F I N E P A I N T I N G S SCHWARZ F O U N D E D 1 9 3 0
P H I L A D E L P H I A
1806 Chestnut Street Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel 215 563 4887 Fax 215 561 5621 firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Dealers Association of America; Art and Antique Dealers League of America; CINOA
Philadelphia Collection LXXII
Copyright ©2003 The Schwarz Gallery
All rights reserved
Library of Congress Control Number: 2003096059
Editing: David Cassedy
Copyediting: Alison Rooney, Kate Royer Schubert
Design: Matthew North
Photography: Rick Echelmeyer
Color separations and printing: Piccari Press, Warminster, Pennsylvania
Paintings are offered subject to prior sale.
This is the first catalogue my son Robert has worked on from its beginnings since he joined the firm a little more than a
year ago, and I would like to thank him for his participation in every stage of its development, especially the implementation
of deadlines—an important consideration I sometimes lose sight of in my enthusiasm for other aspects of publishing a
catalogue. I also thank David Cassedy, who has not only written many of the entries and organized the catalogue, but has
also worked closely with the seven other scholars who have contributed essays. Their biographies appear at the end of the
catalogue; I thank them here for the impressive quality of their research and writing.
Matthew North is remarkable, not only for his handsome design of the catalogue, but also for the computer skills that went
into nearly every aspect of its production. Christine Poole and Nathan Rutkowski are the Gallery’s newest employees and
two of the most willing we have ever had. They have brought their enthusiasm to varied tasks, including physical
examination of the paintings, coordination of photography, and ownership history research—important steps in a
complicated project like this one. In addition to the gallery’s staff, I thank the following people for their assistance: Lou
Barker, Jeffrey Boys, Jeffrey A. Cohen, Stiles Tuttle Colwill, Jacqueline M. De Groff, Elise Effnann, Mary Louise Fleisher,
Kathleen A. Foster, Susan Glassman, Mary Anne Goley, Lance Humphries, Elizabeth Laurent, Cheryl Leibold, Audrey
Lewis, Michael J. Lewis, Ellen Miles, Elle Shushan, Earle E. Spamer, and Mark Tucker.
Edward Hicks’s Peaceable Kingdom (on the cover of the catalogue)—a rare example that remained in the artist’s family until
now—is the subject of complementary essays by the two leading Hicks scholars, Carolyn Weekley and Scott Nolley. Works
by members of the Peale family continue to be a speciality for which the Gallery is widely recognized, and this catalogue
includes essays by two participants in the Peale Paintings Project at the Maryland Historical Society. Linda Simmons writes
here on Charles Peale Polk’s portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Henry Schroeder and James Peale’s View on the Wissahickon,
which I believe to be the best of his dozen or so known landscapes from this period. Carol Soltis has contributed the most
extensive discussion to date of the American career of Adolph-Ulric Wertmüller, the Swedish immigrant to Philadelphia,
who was an associate of Rembrandt Peale, whose catalogue raisonné is an ongoing project for Dr. Soltis.
Tony Lewis, the foremost expert on Thomas Birch, has written for us before; we are pleased to renew that relationship and
to share his depth of knowledge of what may be the earliest known winter scene by the artist, who was one of the first
Americans to explore a subject that quickly gained popularity with American collectors. Robert Torchia has completed many
projects for us: most notably the monographs The Gilmans (1996), The Smiths: A Family of Philadelphia Artists (1999), and
Xanthus Smith and the Civil War (1999); and essays for our landmark catalogue, 150 Years of Philadelphia Still Life Painting
(1997). We are glad to publish his essays on Thomas Sully and Manuael Joachim de França in this cataogue.
Milo Naeve’s discovery of and essay on John Lewis Krimmel’s The Disaster, a painting published here for the first time, is a
real addition to our knowledge of early Philadelphia painting and the beginnings of American genre. Interestingly, my father
purchased an exceptional Philadelphia armchair (c.1800–1810), many years ago from the same home where two paintings
in this catalogue—the Krimmel and Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of Joseph Pilmore (as well as an important landscape
by Thomas Birch)—were then hanging. We sold that chair to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the rest of the set is in
the White House. The quality of that set of furniture is comparable to that of the famous Ephraim Haines furniture at
Girard College (see my 1980 catalogue of the Stephen Girard Collection). The Krimmel painting offered here is an equally
exciting example of the arts of Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century. New research uncovers more and more
important early Philadelphia material for which connections—to one family or one house—can be documented, giving us
a more comprehensive picture of Philadelphia’s culture. Sharing that evolving picture and offering fine paintings is our
purpose in publishing these catalogues.
—Robert D. Schwarz, Sr.
The Peaceable Kingdom, c. 1822–26
Oil on canvas, 21 11 /16 x 27 inches
Provenance: Hung in the artist’s home, Newtown, Pennsylvania; gift to his only
son Isaac Worstall Hicks; his daughter Sarah Worstall Hicks; her grandniece
Eleanore Hicks Lee Swartz; collection of a Hicks descendant
Exhibited: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia,
The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks (Feb. 7–Sept. 6, 1999); traveled to the Philadelphia
Museum of Art (Oct. 10, 1999–Jan. 2, 2000), the Denver Art Museum (Feb. 12–Apr.
30, 2000), the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of
San Francisco (Sept. 24, 2000–Jan. 7, 2001)
Recorded: Eleanore Price Mather and Dorothy Canning Miller, Edward Hicks:
His Peaceable Kingdoms and Other Paintings (East Brunswick, N.J.: Associated
University Presses, 1983), p. 116; Carolyn J. Weekley, The Kingdoms of Edward
Hicks (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in association
with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999), p. 191, no. 7 (repro. in color, p. 108, pl. 98)
Reference: Scott W. Nolley and Carolyn J. Weekley, “The Nature of Edward
Hicks’s Painting,” The Magazine Antiques, vol. 155, no. 2 (Feb. 1999), pp. 280–89
(repro. in color, p. 286, pl. 9 and 9a)
Edward Hicks, the Quaker minister and painter, was the son of Isaac and Catherine Hicks and the grandson of Gilbert Hicks
of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. 1 The Hicks family was wealthy, owned considerable land, and operated several businesses in
the area. Both Gilbert and Isaac held local posts associated with the colonial British government. In 1776, Gilbert was
regarded as a traitor to American concerns and he fled Pennsylvania. Hicks’s family lands were then confiscated and the
artist’s parents lived in reduced circumstances thereafter.
Hicks’s mother died when he was almost two years old. Unable to care for all of his five young children, his father boarded
most of them with Bucks County families. In 1785, Hicks went to live with the Quakers David and Elizabeth Twining on
their farm near Newtown. Ten years later, the youngest Hicks child was apprenticed to the coach makers William and Henry
Tomlinson in nearby Langhorne. It was during his five-year apprenticeship that Edward learned a variety of techniques
associated with ornamental painting, an important branch of the coach and carriage making business.
Edward was not a birthright Quaker, nor was he a Friend when he served his apprenticeship and learned his trade. His immediate
family was Anglican. After the death of his mother, his father sometimes attended the Newtown Presbyterian Church. Neither
of these religious affiliations would have discouraged Hicks’s pursuit of painting as a career, including his eventual easel pictures
of local farms, historical subjects, and pastoral scenes. Some conservative Quakers, including those living in rural Bucks County,
considered such artwork to be frivolous, of no use, and contrary to Quaker codes of plainness and simplicity.
By 1803, however, Hicks had become deeply interested in the Society of Friends, had married Sarah Worstall, a member of
Middletown Monthly Meeting, and had been received into membership at the same meeting. His increasing work for the
Friends became the most important aspect of his life. In 1811, Middletown Monthly Meeting recorded Hicks as a Quaker
minister. Ultimately it was the profound influence of his religious life and his response to criticism that led him to create
the Peaceable Kingdom pictures for which he is so widely known today. Decorative painting of the type he performed in his
shop, especially some of the elaborate signboards, quickly came under the scrutiny of local conservative Quakers. Such work
was considered questionable in its highly decorative aspects and often discouraged by Quakers, but it was considered
particularly inappropriate for a Quaker minister to produce such items. Hicks recognized this conflict but realized that
ornamental painting, the only trade that he knew, made it possible to support his family and the costs of his extended,
traveling ministry. His creation of the first Peaceable Kingdom pictures in about 1816–18 may have been his contrived effort
to allay criticism and provide an image that was consistent with Quaker beliefs.
The earliest of the Kingdom pictures were likely less refined and organized than the more sophisticated versions that
followed. Only one example dating before 1820 is known: an oil on canvas picture owned by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
About 1822, or perhaps a year or so before, Hicks began to develop the well-known “border” Kingdoms. These versions,
with the exception of one, have lettered (and sometimes rhyming) verses in borders surrounding the Kingdom view. The
lettered messages convey the Biblical prophecy of Isaiah that inspired the pictures. Several of the border Kingdoms survive,
and none are identical. The example illustrated here is especially interesting because of its history of descent in the Hicks
family. It originally hung in Hicks’s house in Newtown and he eventually gave it to his only son, Isaac Worstall Hicks.
