determined to journey to the new world to see them.” Upon landing in New York, he appealed to his cousin Count Johan Schmidt for letters of introduction. Schmidt recommended him to George D. Prentice in Louisville, and Frye joined the German community there in 1845, becoming active as...

    • JACOB FRYMIRE (1770–1820)
      (pp. 153-153)

      Jacob frymire was an itinerant portrait artist active in Winchester, Virginia, the tidewater and valley areas of Virginia, and in Woodford County, Kentucky, in 1806, where he painted members of the Marquis Calmes family. Fewer than thirty of his works are known to be extant.

      Collections: chm, mesda; literature: Simmons, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts....

    • EDWIN F. GODDARD (ca. 1815–1855)
      (pp. 154-154)

      Edwin f. goddard was born in Massachusetts and was in Kentucky by 1839, working in Madison and Scott Counties, then in Bourbon County, ca. 1847–1855, painting members of the extended Ford, Spears, Clay, and Howard families. Goddard married Eleanor Lins of Sharpsburg, Kentucky, on April 11, 1836, with whom he had three daughters. His obituary from the September 7, 1855,Western Citizennotes that he died at his residence in Paris, Kentucky, “a man of rare genius and master of his profession as a portrait painter.” Works attributed to him by Edna Talbott Whitley include a portrait of Mary...

    • SOPHIE DEBUTTS GRAY (1854–1942)
      (pp. 155-156)

      Sophie debutts gray was born in Baltimore, the daughter of John Thompson Gray Jr. and Caroline DeButts Gray of Baltimore, who had married in 1850. She studied in Baltimore with Benjamin West at the Maryland Mechanical Institute, and later in New York with Elliott Daingerfield. She exhibited work in Baltimore, Chicago, Washington (Corcoran Gallery), and New Orleans. She was a member of the Louisville Art League, whose gold medal she won at their first exhibition for her workA Little Mountain Girl. Though she was prolific and well known locally in her lifetime, works by her are now seldom seen,...

    • JOHN GRIMES (1799–1837)
      (pp. 157-158)

      Samuel woodson price wrote of John Grimes as a waif who just appeared in Lexington in the early 1820s; but his mother, Mary Sourbray, is known to have been part of a Pennsylvania family who had settled in Lexington in 1790. There is no mention of a father, and after 1801 Grimes’s maternal family moved to Dayton, where his grandfather, George Sourbray, became a merchant under the name Sowerbright. When he died in 1811 his will directed that his grandsons, including Grimes, be apprenticed to tradesmen. Accordingly, the boy was apprenticed to Thomas Grant in Lexington, whose wife, Mary, was...

    • CHESTER HARDING (1792–1866)
      (pp. 159-160)

      Chester harding was born in Conway, Massachusetts, the fourth child of Abiel and Olive Smith Harding. In 1802 the family moved to New York state, where Harding and his brother Horace became cabinetmakers and decorative painters in Caledonia. He married Caroline Woodruff in 1815; and, though industrious, he failed in his efforts to support his family, incurred sufficient debt to face the threat of prison, and fled downriver on a flatboat to Pittsburgh and then on to Kentucky. The Harding family arrived in Paris, Kentucky, in 1818 at the invitation of his brother Horace, also an artist. Harding’s daughter, Ophelia,...

    • HORACE HARDING (1794–after 1857)
      (pp. 161-161)

      Horace harding was born in Conway, Massachusetts, the fifth child of Abiel and Olive Smith Harding and brother of Chester Harding. He traveled west and established himself in Paris, Kentucky, in 1817 as a painter of portraits and fancy chairs. From his base in Paris he made itinerant excursions to Cincinnati, 1819, and Vincennes, Indiana, 1820. After his brother left Paris, Horace became a wandering itinerant, noted in Mobile, Alabama, 1822, and in southern Ohio until 1834, after which he was resident in Cincinnati until 1840, when he moved to New York. While in Cincinnati he made trips to New...

      (pp. 162-163)

      George peter alexander healy was born in Boston to William Healy, a sea captain, and Mary Hicks Healy. After his father’s early death he established a portrait studio in Boston at the age of eighteen and attracted the patronage of Mrs. Harrison Gray Otis, completing enough commissions to travel abroad for further study. He studied in Paris, 1834–1836, with Thomas Couture and Baron Gros; while there he became friends with the Kentuckian Oliver Frazer, of whom Healy said, “Of all my fellow students he is the one who lives most deeply in my affectionate remembrance.” Healy was in London,...

      (pp. 164-165)

      Ella hergesheimer was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Potter and Elamanda Hergesheimer and the great-great-granddaughter of the distinguished American painter Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827), for whose daughter, her ancestor Sophonisba, she was named. Any natural ability Hergesheimer may have inherited was more than refined by her studies with two of the premier artists of their day, William Merrit Chase and Cecilia Beaux, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1900–1903. Beaux’s work, especially her rather Whistlerian portraits, seem to have deeply impressed the young artist. Hergesheimer won the Cresson Traveling Scholarship in 1904, which enabled...

    • BENONI IRWIN (1840–1896)
      (pp. 166-167)

      Benoni irwin was born in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, to Jared and Lydia Kennedy Irwin. While Lydia Irwin was pregnant, her husband was captured and imprisoned for his participation in the McKenzie Rebellion against the British. When their child was born, she named him Ben-Oni, from the Old Testament story of Jacob, the name meaning “son of my sorrows.” Respecting his father’s wishes, Irwin entered McGill University and graduated with an engineering degree. At around the same time he met and married Elizabeth de Bonheur, who bore him a daughter a year later and then died of consumption. After Elizabeth’s death...

    • JOHN WESLEY JARVIS (1781–1840)
      (pp. 168-168)

      John wesley jarvis was born in South Shields, England, a kinsman of John Wesley, the Methodist reformer. He arrived in New York in 1785 and moved on to Philadelphia, ca. 1789; while in Philadelphia he became acquainted with Matthew Pratt, an important colonial sign and portrait painter. By 1800 he was back in New York, where he was apprenticed to David Edwin, a student of Edward Savage. Jarvis worked with Edward Malbone, creating eglomise (painted glass) miniatures heightened with gold before 1807, when he was in Philadelphia assisting Thomas Sully. He began regular periods of itinerancy in the South in...

    • PHILIP OSKAR JENKINS (ca. 1818?–after 1880)
      (pp. 169-169)

      Philip oskar jenkins is thought to have been born in Kentucky, though precious little is known of his life. Census records identify him; his wife, Jemima Ingram; and his three children as living in Christian County, Kentucky, in 1860. He is noted as an itinerant working in Simpson County, Kentucky, 1860–1865. By 1870 he and his family were living in Washington, D.C., where his profession is listed as “portrait painter.” He is last noted in the 1880 Washington, D.C., census. Though he may have known the William Reads from his days in western Kentucky, his signature on the back...

    • HARVEY JOINER (1852–1932)
      (pp. 170-171)

      Harvey joiner was born in Charlestown, Indiana, the son of Charles and Elizabeth Joiner, with whom he soon moved to Memphis, Indiana, where his father was a metalsmith. In 1868 he began working on boats in the bayous of Louisiana, where he is said to have made sketches of African-American workmen. Returning north to St. Louis in 1874, he made the acquaintance of a German portrait painter, David Hoffman, from whom he received some instruction and whom he assisted in making portraits. From 1875 to 1880 Joiner was active as an itinerant portraitist and church interior painter in southern Illinois...

    • MATTHEW HARRIS JOUETT (1788–1827)
      (pp. 172-173)

      Matthew harris jouett was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to Jack and Sally Robards Jouett. His father was a hero of the Revolution who alerted Charlottesville to Tarleton’s raid. He studied law at Transylvania University, Lexington, 1804–1808, with George Bibb, and upon his graduation married Margaret Henderson Allen, May 25, 1812. He enlisted in the Third Mounted Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers, in the War of 1812. Jouett assumed the responsibility to replace $6,000 of his regiment’s missing payroll funds lost in the Battle of River Raisin, a fact always noted as motivating him to become a portraitist. Jouett resigned from the...

    • JAMES REID LAMBDIN (1807–1889)
      (pp. 175-175)

      James reid lambdin was born in Pittsburgh to James and Prudence Lambdin. He was apprenticed to a sign painter and wood engraver, Edward Miles of Pittsburgh, ca. 1820, and then worked briefly with Thomas Sully in Philadelphia, 1823. He established a natural history museum, like that of Charles Willson Peale in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh in 1823, remaining in that city until 1832, when he relocated, with the contents of his museum, to Louisville, Kentucky. While in Louisville he was in correspondence with William Dunlap, who acknowledged that for “much valuable information respecting the arts and artists of the west I...