The borders of the picture also survive and were likely removed by an unidentified member of the family. Conservation
treatment of the picture in 1998 revealed new and important information about Hicks’s techniques and materials, as related
by Scott Nolley in his accompanying article. For the art historian some of the most interesting aspects include the artist’s
tendency to overlap elements within the composition, a layering process that is not often observed in pictures by studiotrained
painters. The kid or goat was altered in an effort to improve the foreshortening of the left side of the animal as it
recedes into space. Such corrective passages, also seen in Hicks’s other pictures, document his continuous attempts to
improve his work. Some aspects of his paintings are often built up in a series of glazes or a number of layers of paint. Drop
shadows usually comprised of dark-colored expanses of paint with clearly defined edges were used here to help define the
positions of elements in space. The dark areas below the kid’s hooves and rump and below the large leopard’s paws at lower
right are classic examples of drop shadows used by Hicks. Such techniques are commonly associated with signboard
painting, one aspect of his shop work. The Hicks family Kingdom is also a good example of his occasional attempt to imitate
more academic methods for rendering fabrics and other materials, as seen in the diaphanous quality of the child’s dress.
The composition of this particular Kingdom scene is similar to several others from the same period. A limited number of
animals, one child, and the small distant view of the Penn’s Treaty group in the middle ground at left beside the river typify
the general arrangement of these paintings. Many of the elements were borrowed from known print sources, a practice that
Hicks used during much of his career. The inclusion of a blasted tree trunk with one or more branches of dying brown leaves
is a known artistic convention for the period, but Hicks seems to have shaped and painted it many different ways to suit his
particular vision for each picture.
Hicks would eventually develop other formats for the Kingdoms as he aged and as he used them to convey particular
meanings about the welfare of the American Society of Friends. He never tired of altering the scene and of combining and
recombining animals in various ways to illustrate certain ideas. At the time of his death in 1849 he was working on a Peaceable
Kingdom picture for his daughter. One account indicates that Hicks was working on the picture the day before he died.
—Carolyn J. Weekley
1. Information in this entry was taken from Carolyn J. Weekley, The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg
Foundation, in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999).
The Creation of a Peaceable Kingdom
Of the Peaceable Kingdom paintings by Hicks, the pictures that comprise the border Kingdom series are clearly those in
which Hicks was teaching himself how to paint easel works. As a sign painter he would have learned how to combine visual
elements and utilize the techniques of tracing and transfer of image material to compose an integrated image that would
convey a single idea. Using these familiar techniques Hicks composed his Kingdom tableaux using images from selected print
sources and sketches taken from life. Examination of a number of these early border Kingdom works using x-radiography and
infrared reflectography illustrated just how much Hicks relied on these techniques to assemble his imagery. Extensive
underdrawing can be seen of not only the animals and figures but also landscape and foreground elements. A number of these
formative paintings, when radiographed, indicate that Hicks painted the surrounding landscapes intuitively. A complete sky,
then the mountainous landscape, and the middle ground and foreground imagery would have been meticulously executed,
layer upon layer, to create the overall landscape perspective. Additional underdrawing, appearing as detailed and completed
sketches, becomes visible beneath selected animals. In many cases these animals have been directly associated with
contemporary print sources and, as one might expect, often appear in reverse orientation from the print source image, an
artifact of the tracing and transfer processes he used. With this in mind, one can often see these “lifted” images as animals
that seem to float, curiously, amidst the more practiced aspects of his composition.
It is interesting to note that Hicks, a devoted and charismatic Quaker minister, often referred to his love of easel painting
as an indulgent character flaw. That he was capable of a more academic style of painting and rarely pursued it until the end
of his life might largely be attributed to the constraints of the Quaker religion to which he was quite devoted, a religion that
largely eschewed decorative painting and ornamentation for favor of plainness and simplicity of dress. It is not an
uncommon assertion that the inclusion of a Biblical text or proverb as a text border was yet another way of avoiding similar
criticism while also combining his love of painting with his ministry.
As Hicks gained confidence with his subject, his unique style emerged. The text borders disappeared and in time gave way
to larger image areas. The effort to execute realistic, atmospheric perspective seems to relax, giving way to a flatter picture
plane. The landscape begins to tilt toward the viewer and the animals and figures appear as if cut from paper, arranged one
atop another throughout the landscape. It is here that we become aware of a certain resurgence of his training and
background as a sign painter where softer, sculptural three-dimensional modeling gives way to bold, calligraphic brushwork
and a certain “posterization” of form. Another example of the return to sign painting technique can be seen in the use of
drop shadowing. These broad-stroke, characteristic shadows that surround and give emphasis to lettering come to use in the
outline and shadowing of animals and figures.
This painting stands as an extraordinary example in Hicks’s evolution of the Peaceable Kingdom from both an aesthetic and
academic point of view. It is actually an example of a late border Kingdom. The text border has been removed and the work
installed on a new support in its present dimension, apparently during the artist’s lifetime. That the text border remains
extant, reading: “A little child was leading them in love,/And not one savage beast was seen to frown,/His grim carniv’rous
nature there did cease,/When the great PENN his famous treaty made,” resonates as metaphor for the pivotal place this work
occupies in the genre. The image has been achieved with a meticulously executed cloud-filled sky, largely obscured by foliage
and landscape as in the early Kingdom works. Now, though, the picture plane begins to tilt toward the viewer. Strong though
somewhat tentative drop shadows begin to appear, defining figures, and the animals themselves appear flatter and more
graphic, in composition. The atmosphere of the sky is treated less academically, with billowing clouds giving way to the
characteristic blue-to-pink sky that is often associated with the later Kingdom pictures, now appearing on the horizon. His
increasing comfort with his subject is best illustrated by a markedly diminished use of underdrawing. The small, kneeling
lamb in the foreground—a direct lift from the Robert Westall engraving The Peaceable Kingdom of the Branch that inspired
the image—is the only figure in the painting executed first in Hicks’s usual fastidious underdrawing.
The binder-rich paints that would characterize the durable media used by a sign painter are all in evidence here. The remarkable
condition of the paint surface can largely be attributed to Hicks’s knowledge of paint formulation, as well as the painting’s
escape from inexpert and overzealous restoration. Brushwork is confident and spontaneous, and his attention to minute detail,
not always surviving in many of his other works, can be seen here in, for example, the fringe of the figure’s dress, rendered by
drawing a point through the wet paint, or the meticulously layered glazes depicting the lion’s mane or water’s surface.
This is not a rote work for Hicks, however. A number of the artist’s changes are visible through subsequent paint layers,
particularly his struggle with rendering the figure of the goat. Challenged by the indirect, foreshortened perspective of this
particular figure, he made several attempts to perfect the contour of the form. Hicks also continued to experiment with new
pigments and colors. The foreground applications of a very granular, cool, emerald-green verdigris paint appear outside his
otherwise consistent use of a fluid, almost inky paint medium. It would have been a pigment largely unsuitable for use in
signs and other work intended for exposure to the elements, but was attractive enough to Hicks, despite its less-than-ideal
consistency, to continue its use in his easel painting throughout his career. The unbound, sugary surface of this particular
paint color appears in larger, later works, such as his landscapes depicting the Cornell and Leedom farms.
When the traveling exhibition of Hicks’s paintings The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks was initially installed in the galleries of
Colonial Williamsburg’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (then the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center),
Hicks’s self-taught progression as an easel painter became clear. The unprecedented opportunity to view, side-by-side, works
that illustrate this Biblical subject allowed a broad view of how the artist used his training as a sign and carriage painter to
gain aptitude in fine-art painting techniques. The pivotal work shown here, a Peaceable Kingdom that has been in the Hicks
family since it was painted, remains in splendid condition and as one of the best examples of his evolving technique.
—Scott W. Nolley
(French, active United States 1796–1807/1808)
A Mid-Atlantic Town House, c. 1796–1808
Oil on canvas, 27 1 /4 x 37 inches
Signed at lower right: “Du Vivier fecit”
According to George C. Groce and David H. Wallace in The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America,
1564–1860, Duvivier and Son taught drawing in Philadelphia, 1796–97. 1 The authors go on to state that the elder artist
claimed that he had been a member of the Royal Academy in Paris and that at least one of the two artists was still in
Philadelphia in 1798. 2
Listings for artists named Du Vivier have not been found in Philadelphia directories. Lewis (probably Louis) Duvivier,
M.D., is listed in 1800 at 381 South Front Street; the name may be merely a coincidence. The Historical Society of
Pennsylvania has a manuscript accession record (1886) for a miniature of a Dr. Duvivier, painted in Paris circa 1795,
according to the donor. 3 The donor (or her agent) also related her belief that Dr. Duvivier had assisted Stephen Girard in
aiding yellow fever victims in Philadelphia. The poplars in this painting are reminiscent of the ones in the 1807 depiction
by John James Barralet (1747–1815) of the John Dunlap house (watercolor and gouache on canvas, 17 1 /2 x 26 1 /2 inches;
Girard College, Philadelphia) at Twelfth and Market streets, built in 1789, leased to the French legation in the 1790s, and
sold to Stephen Girard in 1807. 4 A suggested link between the Du Viviers and the artist and museum proprietor Pierre
Eugène Du Simitière (c. 1736–1784) is almost certainly a red herring, probably the result of someone misreading the name
Du Vivier: Du Simitière died before the Du Viviers are known to have been in Philadelphia.