    • THOMAS LECLEAR (1818–1882)
      (pp. 176-177)

      Thomas leclear was born in Oswego, New York. Largely self-taught, he had some studies in New York. He was first active in Oswego, then in New York City, 1845–1847, and in Buffalo, 1848–1861. While in Buffalo he became much sought after for his portraits of children, and he also painted several genre works on the theme of childhood. LeClear relocated to Brooklyn in 1861, but he continued his strong ties with the Buffalo art community, especially with the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, which he helped found in 1862 using the proceeds from his successful art exhibition the year...

    • NICOLA MARSCHALL (1829–1917)
      (pp. 178-179)

      Nicola marschall was born in St. Wendel, Rhenish Prussia, to Emanuel Marschall, a prosperous tobacco and wine merchant, and his wife, Margaret Mohr. He was reputed to have had some training at the Düsseldorf Academy in Germany prior to his arrival in New Orleans in 1849. After a brief sojourn in Mobile, Alabama, Marschall settled in Marion, Alabama, where he taught art and music and worked as a portrait painter. By 1851 he was an art, music, and language (French and German) instructor at the Marion Female Seminary. He returned to Europe in 1857 for further studies at Düsseldorf and...

    • JOSEPH MASON (1802–1842)
      (pp. 180-181)

      Joseph mason was born in Delaware, Ohio, son of Joseph Wilson Mason, a prosperous bookseller. (There has been some confusion about Mason’s birth and death dates; Edna Talbott Whitley seems to have conflated the census records of Joseph Mason with Joseph R. Mason, 1807–1882, who also lived in southern Ohio.) He first studied with John James Audubon at the Western Academy in Cincinnati. Audubon was so impressed by Mason’s skill as a draftsman that he invited the youth to accompany him to the lower Mississippi River Valley, drawing landscape and floral details for the bird pictures. In his notes...

      (pp. 182-183)

      Magdalen harvie mcdowell was born in Louisville, the daughter of Maria Hawkins Harvie and Dr. William Adair McDowell. She spent most of her life at Ashland, the Henry Clay home in Lexington, which had passed into the female line, of which she was a member. While few details are known of her biography, there are several extant paintings by her at Ashland, and there is also evidence that she collaborated in the design of several houses in the Aylesford area of Lexington. The paintings of her relations at Ashland would appear to be drawn from life, have an impressionistic coloration,...

    • THEODORE SIDNEY MOÏSE (1806–1883)
      (pp. 184-185)

      Theodore sidney moïse was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to Abraham and Sarah Moïse, Jewish refugees from the slave revolt in Saint-Domingue. Self-taught, he began to paint portraits in Charleston while apprenticed to a cotton factor and opened a studio in Charleston in 1835. He then worked as an itinerant in Woodville, Mississippi, 1836–1841, prior to establishing a permanent base in New Orleans, 1841. Moïse pursued an itinerancy in Louisville and Frankfort, Kentucky, 1845–1850, often in partnership with Trevor Thomas Fowler. Their work is easily identified by a standard compositional convention, the placement of a view of a...

    • LOUIS MORGAN (1814–1852)
      (pp. 186-187)

      Louis morgan was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1814 and moved with his family to Pittsburgh in 1830, where he was apprenticed to a chair painter. Although largely self-taught, he did meet William Wall, an English artist, in Pittsburgh, who offered him encouragement and gave him some instruction. Morgan was commissioned by James Barton Longacre and James Herring to paint Simon Kenton for theirNational Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americansin late 1834, an accolade that signaled a revival of interest in figures of the first frontier. Morgan found Kenton in Zanesfield, living in obscurity in a squalid cabin....

    • GEORGE W. MORRISON (1820–1893)
      (pp. 188-189)

      George w. morrison was born in Baltimore and is thought to have had some early art instruction with Rembrandt and Raphael Peale in the museum at 225 North Holiday Street that they opened in 1814. Morrison’s obituary in theNew Albany Daily Ledger,December 21, 1893, states that he went from “Baltimore to Connersville, Ind., while a youth.” In Connersville he began painting portraits; and in 1843 he moved to New Albany, where “he established himself as an artist, and his life has been spent in this city and at Louisville where for a number of years he had art...

    • JOHN MULVANY (1844–1906)
      (pp. 190-190)

      John mulvany was born in Ireland and arrived, by some accounts, in New York in 1856 and had early training at the National Academy of Design, where he worked as a cleanup boy. Following action in the Civil War, he went to Europe and studied in Düsseldorf, Munich, and Antwerp. The historical genre paintings of Karl Piloty of Munich and the battle paintings of Nicaise de Keyser of Antwerp greatly influenced his work, as did the military portraiture of French painter Jean Meissonier. By 1871 Mulvany was back in the United States. He established a studio in Chicago, where he...

    • JOHN NEAGLE (1796–1865)
      (pp. 191-192)

      John neagle was born in Boston to Maurice and Susannah Taylor Neagle. His father died when Neagle was four. He received some early instruction from Edward Petticolas and during grammar school took drawing lessons from a local Italian master, Pietro Ancora. He was then apprenticed to Thomas Wilson, a coach and ornamental painter, who was also working with the portraitist Bass Otis. While still a student Neagle came to the attention of Thomas Sully and Charles Willson Peale, who encouraged him. He began activity as an itinerant in Kentucky in 1818, but discouraged by Jouett’s dominance as portraitist of choice,...

    • VICTOR NEHLIG (1830–1909)
      (pp. 193-193)

      Victor nehlig was born in Paris, France, where he studied with Léon Cogniet. He opened a studio in New York in 1856 and made several painting trips to Cuba in the 1850s and 1860s. Nehlig visited Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1870 to obtain material on Daniel Boone with an eye toward public commissions. He, his wife, and their three children are listed in the 1870 New York census. He was made an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1870. In the decade of the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 he was much admired as a history painter, often praised for...

      (pp. 194-194)

      Thomas satterwhite Noble was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Thomas Hart and Rosamond Johnson Noble. After some juvenile studies with Samuel Woodson Price in Louisville in 1852, he went to Paris, France, in 1856, where he studied for three years with Thomas Couture. After returning to America in 1859 he was active as a portraitist in St. Louis, where his family had moved just before the outbreak of the Civil War. During the war he served with Confederate forces as an engineer building ropewalks, the family business, in the lower Mississippi Valley. After the war and a brief residency in...

    • ASA PARK (1790–1827)
      (pp. 195-196)

      Asa park was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on August 2, 1790, to Joshua and Lois Fuller Park, one of ten children. He first advertised himself in theLexington Reporter,November 10, 1816, as being from “Boston under the patronage of the celebrated Stuart and Penniman.” John Ritto Penniman was a sign and ornamental painter from whom Park would have learned the skills required to produce clear, semiotic images, broadly outlined and cast with that visual immediacy required of sign makers. Park may also have learned from Penniman the technique of placing the subject high on the planar field, usually in...

    • PAUL PLASCHKE (1880–1954)
      (pp. 197-197)

      Paul plaschke was born in Berlin, Germany, to Emil and Augusta Schnabel Plaschke, with whom he immigrated to New York in 1884. Emil Plaschke was a lithographer who came to this country to accept a position as foreman of the American Lithographic Company. An article in theKentucky Women’s Journalfor April 1917 notes that Paul studied at “Steven’s Institute, Hoboken, New Jersey, and was later a student of the Cooper Union Institute of Arts in New York.” He joined the Art Students League in 1897, where he studied with George Luks, whose textured naturalism helped shape the realism of...

      (pp. 198-198)

      James thomas poindexter was born in Christian County, Kentucky. A self-taught artist, he began his career in Christian County, painting local residents in the Nelson and Davie families (Fig. 137). He married Nancy Marshall in 1852 and later moved to Evansville, where he was active as a painter until 1860. Newspaper accounts report him as having worked as a telegraph operator in the South during the Civil War. He advertised as a portrait painter, with a studio on Camp Street in New Orleans, 1870–1871, and his work has been found in Grenada, Mississippi. After this sojourn in the South...

    • SAMUEL WOODSON PRICE (1828–1918)
      (pp. 199-200)

      Samuel woodson price was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, to Daniel and Eliza Crocket Price. He enrolled in the Kentucky Military Institute, 1846, and studied with William Redin, an English painter and architect active in central Kentucky, 1847. He also reported having had some lessons with Oliver Frazer. Price enrolled for further study in the Art Students League, New York, 1847–1849. He was active as a portraitist in Lexington, 1849–1851, and moved to Louisville, 1851, from which base he pursued an itinerancy in Tennessee and points south. Price was commissioned to paint Millard Fillmore’s portrait for the Fillmore...