Alfred Coxe Prime transcribed three Philadelphia newspaper advertisements placed by the Du Viviers. The earliest appeared
in the Aurora on May 25, 1796, and gave their address as 112 Race Street. 5 A more informative advertisement appeared in
the Pennsylvania Packet on May 23, 1797:
Academy of Drawing and Painting. Duvivier and Son, having moved their academy from North Second
street, to No. 12 Strawberry street [between Second and Third streets, near Market], where they continue
teaching drawing, which they execute in the presence of their pupils, and consequently excludes prints or
any foreign aid and the advantages arising from this mode, must be self evident to any reflecting mind.
Ladies are taught Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, from eleven until 1 o’clock in the morning [sic], and
ladies and gentlemen on the afternoon of each day (Saturday excepted) from 3 to 5 o’clock. They have
provided themselves with separate airy apartments, where each sex are attended separate. Mr. Duvivier being
possessed of a secret and curious mode of painting on silk, satins, &c, the colours of which will never fade,
either by time or repeated washings, but will continue its brilliancy and beauty, which renders it very
desirable for tire [sic] screens, chair bottoms, curtains, trimmings, &c. They also furnish a variety of patterns
for young ladies working the above, and which may be executed with as much elegance and considerable less
trouble and expense [sic] than embroidery. Also a new invented and beautiful tapestry, composed by Mr.
Duvivier, which from its variety, beauty and cheapness, is perhaps superior to any ever offered the American
Public. They would occasionally give lessons in private families. Specimens of their abilities, consisting of
views, landscapes, sea ports, historical pieces, fruit, &c are to be seen and sold at their academy. 6
Another advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet on October 31, 1797, added that evening hours, from 7 to 9 o’clock,
could be arranged, and that the Du Viviers’ instruction was available “at reasonable terms of two dollars per month.” 7
The Smithsonian American Art Museum Inventory of American Paintings lists two undated watercolor portraits by Duvivier
and Son: 8 a 1787 pastel portrait ascribed to Duvivier and/or Du Simitière; and a circa 1800 watercolor portrait, the
signature on which has been transcribed as J. F. Duvuvier. 9
Could this painting be one of the “specimens of the [Du Viviers’] abilities, consisting of views [and] landscapes” that they
displayed in their academy? The picturesque landscape and genre elements at the right demonstrate their abilities in this
type of decorative painting, but this painting was probably intended to be a house portrait. The architectural historian
Jeffrey A. Cohen has observed that “the back buildings of the five-bay, center-hall house seem carefully observed, so this may
well be true to the place rather than some generic view.” 10 Although there is considerable evidence suggesting that this
painting is a Philadelphia view, Cohen has also noted that “from the visual evidence only, it could easily have been some
other mid-Atlantic city or even a town, which might explain the unusual lack of a second side of the street, the extraordinary
width of the road, and the seemingly ungridded intersection at the right.” 11 In fact, it is now known that in 1798, the Du
Viviers moved to Baltimore, where they advertised their services in the Federal Gazette on November 21, under the heading
of “Drawing Academy. F. DUVIVIER & SON From Philadelphia, . . . at No. 36 North Gay-street.” 12 They opened a
museum August 13, 1799, and are thought to have been in Baltimore as late as 1808. 13
Could this painting have been commissioned by the owner of the five-bay brick house? If the artist painted this view on
speculation, why did he choose to feature this house? The wealth or notoriety of the house’s owner or occupants could have
made the painting attractive to prospective buyers. Cohen estimates that “there may have been a few dozen brick, five-bay,
center-hall houses like this one in 1790s Philadelphia” 14 and suggests a construction date between the 1750s and 1770s. 15
Cohen also states that “judging just by population, Baltimore may have had nearly half as many, and there may have been
one or two in each of several other towns in the region.” 16
A personal association may have prompted Du Vivier to feature this particular house, one that he saw every day, or perhaps
the house where he lived or had his school. If he painted the house for such personal reasons, investigation of his known
Philadelphia and Baltimore addresses may eventually lead to the house’s identification.
1. George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564–1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 1957), p. 200. 2. Groce and Wallace, Dictionary of Artists in America, p. 200. E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des
pientres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs (Paris: Librairie Grund, 1976), vol. 4, pp. 77–78, lists twenty-seven French and Belgian artists named
Duvivier. Travel in the United States is not mentioned for any of them. 3. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Society Misc. Coll.,
Annie L. Litch. 4. See Robert D. Schwarz, The Stephen Girard Collection: A Selective Catalogue (Philadelphia: Girard College, 1980), no. 1. Du
Vivier’s name does not appear in the name index to the Stephen Girard papers at Girard College. 5. Alfred Coxe Prime, The Arts and Crafts in
Philadelphia, Maryland, and South Carolina (1786–1800), series 2, Gleanings from Newspapers (New York: The Walpole Society, 1933), p. 47.
6. Prime, The Arts and Crafts in Philadelphia, p. 47. 7. Ibid., p. 48. 8. The inclusion of these portraits in the exhibition catalogue Virginia Miniatures
(Richmond: Virginia Museum, 1941) suggests that the Du Viviers may have worked in Virginia. 9. Repro. in Stiles Tuttle Colwill, “A Chronicle of
Artists in Joshua Johnson’s Baltimore,” in Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter by Carolyn J. Weekley et al. (Baltimore:
Maryland Historical Society, 1987), as fig. 12. Unknown Woman by J. F. Duvivier, c. 1800, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore. The Du Vivier’s
advertisement in the Nov. 21, 1798, Federal Gazette mentions “profile and other likenesses, at all prices.” See n. 12 below. 10. Jeffrey A. Cohen,
letter to David Cassedy, April 18, 2003. 11. Jeffrey A. Cohen, letter to David Cassedy, May 27, 2003. 12. Federal Gazette, Nov. 21, 1798, p. 2,
col. 3, repro. in Colwill, “A Chronicle,” p. 79, n. 25. 13. Colwill, “A Chronicle,” p. 79. The elder Du Vivier is identified here as J. F. Duvivier.
14. Cohen, letter, April 18, 2003. On May 27, Cohen added: “A five-bay house would be unlikely to be less than 25-foot frontage. Only 10 of the
186 properties surveyed for [the High Street] ward had frontage of 25 feet or more. This is probably one of the wealthier of the half-dozen or so city
wards, the boundaries of which are given in the old printed city ‘Ward Genealogy.’” Cohen cited the online database of the High Street Ward from
the 1798 U.S. direct tax, compiled by Bernard Herman of the University of Delaware’s Center for Historic Architecture and Design and posted (for
opening using Microsoft Excel) at http://www.math.udel.edu/~rstevens/datasets.html. 15. Cohen, letter, April 18, 2003. 16. Jeffrey A. Cohen,
letter to David Cassedy, July 7, 2003.
Charles Willson Peale
The Reverend Joseph Pilmore (1739–1825), 1787
Oil on canvas, 23 x 18 3 /4 inches
Provenance: Joseph Pilmore; his second wife (who was the widow of Bishop
William White); the Poulson family (relatives of the Whites); Mrs. Susan Poulson;
Dr. Wilson Poulson, Linwood (on the Delaware River near Chester, Pennsylvania);
Gurney Poulson Sloan, Dunedin, Florida; Schwarz Gallery by 1987; Pennsylvania
private collection until 2003
Exhibited: Kennedy Galleries, New York, American Masters, 18th and 19th
Centuries (Mar. 14–Apr. 7, 1973), repro. in cat., pl. 5
References: Charles Coleman Sellers, “Charles Willson Peale with Patron and
Populace: A Supplement to Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson Peale,” in
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 59, pt. 3 (Philadelphia:
American Philosophical Society, May 1969), p. 76 (repro. p. 126); Charles Coleman
Sellers, “Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson Peale,” in Transactions of the
American Philosophical Society, vol. 42, pt. 1 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical
Society, 1952), no. 169 (as unlocated); Robert Devlin Schwarz, A Gallery Collects
Peales, Philadelphia Collection XXXV (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1987), no. 7
(repro. in color); Wendy J. Shadwell, “The Portrait Prints of Charles Willson Peale,”
in Eighteenth-Century Prints in Colonial America, ed. Joan D. Dolmetsch
(Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1979), pp. 134–40
Charles Willson Peale has been the subject of numerous books, articles, and exhibitions. His life and his multiple careers as
a painter, a patriot, a museum founder, an inventor, a farmer, and a naturalist have been detailed by many scholars including
Charles Coleman Sellers, Edgar P. Richardson, Brooke Hindle, and Lillian B. Miller.
Charles Willson Peale was born in Maryland in 1741 and apprenticed to a saddler by 1754. After his release from this
apprenticeship, he set up a shop in Annapolis. In 1762 he married Rachel Brewer, the first of his three wives. At about this time
he developed an interest in painting and studied for a short time with John Hesselius in Maryland and then in Boston with
John Singleton Copley (1738–1815). In 1766, eleven prominent Marylanders subscribed to a fund that permitted Peale to
study with Benjamin West in London, where he remained for a little less than three years. He returned to Maryland in 1769
and painted there, in Philadelphia, and in Virginia. He first painted George Washington in 1772.
In 1776 Peale settled in Philadelphia, where he became active in politics and enrolled in the city militia. During the
Revolutionary War he served in the Continental Army, seeing action at Princeton and arduous winter encampment at Valley
Forge. After the war he continued to paint portraits of Washington and other heroes of the Revolution. By 1782 he had
opened a portrait gallery in his Philadelphia studio, and by 1786 he had founded his Philadelphia Museum for the display
of natural history specimens, the first such museum in the United States. In 1790, Rachel Peale died, and the following year
Charles Willson married Elizabeth De Peyster. In 1794 Peale moved his museum to Philosophical Hall and participated in
the founding of the short-lived Columbianum or American Academy of the Fine Arts. The management of his museum
became his principal occupation, and although Peale publicly announced his retirement from painting, he still found time
to paint such major works as The Exhumation of the Mastodon (Peale Museum, Baltimore), to experiment with such
inventions as the polygraph, to mount the first paleontological dig in the United States, and to give artistic training to his
children and his nieces and nephews, many of whom became artists. His second wife died in 1804 and the next year he
married Hannah Moore.
Peale “retired” from his museum in 1810, gave it over to his son Rubens to manage, and moved to Belfield Farm near
Philadelphia. The farm occupied his interest until after the death of his wife Hannah in 1821. He then returned to
Philadelphia and resumed the management of his museum. In 1818 he resumed painting portraits and continued until his
death in 1827 at the age of eighty-six. Peale was buried at St. Peter’s churchyard in Philadelphia. In Charles Willson Peale
and His World, Edgar Richardson succinctly appraised the man: “He was an artist of a strong, simple, severe neoclassic style;
a pioneer in American natural history and in the development of the public museum; and a man of great skill, ingenuity,
and benevolence.” 1
Joseph Pilmore was born in Yorkshire, England, and attended John Wesley’s school at Kingswood. An early convert to
Methodism, he came to Philadelphia in 1769 as a lay preacher. Pilmore subsequently broke with Wesley over the latter’s policy
regarding ordination of ministers. Edgar P. Richardson wrote that after the Revolution ended, Pilmore returned to England,
where he was ordained as a minister in the Anglican Church. 2 He then returned to Philadelphia, where he became a popular
preacher. Saint Paul’s Church on Third Street, which was said to have the largest interior in the former colonies, was built to
accommodate the crowds attracted by Pilmore’s eloquent preaching. 3 In addition to preaching at Saint Paul’s, he was rector of
the united parishes of Trinity (Oxford), All Saints (Lower Dublin), and Saint Thomas’s (Whitemarsh), in Montgomery County.
In 1772 Charles Willson Peale painted a portrait of Mary Benezet, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth North Benezet, who
married the Reverend Joseph Pilmore in 1790. Her portrait is now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After her death
Pilmore married the widow of William White, the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. Since the
Pilmores had no children, their portraits descended in the White and Poulson families.
This portrait of Joseph Pilmore, which was later engraved by the artist (see plate 4), may be compared to a similar and welldocumented
portrait of George Washington that Peale also engraved (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia).
It is known that Washington sat for that portrait in 1787, so the same date is plausible for this painting. Both paintings are
clearly related to their mezzotints published that year, although Pilmore’s portrait has a rectangular format. The Washington
portrait remained with the artist as part of his museum collection, while the Pilmore portrait went directly to the sitter.
1. Brooke Hindle, Lillian B. Miller, and Edgar P. Richardson, Charles Willson Peale and His World (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1973), p. 101. 2. Hindle
et al., Charles Willson Peale and His World, p. 78. 3. Ibid.
Charles Willson Peale
The Reverend Joseph Pilmore, 1787
Mezzotint engraving on paper, 7 1 /2 x 6 1 /4 inches (oval)
Letterpress (around oval border): “The Reverend JOSEPH PILMORE
Rector Of The United CHURCHES OF TRINITY, ST. THOMAS And
ALL-SAINTS./painted and Engraved by C. W. Peale 1787.”
Provenance: See plate 3.
References: Charles Coleman Sellers, “Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson
Peale,” in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 42, pt. 1 (Philadelphia:
American Philosophical Society, 1952), no. 692; Robert Devlin Schwarz, A Gallery
Collects Peales, Philadelphia Collection XXXV (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1987),
no. 8; Wendy J. Shadwell, “The Portrait Prints of Charles Willson Peale,” in
Eighteenth-Century Prints in Colonial America, ed. Joan D. Dolmetsch (Williamsburg,
Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1979), pp. 134–40
Several years of postwar depression followed the end of the Revolutionary War. Although Charles Willson Peale was a
popular artist during that time, portrait commissions could not support his family and their house at Third and Lombard
streets, which he had purchased in 1780. In London, artists had enjoyed great success with engravings after their paintings.
Peale decided that this could be a profitable endeavor for him, and so in 1787 he began to publish a series of mezzotint
portraits. The first three engravings—of Franklin, Lafayette, and Washington—were followed by this print of Joseph
Pilmore. The Pilmore portrait was not part of the original series, but after its advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet (May
18 and July 2, 1787), it became Peale’s most popular print. Although the artist had anticipated a series of a dozen engravings
of famous Americans, he published only the first three and this portrait of Pilmore. The difficult process of producing and
marketing the engravings without the services of the printmakers and printsellers available to artists in the London market
limited the profitability of this “pioneer effort to establish printmaking in Philadelphia.” 1 This is one of six impressions of
the Pilmore mezzotint known. 2
1. Edgar P. Richardson, “Charles Willson Peale’s Engravings in the Year of the National Crisis,” in Charles Willson Peale and His World by Edgar P.
Richardson et al. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1973), p. 181. 2. Wendy J. Shadwell, “The Portrait Prints of Charles Willson Peale,” in Eighteenth-
Century Prints in Colonial America, ed. Joan D. Dolmetsch (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1979), pp. 134–40.
Charles Peale Polk
The opportunity to study this pair of portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Henry Schroeder by Charles Peale Polk almost two
decades after first viewing them has led to a major reevaluation of their place within this artist’s oeuvre and a renewed
recognition of their great visual strength and beauty. The intervening years have afforded the opportunity to see numerous
works by Polk, a major non-academic painter active from the 1780s until the 1820s in the Middle Atlantic states. Based on
a knowledge of almost 100 of his portraits (it is thought that he executed over 150) as well as on a greater familiarity with
the works of the multitudinous painting members of the Peale family, the current discussion of this pair of portraits reflects
a new and informed appreciation of Polk’s achievement as a painter. These portraits can now be seen as integral to
understanding the development of Polk’s mature style and provide evidence of his eighteenth-century reputation as well as
the regard given his work in recent American art history scholarship.
Born to Robert Polk and Elizabeth Digby Peale in Annapolis, Maryland, and orphaned during the American Revolution, Polk
was raised by his uncle, the noted artist Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827), who educated him as a painter. Polk’s artistic
career began in Philadelphia about 1785, around the same time he married Ruth Ellison, but by 1791 he had moved his
family to Baltimore. Polk remained there for five years before moving west to Frederick, Maryland. During the subsequent
five years as an itinerant painter in western Maryland and the northern Shenandoah Valley, Polk solidified his mature style.
Abandoning academic traditions, his distinctive style emerged, combining a heightened palette and electric highlights with
an exaggerated attenuation of the human form. The 1799 group of portraits of Isaac Hite, his wife and son Eleanor Conway
Hite and James Madison Hite, as well as his in-laws James Madison Sr. and Eleanor Conway Madison (Belle Grove, The National
Trust for Historic Preservation, Middletown, Virginia) are Polk’s acknowledged masterpieces and demonstrate his manner of
presenting more about the sitter than a physical likeness. Polk’s style was to depict sitters with objects and in settings that
portrayed their family relationships, business dealings, or political beliefs. In the case of Isaac Hite, for example, the portraitist
declared the sitter’s support of the Republican Party, and Thomas Jefferson’s candidacy for President, by depicting Hite
prominently holding a newspaper known for its Republican views. To visually reinforce Hite’s political ideals further, Polk
was then commissioned to create a portrait of Jefferson. Polk arrived at Monticello with a letter of introduction from James
Madison, Hite’s brother-in-law, and during November 1799 painted a portrait of Jefferson that was to become the source of
at least five replicas. Which painting he delivered to Belle Grove, the Hite home, has not been determined. The portrait of
Jefferson that once hung there left the possession of the Hite descendants following the Civil War.