    • WILLIAM HENRY REDIN JR. (1824–after 1872)
      (pp. 201-201)

      William henry redin jr. was born in Suffolk County, England, to William Henry and Martha Eliza Young Redin. The family migrated to America, ca. 1826, and were resident in Louisville by 1834. He is noted as painting in Jessamine County, Kentucky, ca. 1840, and as having given some lessons to the young Samuel Woodson Price in Lexington, ca. 1847. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, 1843–1844, and then returned to Louisville, where he was active as a portraitist until 1860. Few of his portraits have been recorded, but of those the large-scale paintings of...

      (pp. 202-203)

      Benjamin franklin reinhart was born near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. He studied at the National Academy of Design in 1847, and in Europe in Düsseldorf, Paris, and Rome, 1850–1853. He began itinerant activity in Ohio in the late 1840s and in the Mississippi Valley, 1853–1859, prior to setting up a studio in New Orleans, 1859–1862, notably in the “frame and picture shop of Hoffman.” He was in Georgetown, Kentucky, 1858. During this period before the Civil War he created several history paintings of note, includingHalt on the Prairie.Though reputed to have left New Orleans at the outbreak...

    • AURELIUS O. REVENAUGH (1840–1908)
      (pp. 204-204)

      Aurelius o. revenaugh was born in Zanesville, Ohio, to John and Clarinda Blake Revenaugh. He studied medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before enlisting in the Union Army Signal Corps during the Civil War. At the end of the war he married Lavinia Mason of Elmira, New York, and returned to Ann Arbor. In Detroit, he studied with John Mix Stanley, ca. 1865–1866, and began his career as a painter in Jackson, Michigan. He appeared in Louisville, 1886, where he was known as “a maker of portraits and violins,” resident in theCourier-Journalbuilding. He was also...

    • DIXIE SELDEN (1870–1935)
      (pp. 205-205)

      Dixie selden was born in Cincinnati to John and Martha Peyton McMillen Selden, with whom she soon moved to Covington, Kentucky, where she spent her childhood. Though northern by birth, and descended from Revolutionary War veterans in New York and Connecticut, both Selden parents were Southern in sympathy and named their daughter for D. D. Emmett’s rousing song “Dixie Land.” Southern sympathies and genealogical associations would remain lasting elements in Dixie Selden’s life, and they proved especially important in her lifelong friendship with the McDowell and Breckinridge families at Ashland, the Henry Clay home in Lexington, Kentucky. Having lost both...

    • WILLIAM STAMMS SHACKLEFORD (1815–after 1878)
      (pp. 206-206)

      William stamms shackleford was born most likely in Fleming County, Kentucky, to William S. and Sabina Metcalfe Shackleford, natives of Virginia, who were married in Bourbon County (which would have included Fleming County at that time) in February 1799. The legendary accounts of Shackleford’s having some early training with Matthew Harris Jouett are in dispute, although he could have worked with the sculptor Joel Tanner Hart in 1826, after his parents moved to Lexington. Like several others, he assisted Oliver Frazer with the monumental portrait of Washington for the old State Capitol in 1833–1834, possibly painting draperies or other...

      (pp. 207-208)

      Charles soule sr. (1809–1869) was born in Freeport, Maine, but was orphaned at an early age and raised in Chillicothe, Ohio, by his maternal uncle, the painter Joseph Thoits Moore (1796–1854), to whom he was apprenticed as a sign and ornamental painter. Mary Sayre Haverstock et al. report that Soule’s uncle Joseph “vehemently opposed his attempts at portrait painting” and that Soule “ran away from home in 1826.” However, considering that Moore himself spent the years 1825–1826 in Philadelphia, he seems unlikely to have provoked his nephew’s departure; instead, the move was more likely motivated by the...

    • RAPHAEL STRAUSS (1830–1901)
      (pp. 209-209)

      Raphael strauss was born in Bavaria. According to Edna Talbott Whitley, “his father sent him to Munich to study with a famous court painter.” He immigrated, with his wife, to Cincinnati in 1858, opening a studio in a building at the corner of John and Everett Streets, where he offered his services as a portraitist and as a tinter of photographs. As a tinter he entered a partnership with William Southgate Porter during the Civil War years. After the war Strauss began an itinerancy in central Kentucky. He was in Paris, Kentucky, several times between 1868 and 1873, painting the...