Within a year of completing the portrait of Jefferson (and of Jefferson’s election as President), Polk moved to Washington,
D.C., seeking a government appointment, which he eventually received as a clerk in the United States Treasury Department.
Through 1816 he painted occasional portraits of District residents, during which time he began working in verre églomisé,
a type of reverse painting with gold leaf on glass. Polk married a second time following the death of Ruth Ellison Polk. His
membership in the Baptist Church, begun in Philadelphia and continued in Maryland, led him to become one of the
founding members of the First Baptist Church of Washington. After the death of his second wife (the widow
Brockenbourgh) and two years after his third marriage (to Ellen Ball Downman), the couple and their only child relocated
to land Ellen had inherited in Richmond County, Virginia, where Polk was to spend the last two years of his life on their
farm. His death in 1831 was announced in Washington newspapers.
The portraits of Herman Henry Schroeder and Susannah Schwartz Schroeder were painted in either 1793 or 1794, while
Polk was a resident of Baltimore. The artist presents a youthful couple, active in that community—a successful merchant
and his wife. Polk’s basic stylistic elements are clearly seen in the beauty and charm of these works. The sitters’ images are
unified as a pair by poses, palette, details of costume, props, and setting. Their poses in both portraits are specifically Polk’s
own—the figures pulled up close to the canvas, seated comfortably before the painter, relaxed but still cordially formal. It
is not known whether these portraits were executed in the artist’s studio, in a rented space, or at Wandsbeck, the home of
the sitters. In any of these settings, Polk could have provided the furnishings for a portrait setting: chairs and tables, drapes,
and a platform. The fact that similar chairs appear in other portraits suggests that they were part of the artist’s studio
equipment. What is not usual for Polk, however, is the absence of background props such as draperies or architectural
elements, suggesting that the Schroeders may have been painted in a studio set up by Polk in a rented space. Their bodies
are positioned to form echoing brackets: she turns right toward him and he turns left toward her. All visual elements seem
to have been selected to complement or contrast each sitter with or to the other: her salmon-colored gown to his green coat,
her round table to his square-cornered table, her rosebud and book to his letter and hand-held chart. Each figure is seen
against the same simple gray background of empty but luminous space.
After thus unifying them as a couple Polk focuses attention on each figure. Susannah is placed at her husband’s right hand,
historically a position of matrimonial subservience. She is attired in female finery, with an elaborate bonnet of cascading,
sheer white fabric edged with ribbons and festooned with bows. Her youth, evident in her facial features, is complemented
by the dark ringlets on her shoulders and the expanse of neck and firm bosom above a plunging neckline, barely kept modest
by a white fichu pulled down and restrained by a bow almost at her ribbon-enwrapped waist. Those white v-forms lead the
viewer’s eye to her hands, demurely resting in a lap of sprigged, salmon-colored fabric. The quietness of her hands
accentuates the delicate rosebud held between her left forefinger and thumb. Brought to nearly equal prominence by the
direction of those v-forms is her gold-banded finger. The budding flower and wedding band not only symbolize her
youthfulness and state of matrimony but suggest her fertility.
Susannah Schwartz Schroeder’s ties to Herman Henry Schroeder are symbolically reinforced by more than the gold band.
Their linkage is suggested visually by a number of coy elements painted by Polk, such as the repetition of the rosebud
embroidered or printed again and again in the patterning of her gown. Sprig after sprig arches, embroidered or printed leaf
and stem forms recalling buds and leaves, all colored the same hue of green as in her husband’s coat.
In his portrait Herman Henry Schroeder sits upright, declaring his masculinity in the greater rigidity and strength of his pose.
As with Susannah, the depiction of his clothing is filled with a wealth of specific details that not only declare his position in
their relationship but also visually unify his image. The green of his coat is echoed in the delightful detail of the stitching on
his yellow vest, which is set off against the white ruffles of the shirt and lace-edged jabot tied in a bow at his neck.
Polk has carefully observed and recorded Schroeder’s distinctive facial features of high cheekbones, arched eyebrows, and
long, thin nose above a small mouth. Clearly, Schroeder was as fashion conscious in his dress as he was reputed to have been
Charles Peale Polk
Susannah Schwartz (Mrs. Herman Henry) Schroeder (1767–1794), 1793–94
Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 1 /2 inches
Provenance: Descended in the family of the sitter
Exhibited: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Charles Peale Polk, 1767–1822: A
Limner and His Likenesses (July 18–Sept. 6, 1981), no. 68
Recorded: Linda Crocker Simmons, Charles Peale Polk, 1767–1822: A Limner and His
Likenesses (Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1981), p. 46, no. 68 (repro.)
Reference: Linda Crocker Simmons, “Politics, Portraits and Charles Peale Polk,” in The Peale
Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770–1870, ed. Lillian B. Miller (New York: Abbeville Press, 1996)
Note: These works retain what appear to be their original black and gilt frames, as well as
some of the hanging rings at the top back of both frames.
Charles Peale Polk
Herman Henry Schroeder (1764–1839), 1793–94
Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 inches
Provenance: Descended in the family of the sitter
Exhibited: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Charles Peale Polk, 1767–1822: A Limner
and His Likenesses (July 18–Sept. 6, 1981), no. 69
Recorded: Linda Crocker Simmons, Charles Peale Polk, 1767–1822: A Limner and His Likenesses
(Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1981), p. 46, no. 69 (repro.)
Reference: Linda Crocker Simmons, “Politics, Portraits and Charles Peale Polk,” in The Peale
Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770–1870, ed. Lillian B. Miller (New York: Abbeville Press, 1996)
in the architecture of his residence. He wears his hair in a fashionable French manner, powdered white, curled at the ears,
and pulled back to a ponytail on his back—the tiny point of the black ribbon visible over his left shoulder. Such careful
observation and depiction lend credibility to the belief that very little that was represented by Polk was by chance or without
a function or purpose related to our understanding or appreciation of the image. Unfortunately, unlocking the meaning of
the various elements and details included in this late-eighteenth-century portrait may not be as easy as describing them.
Herman Henry Schroeder holds a piece of paper in his right hand, lying in his lap. The paper has a central area of painted
bars surmounted by a star shape of lines, maybe in pen and ink, with his initials and “No 27” inscribed:
Evidently, this paper and the inscriptions and colors on it had very specific meanings for the sitter. It is known that
Schroeder was born in Wandsbeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1764 and that he died in Baltimore on July 24, 1839.
Thus, the first date given is clearly a reference to his birth, but the symbolic importance of the stripe of ochre to the right
of the date has not yet been determined. It is evident that the following dates all represent significant events in Schroeder’s
life and that this piece of paper is not just a visualization of Schroeder’s personal genealogy but also a visual and symbolic
outline of the married life of the two subjects. The birth of their fourth son would not take place until March 4, 1794, which
is foretold by the rosebud in Susannah’s portrait, another genealogical event linking the young couple.
birth of Herman Henry, Jr.
birth of Frederick Henry
birth of Thomas Charles
It is possible that the forthcoming birth, symbolically foretold in the paired images of the sitters, may have been the reason for
the creation of this pair of portraits in late 1793 or very early 1794. These paintings are a portrayal of the Schroeder family and
possibly a statement intended to link the sitters with preceding generations. One can argue that the slip of paper Schroeder
holds may have been intended to be enclosed in the open letter lying on the table. This slip appears to be creased along the
long sides of the colors, and the creases correspond to the creasing on the sheet of paper. Uncharacteristically for Polk, the
writing on that sheet of paper is illegible; however, it has the form of a letter, which could be sealed and sent with the family
genealogy folded inside. Further speculation might lead one to consider the number at the top of the hand-held slip to be
numbered as the 27th generation of the Schroeder family, a possibility that would require extensive additional research to
support. Until such information is available to prove or disprove such a supposition, the mystery of the number 27 will remain.
—Linda Crocker Simmons
(American, born England, 1779–1851)
English Setter, 1813
Oil on panel, 9 x 11 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: “T Birch/1813”
Inscribed in ink on canvas verso: “Painted by Thos Birch.1813. Phila.”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1992; private collection until 2003
Exhibited: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Third Annual
Exhibition (1813), no. 121
Illustrated: F. Turner Reuter, Jr., A History of American Animal and Sporting Art,
1750–1950 (Lanham, Md.: Derrydale Press, forthcoming)
Thomas Birch, son of the well-known enamelist, watercolorist, and engraver William Birch (1755–1834), was one of early
America’s most important marine artists and the founder of the Philadelphia tradition of marine painting. Born in England,
he came to the United States with his family when he was fifteen. Birch learned the technical skills of engraving from his
father, and in 1799 they published their widely known series of Philadelphia views. In addition to his father’s instruction,
the young artist was able to study paintings by important English and European artists that his father owned. In 1795
Thomas Birch entered two small watercolors in the Columbianum in Philadelphia, the first public art exhibition in the
United States. From 1812 to 1817 Birch was curator at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he exhibited
almost annually from 1811 until his death in 1851. Among his more famous students were George R. Bonfield
(1802–1898), Thomas Cole (1801–1848), and James Hamilton (1819–1878).
Although Birch is best known for his views of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, his marine views of the mid-Atlantic and
New England coasts, and his ship portraits and naval battles, he also painted many landscapes that feature country houses
(the subject of another print series by the two Birches) or recreational activities such as sleighing (see plate 14) and hunting.
Dog portraits were an uncommon subject for American artists in the early nineteenth century, but a very popular one in the
Birches’ native England.
(American, born Sweden, 1751–1811)
Portrait of Elisabeth Henderson Wertmüller, 1801
Oil on panel, 6 1 /2 x 5 1 /4 inches (oval)
Signed and dated at left center: “A.W./1801”
Inscribed in pencil on panel verso: “picture portrait of Maria R. Saymens/Date
about 1780 [sic]” 1
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery, 1997; Pennsylvania private collection, 1998–2002
Recorded (probably): Adolph-Ulric Wertmüller, “Notte de tous mes ouvrages finis
. . . pour les années 1780–1801”: “15 Aout —Fini le portrait de ma femme
Elisabeth Henderson, [ . . . ] de 6 pouces sur 5 pouces, sur bois en ovale.” 2
The life and travels of the Swedish-born portraitist, miniaturist, and history painter Adolph-Ulric Wertmüller reflected the
changing times in which he lived. Wertmüller began his studies in painting at the Art Academy in his native Stockholm with
Lorentz Pasch the Younger (1733–1805), but in 1772 he moved to Paris, a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan artistic
center. In Paris he studied first with his cousin Alexander Roslin (1718–1793), an established portraitist in the French
capital, and then with Roslin’s friend, the influential French painter Joseph-Marie Vien (1716–1809). 3 When Vien became
head of the French Academy in Rome, Wertmüller followed Vien to this center of western artistic culture, where he studied
the great works of antiquity, honed his perspective skills, and began to produce large-scale canvases. Returning to Paris in
1779, Wertmüller’s growing success in portraiture and history painting attracted the attention of King Gustaf III of Sweden.
Although Wertmüller remained in Paris, he was elected to the Swedish Academy and was named the King’s “First Painter.”
In 1784 Wertmüller was elected to the French Royal Academy, and in 1785 he exhibited his large portrait Queen Marie
Antoinette Walking in the Trianon Park with Two of Her Children (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm). Despite his honors
Wertmüller did not find commissions forthcoming in Paris, and in 1788 he left for Bordeaux, where his skills as a portraitist
were in greater demand and where he enjoyed significant financial success. In 1790, unsettled by the upheavals in
Revolutionary France, Wertmüller sought professional opportunities in Spain. However, by 1794 he was frustrated with
patronage in both Madrid and Cadiz, and he availed himself of an opportunity to travel to America. Although neither
Wertmüller nor his friend and traveling companion Henrik Gahn came to America with the intention of staying, both men
eventually settled here and became citizens. 4
Wertmüller may have been the most well-trained artist to arrive on American shores in the 1790s, and his artistic abilities
were readily acknowledged upon his arrival in Philadelphia. By December 1794 he had painted several members of Congress
as well as President Washington. 5 His interest in the Philadelphia art community and the creation, by its artists, of America’s
first art academy, the Columbianum, is attested to by his signature on documents relating to the creation of that
organization. Wertmüller also found the city congenial to his freedom-loving politics and, on a personal level, he made
friends within the area’s substantial Swedish community. Most important among these friends was Elisabeth (Betsey)
Henderson, who later would become his wife. Betsey was the granddaughter of the Swedish immigrant artist Gustavus
Hesselius (1682–1755) and the niece of the artist John Hesselius (1728–1778), who had given Charles Willson Peale (see
plates 3 and 4) his first lessons in the art of painting. 6 Late in 1796, Wertmüller’s courtship of Betsey was interrupted when
he was forced to return to Europe because his finances, which he had entrusted to a relative who turned out to be
unscrupulous, were found to be in shambles. After much difficulty and disappointment in Europe, Wertmüller returned to
Philadelphia with his paintings, books, and drawings, but little cash.
The most significant work Wertmüller returned with from Europe was his Danae and the Shower of Gold (Nationalmuseum,
Stockholm). A lifesize painting of a female nude he had done in Paris in 1787, the work was a prime example of Rococo
Classicism. The subject of the Danae was taken from the ancient classic, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the meticulous modeling
of her nubile form was admired by the important French artist Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), who had also been a
student of Wertmüller’s master, Vien. 7 Despite hesitations about its risqué subject matter, Danae’s admirers on this side of the
Atlantic were numerous. Charles Willson Peale recommended it to the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764–1820) as
being “very worth while your seeing.” 8 And Charles’s son Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860), who later recalled that “bustling
connoisseurs declared that no American painter could ever equal the beauty of its coloring,” assisted Wertmüller in setting up
and promoting the picture’s exhibition. Mondays were typically designated as days for ladies to view the work without the
embarrassment of male companionship. 9 In 1803 the Wertmüllers moved to Naaman’s Creek on the banks of the Delaware
River to dedicate themselves to farming, but, ironically, the income from their agricultural pursuits was eclipsed by the more
substantial sum generated by the display of the Danae. 10 This financial fact did not escape the notice of Rembrandt Peale,
who, after Wertmüller’s death in 1811, unsuccessfully attempted to purchase the “beautiful and brilliant” picture for display
in his Apollodorian Gallery. 11 After changing hands several times during the next few years, the painting was purchased by
the artist John Wesley Jarvis (1780–1840), who exhibited it at his New York painting rooms. It was here that the young Henry
Inman (1801–1846) encountered Wertmüller’s masterpiece and was inspired to become a painter. 12
In the small oval portrait of a young woman pictured here, Wertmüller deftly merged his skills as portraitist and history
painter. The specificity of the subject’s likeness is softened by the glow of the sun rising from the shadows of night, and her
diaphanous, high-waisted, white muslin shift suggests an affinity with the ancient goddesses, the Venuses and the Auroras that
the artist was so adept at rendering. 13 Wertmüller’s use of neoclassical garb was a continuation of a European portrait
convention, particularly popular in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, that portrayed women as goddesses or
characters from Classical literature. As a portrait type, it also conforms to the tradition of partially nude images of wives or
mistresses that were designed to celebrate the subject’s physical charms. 14 Wertmüller’s initials and the date 1801, clearly
inscribed on the tree trunk to the right of the figure, establishes the fact that this portrait was among the first works he painted
upon his return to America. It has been suggested that the intimacy and tenderness of the image, along with the placement
of his initials on the tree, a site where lovers traditionally inscribed their initials, are visual clues to the artist’s amorous link
to his subject. 15 This supposition correlates with the fact that on his return to Philadelphia from Europe in November 1800,
Wertmüller lost little time in fulfilling his pledge of marriage to Elisabeth Henderson, and the couple was wed by the Rev.
Nicholas Collin in Old Swedes’ Church in January 1801. During the following summer, the artist recorded in his “Notte de
tous mes ouvrages finis . . . pour les années 1780–1801” that he had completed oval portraits on panel of himself and his
wife, each measuring 6 by 5 inches. 16 This exact correspondence in date, medium, and dimensions strongly argues for the
identification of the portrait of a young woman as an image of Betsey Henderson Wertmüller. 17 The medium, size, and format
of these two portraits also correspond exactly to those of the two portraits Wertmüller painted of his sisters in Stockholm in
1799, which he brought back with him to Philadelphia. 18 These portraits, therefore, may have formed a family group.