      (pp. 210-210)

      William francis ver bryck was born in New York City and studied at the National Academy of Design. He began making painting trips to Kentucky after 1851, including noted ones to Lexington, 1868; Louisville, 1869 and 1882; and Shelby County, 1873. While in Lexington in 1868 he worked from a studio at the Phoenix Hotel. George Washington Ranck notes that “no visiting artist ever met with as much success in Lexington as Mr. Ver Bryck.” Ver Bryck’s extant portraits in Kentucky offer an insight into the transition of styles in the postbellum era. His portrait of Sue Downs Harding dates...

      (pp. 211-212)

      Ferdinand graham walker was born in Mitchell, Indiana, near Louisville, the son of the Reverend Francis Walker and his wife, Elizabeth Graham Walker. He began his studies at DePauw College, Greenwood, Indiana. Reports that he also studied with Samuel Woodson Price are dubious, considering that Price was at that time the postmaster at Lexington. In 1883 Walker began his career as a portraitist by opening a studio in New Albany, Indiana, across the river from Louisville. With funds secured from those early commissions he traveled to Paris to study, 1885–1887. When he returned to America he worked in Washington,...

    • WILLIAM EDWARD WEST (1788–1857)
      (pp. 213-214)

      William edward west was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Sally Brown and Edward West, a silversmith, from whom he received early instruction. He kept a studio in Philadelphia, 1809–1817, during which time he worked with Thomas Sully. After 1817 he became active as an itinerant in the lower Mississippi River Valley, especially in Natchez and New Orleans, where a large body of his work is extant. One of his most notable works from this period is a refined painting of Joseph Emery Davis, eldest brother of Jefferson Davis, which is still at J. E. Davis’s Rosemont Plantation in Woodville,...

    • CHARLES SNEED WILLIAMS (1882–1964)
      (pp. 215-216)

      Charles sneed williams was born in Evansville, Indiana. He received his first recorded art instruction in Louisville, ca. 1905, from the Swiss painter Edward Biedermann (1864–1947). Biedermann specialized in landscape painting and was also a well-known illustrator of world fair sites, notably those in Chicago, 1893, and St. Louis, 1904. While in Louisville Williams learned of the Allan-Fraser Art School in Arboarth, Scotland, to which he applied for a scholarship. Patrick Allan-Fraser was a self-made Scottish millionaire who became an idealistic socialist, perhaps inspired by the late writings of John Ruskin and certainly by the Arts and Crafts aesthetic...

    • ROBERT BURNS WILSON (1851–1916)
      (pp. 217-217)

      Robert burns wilson was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and orphaned at an early age. He began a career as an itinerant artist in 1869 prior to a journey by canoe to Union County, Kentucky, in 1871. Once in Kentucky, he became active as a landscape painter and portraitist in Lexington, Frankfort, and Louisville. Many of his landscape paintings follow a certain compositional formula, although he did experiment with various paint mediums for luminous effect. Wilson also experimented with portrait techniques. His watercolor portraits of the Brown girls, at the Orlando Brown House, seem to be cutout copies of photographs,...

    • THOMAS WATERMAN WOOD (1823–1903)
      (pp. 218-219)

      Thomas waterman wood was born in Montpelier, Vermont, and thought to have had some early studies with Chester Harding in Boston. He established a portrait studio in New York, 1853–1855, and was an itinerant, 1855–1858, working in Quebec, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. He was in Paris, France, 1858–1859, copying old masters and studying art techniques. Wood relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1861, where he painted lush children’s portraits and began a career as a genre painter of African-Americans. He departed Nashville in 1863 because of a threat to the city by Union forces, and moved to Louisville,...

      (pp. 220-222)

      Thomas jefferson wright was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, to Israel Wright, a Welsh tailor, and his wife, Susannah Ferguson. His precocious talents came to the attention of the Howard family of Mt. Sterling, several of whom he was to paint. With their help he journeyed to Lexington in 1822 to meet Matthew Harris Jouett, at which time he asked for a letter of introduction to Thomas Sully in Philadelphia. Jouett obliged by writing to Sully that the “kindness with which you have heretofore honored my letters and commissions of every sort leaves but little ground to distrust the entire...

  9. APPENDIX: An Index of Artists in Edna Talbott Whitley’s Kentucky Ante-bellum Portraiture
    (pp. 223-226)
  10. NOTES
    (pp. 227-234)
    (pp. 235-236)
    (pp. 237-246)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 247-252)