The sunrise behind Betsey may be seen as a metaphor for the beginning of the Wertmüllers’ life together in the artist’s newly
adopted country. But Betsey’s neoclassical attire may be seen as both metaphoric and real, since French fashions “à l’antique”
were the height of fashion in Philadelphia in 1801. The city’s influential literary magazine, the Port Folio, noted the
popularity of the short “Titus” hairstyle Betsey sports, as well as the vogue for wearing pearls in the hair. 19 The French
antique style inspired low necklines, high waists, short sleeves, narrow skirts, and sheer fabrics, and the sight of such
“unchaste costume” led to much critical and satiric commentary. While most Philadelphia women selected only certain
elements of this style, there were those who presented themselves as unabashedly “fashionable nudes” and adopted the “wet
and adhesive drapery” of neoclassicism. 20 The extremes of this style were favored by such beautiful, wealthy, and
cosmopolitan young women as Maria Bingham, daughter of the Philadelphia merchant William Bingham, and Elizabeth
Patterson Bonaparte, the young American wife of Jerome Bonaparte. 21 While Betsey Henderson Wertmüller undoubtedly
presented herself more chastely in public, the high fashion of the day and Wertmüller’s European perspective merge in this
intimate and gentle portrait that mixes likeness, imagination, and the projection of hope for the future. 22
—Carol Eaton Soltis
1. The inscription penciled on the back of this portrait contradicts the information on the front. The inscription tentatively states that the image was
created “about” 1780, a date twenty years prior to the date of 1801, which is inscribed on the tree trunk to the left of the figure. The date of 1780 also
is inconsistent with the subject’s costume. Therefore, although the provenance of this picture may be linked to a Maria Saymens and her descendants, it
is unlikely that the portrait is an image of Maria Saymens. No references exist to individuals named Saymens in Wertmüller’s records from either his
European or his American years. If the evidence supporting the identification of the portrait’s subject as Elisabeth Henderson Wertmüller, the artist’s
wife, is correct, the portrait may have been obtained by a member of the Saymens family at one of the several sales of Wertmüller’s studio and the
Wertmüllers’ household items that occurred after the death of the artist in 1811 or the death of his wife in 1812. 2. Wertmüller’s “Notte de tous mes
ouvrages finis . . . pour les années 1780–1801” is in the Royal Library, Stockholm. 3. Wertmüller’s earliest training was in drawing and sculpture with
Pierre-Hubert Larcheveque (1721–1778). Franklin D. Scott, Wertmüller: Artist and Immigrant Farmer (Chicago: Swedish Pioneer Historical Society,
1963), p. 2. 4. Gahn’s uncle was the Swedish consul to Spain and arranged passage to and from Philadelphia for his nephew and Wertmüller. In 1797
Henrik Gahn, who later became a successful American businessman, served as Swedish consul in New York. Scott, Wertmüller, p.5. 5. For a list of
Wertmüller’s works executed in Philadelphia between 1794 and 1796, see Michel N. Benisovich, “Wertmüller et son livre de raison intitulé la ‘Notte,’”
Gazette des Beaux Arts, ser. 6, vol. 48 (July–Aug. 1956), pp. 58–60. 6. Gustavus Hesselius arrived in Delaware in 1711, but soon after he settled in
Philadelphia. His son, John, settled in Maryland. In 1763 the young Maryland-born saddler Charles Willson Peale gave John Hesselius one of his “best
saddles with its complete furniture” in return for three lessons in portrait painting. Peale stated that these lessons “infinitely lightened the difficulties of
the new art” for him, and he shortly thereafter advertised himself as a painter. Lillian B. Miller, ed., The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His
Family, vol.1 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983), p. 33. 7. Scott, Wertmüller, p.5. 8. Charles Willson Peale to B. H. Latrobe,
Philadelphia, May 13, 1805, Peale-Sellers Papers, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Lillian B. Miller, ed., The Selected Papers of Charles
Willson Peale and His Family, vol. 2, pt. 2 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 834. 9. Rembrandt Peale, “Reminiscences, Adolph-
Ulric Wertmüller,” The Crayon, vol. 2, no. 14 (Oct. 3, 1855), p. 207. Although the painting had been available to be seen since its arrival late in 1800,
its first formal display was established in the fall of 1806. Wishing to stop the random flow of people coming to see the picture at his home at Naaman’s
Creek, Wertmüller placed the Danae on permanent public exhibition in Philadelphia. An advertisement in the Pennsylvania Gazette on Sept. 25, 1806,
states that the painting was on view Mondays through Saturdays, and the admission fee was 25 cents. See Michel N. Benisovich, “Further Notes on A.-
U. Wertmüller in the United States and France,” Art Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1 (spring 1963), p. 9. 10. When Wertmüller’s estate was auctioned in
1812, the Philadelphia auctioneer John Dorsey advertised the Danae as earning “$800 per annum without solicitude.” See Poulson’s American and Daily
Advertiser, Apr. 16–19, 1812. When the painting first arrived in the city, it brought as much as $1,100 per annum. In 1803 Wertmüller purchased a
farm at Naaman’s Creek, Delaware, about 20 miles south of Philadelphia. For his life as a farmer, see the Naaman’s Creek Diary, translated from the
French manuscript, “Journal de la terre situé à Naaman’s Creek,” (Royal Library, Stockholm) by Franklin D. Scott and Rosamond Porter in Scott,
Wertmüller, pp. 33–173. 11. Peale, “Wertmüller,” p. 207. Peale was outbid, but in response, he painted his own large exhibition picture with a female
nude as its central feature. For a discussion of Peale’s painting Jupiter and Io and its relationship to Wertmüller’s painting, See Carol Eaton Soltis, “In
Sympathy with the Heart: Rembrandt Peale, an American Artist and the Traditions of European Art,” Ph.D. diss. (University of Pennsylvania, 2000),
pp. 290–334. 12. H. T. Tuckerman on Inman’s experience, as quoted in Michel N. Benisovich, “The Sale of the Studio of Adolph-Ulrich Wertmüller,”
Art Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1 (spring 1953), pp. 33, 36. Tuckerman described the painting as “one of the most exquisite pieces of flesh painting which
has emanated from the French school of which the Swedish artist was essentially a votary.” The Danae was given to the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm,
in 1913 by its American owner, J. E. Heaton of New Haven, Conn. See Benisovich, “The Sale,” p. 36. 13. For the numerous figures from Classical
mythology he painted, see Benisovich, “The Sale,” pp. 24, 27–30; Benisovich, “Further Notes on A.-U. Wertmüller,” pp. 13, 21; Benisovich,
“Wertmüller et son livre de raison intitulé la ‘Notte,’” pp. 51, 59, 63. 14. For an example of an American miniature portrait of this type painted c.
1805, see Robin Jaffe Frank, Love and Loss, American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 195,
fig. 100. For European examples, see Jacqueline du Pasquier, “La Situation de la miniature à Bordeaux,” in l’âge d’or du petit portrait (Paris: Réunion
des Musées Nationaux, 1995), pp. 57, 69. 15. In regard to this portrait, Dr. Ellen Miles of the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.) cited
the tradition in European art of showing lovers’ initials on tree trunks. Ellen Miles to David Cassedy of the Schwarz Gallery, in a telephone conversation
on April 16, 1998. See American Paintings (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1998), no. 3. 16. Wertmüller’s notes read: “30 Juillet—Fini Mon Portrait
pour Moi en petit de 6 pouces sur 5 pouces sur bois en ovale.” “15 Aout—Fini le portrait de ma femme Elisabeth Henderson, en petit pendent [sic]
pour le mien ci-dessus, de 6 pouces sur 5 pouces, sur bois en ovale.” According to the “Notte,” the only oval panel portrait of a woman he painted in
1801 was the portrait of Betsey. The “Notte” actually included works painted in 1802. It is fully transcribed in Benisovich, “Wertmüller et son livre de
raison intitulé la ‘Notte,’” p. 63. The measurements of 5 x 6 inches and the medium of a wooden oval were frequently employed by Wertmüller. 17.
The pendant portrait of Wertmüller is presently unlocated. Wertmüller was 50 years old when he married, and he wrote home to his family that Betsey
was “a most respectable and kindly young woman.” Scott, Wertmüller, p. 14. Wertmüller died at age 61 on Oct. 5, 1811. Betsey outlived her husband
by only a few months; she died on Jan. 19, 1812. Betsey’s birth date is unknown, and there are conflicting comments in the Wertmüller literature in
regard to it. For undated miniature (on copper) likenesses of Wertmüller and Betsey, see Benisovich, “The Sale,” p. 25. This portrait of Betsey appears
to resemble the likeness in Portrait of Elisabeth Henderson Wertmüller. Both portraits are also similar to the portrait painted by Wertmüller in Philadelphia
in 1795, which is now in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. This portrait is also oval, although it is slightly larger (9 1 /2 x 7 1 /2 inches). It is signed and
dated “A. Wertmüller Suedois, pinx/Philadelphia, 1795.” It seems likely that Wertmüller painted this as a sentimental “aide memoire” of Betsey prior to
his departure for Europe and left it with his family in Sweden when he returned to Philadelphia. A photograph of this work is also available at the Frick
Art Reference Library (New York). 18. On page 78 of his “Notte de tous mes ouvrages finis,” Wertmüller recorded painting these two portraits of his
sisters for himself (Hedvig Catherina Wertmüller, Mrs. Fredrik Ludwig Daevel and Louisa Fredrika Wertmüller, Mrs. Niklas Pauli). Both women are shown
in low-cut white muslin garments that accentuate but do not reveal their breasts as fully as Betsey’s breasts are revealed. Both women have colored shawls
over their shoulders. Images of these portraits are available at the Frick Art Reference Library. Both paintings are owned by Wertmüller’s collateral
descendants. See also Michel N. Benisovich, Portraits de la famille Wertmüller aux Etats-Unis (Stockholm: Konsthistorisk tidskrift, 1953), pp. 16–17. 19.
For a comprehensive discussion and many citations relating to the influence of French fashions in America at this time, see Michele Majer, “American
Women and French Fashion,” The Age of Napoleon, Costume from Revolution to Empire, 1789–1815, ed. Katell le Bourhis (New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 1989), pp. 217–237; “Festoon of Fashion,” Port Folio (May 29, 1802), p. 165; Aileen Ribeiro, The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and
France, 1750–1820 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995), p.115. 20. Majer, “American Women,” pp. 217, 232; “Festoon of Fashion,”
Port Folio (Dec. 12, 1801), p. 398. 21. Majer, “American Women,” p. 234; Ethel E. Rasmusson, “Democratic Environment-Aristocratic Aspirations,”
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 90, no. 2 (Apr. 1966), p. 168. 22. Wertmüller painted a few smaller-sized traditional miniature
portraits on silver or ivory mounted in gilded frames of young women whose dress is as revealing as Betsey’s. However, the portrait of Betsey Henderson
Wertmüller appears to be the only portrait of this type that is painted on wood, is larger in scale, and has a well-developed landscape background.
(American, born Sweden, 1751–1811)
Portrait of Mrs. Sims of Philadelphia, 1808
Oil on canvas, 27 x 21 3 /4 inches
Signed, dated, and inscribed indistinctly at upper left: “Wertmüller S/Philadelphia 1808” 1
Recorded (probably): Adolph-Ulric Wertmüller, Cash Book (Jan. 21, 1809):
“Received for two portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Sims, $200.” 2
The lush flesh painting evident in Wertmüller’s Danae and in the portrait of his wife Betsey is also evident in the artist’s
Portrait of Mrs. Sims of Philadelphia. 3 Although she is not a conventional beauty, Mrs. Sims’s flesh is soft, supple, and
flawless, and her particularized features are melded into a well-proportioned and serene face. The vivid red accents of her
shawl and the roses in her turban establish a bold triangular composition, while the meticulously rendered details of her
dress, her jewelry, and her dark braided hair and ringlets offer the viewer an intimate encounter with her presence through
their visual specificity. The lace on Mrs. Sims’s dress, the patterning of her shawl, and the small red buds, silhouetted against
the dark background above her head, display Wertmüller’s meticulous drawing and careful manipulation of light and
shadow. Such articulation of detail and such studied pictorial control surely contributed to the particularly high prices
Wertmüller charged for his portraits. His failing eyesight, during his later years, also must have made the creation of a work
such as this time-consuming and demanding. Yet this is a portrait that fully and gracefully reveals the hallmarks of
Wertmüller’s style—his keen observation of the visual world, academically precise technique, facility with color, and ability
to produce works that function simultaneously as sensuous recreations of the real world and finely crafted objects of luxury.
—Carol Eaton Soltis
1. Wertmüller typically added an “S” after his signature on his paintings to indicate his nationality. See Franklin D. Scott, Wertmüller: Artist and
Immigrant Farmer (Chicago: Swedish Pioneer Historical Society, 1963), p. 12, n. 28. 2. Wertmüller’s Cash Book is in the Archives of the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. 3. A transcript of Wertmüller’s Cash Book, in Michel N. Benisovich, “Further Notes on A.-
U. Wertmüller in the United States and France,” Art Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1 (spring 1963), p. 9, records an entry by Wertmüller for Jan. 21, 1809:
“ Received for two portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Sims, $200.” Since this is the only female portrait listed in the Cash Book for either 1808 or 1809, it
appears that Wertmüller did not receive his payment for the two Sims portraits until early 1809; and that this portrait, which is signed and dated
1808, is the portrait of Mrs. Sims. See Benisovich, “Further Notes,” p.21. This identification is further strengthened by the fact that Mrs. Joseph
Sims (Rebecca Heath, 1769–1830) was thirty-nine in 1808, an age that appears to correspond to the age of the sitter. Rebecca Heath married Joseph
Sims (1760–1851), who was later described by Abraham Ritter as a “well-known,” “opulent” and “venerable” Philadelphia merchant, in 1789. For
more on Sims, see Ritter, Philadelphia and Her Merchants (Philadelphia, 1860), pp. 53–4. Sims also owned at least two other works by Wertmüller.
An entry on May 12, 1795, in the artist’s “Notte” states: “Fini le portrait de Mr. Sims L’Aine après une miniature de Mr. Peale, pour Mr. Joseph Sims,
son frère, quare toile de 15.” Michel N. Benisovich, “Wertmüller et son livre de raison intitulé la ‘Notte,’” Gazette des Beaux Arts, ser. 6, vol. 48
(July–Aug. 1956), p. 59. The Sims family also owned Wertmüller’s Portrait of a Woman as Ceres, oil on canvas, 18 x 15 inches, inscribed at lower
right: “A. Wertmuller S./Philad: 1809.” See Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Quality, an Experience in Collecting (New York: Hirschl & Adler Galleries,
Nov. 12–Dec. 7, 1974), no. 45. This reference lists Sims’s descendants, Mary Sims, Francis Sims, and Joseph Sims as sequential owners of this work.
Francis Martin Drexel
(American, born Austria, 1792–1863)
Two Beggars at a Window
Oil on canvas, 30 1 /4 x 24 1 /4 inches
Signed indistinctly on verso (obscured by lining; pre-lining photograph on file):
Provenance: (Tobias, Fischer & Co., New York, Apr. 10–11, 1953, no. 753, as
The Mendicants); Schwarz Gallery by 1990; private collection until 2003
Francis Martin Drexel
Francis Martin Drexel’s life was a see-saw of wealth, poverty, success, disgrace, and in the end, success and wealth once again.
Drexel was born in Dornbirn, Austria, the eldest son of a prosperous merchant. When Napoleon gained control of the Tyrol,
the family fortunes were decimated, and Drexel was forced to leave school. He was apprenticed to a painter in Dornbirn for
three years. After his involvement in the Tyrolese revolt, he fled to Switzerland, where he earned his living doing house and
coach painting. In 1814 he participated in an art exhibit in Lausanne before returning to Austria.
Drexel immigrated to the United States in 1817. He set up a studio in Philadelphia and exhibited there at the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts for the first time in 1818. Among his seventeen submissions that year (most of them portraits),
The Beggar—“Give us this day our daily bread” was probably one of the paintings illustrated here. Drexel exhibited thirtyone
works at the Academy between 1818 and 1826. Almost all of these were portraits; a genre subject was unusual for Drexel
or for any artist painting in the United States in 1818. Another European immigrant to Philadelphia, John Lewis Krimmel
(see plate 12), is generally recognized as the first artist in the United States to specialize in painting scenes from everyday
life. He showed a genre picture, Pepper-Pot, a Scene in the Philadelphia Market (Philadelphia Museum of Art), at the
Pennsylvania Academy in 1811 and exhibited many more before his accidental death in 1821.
Drexel sailed for South America in 1826, and there he received commissions for almost two hundred portraits and miniatures.
He returned to Philadelphia in 1830 and continued his painting career until 1836. During that year the charter of the Second
Bank of the United States expired and was not renewed. Because of the financial expertise Drexel had gathered from his European
and South American experiences, he was able to parlay the bank chaos into a most profitable venture—the foundation of the
international banking house of Drexel and Company. He died in 1863 as a result of injuries suffered in a train accident.
Francis Martin Drexel’s son, Anthony Joseph Drexel, was one of the most successful financiers of the nineteenth century, as
well as a philanthropist and an art collector. He founded the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now Drexel
University) in Philadelphia, which opened its doors in 1891. From the beginning, Drexel displayed works of art in its main
building; today much of the University’s collection is displayed in the recently restored second-floor Picture Gallery. Many
artists have studied at Drexel; Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) and Howard Pyle (see plate 28) are the most influential to have
taught there. The Drexel Collection includes several paintings by Francis Martin Drexel, and in 1976 the university
mounted a loan exhibition of his work. Its catalogue, Francis Martin Drexel
(1792–1863): An Artist Turned Banker, is the most complete reference on
the artist. Portrait of the Artist at the Easel with His Wife and Daughter,
which is reproduced as the catalogue’s frontispiece, was acquired by the
Drexel Collection in 2003.
Attributed to Francis Martin Drexel
(American, born Austria, 1792–1863)
Oil on panel, 16 3 /8 x 12 7 /8 inches
John Lewis Krimmel
(American, born Württemberg, 1786–1821)
Going to Market—The Disaster, 1811–21
Oil on canvas, 16 3 /8 x 19 3 /8 inches
Provenance: (Possibly) purchased from the artist by Zachariah Poulson, Jr.
(1761–1844), Philadelphia; descended in the Poulson family
Recorded: Milo M. Naeve, John Lewis Krimmel: An Artist in Federal America
(Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1987), p. 91, no. 28 (as unlocated)
“I consider him a prodigy in the art,” Charles Willson Peale (see plates 3 and 4) wrote in 1817 about John Lewis Krimmel. 1
Going to Market—The Disaster includes the action, character, color, and brushwork that inspired this verdict about the
young immigrant painter by the patriarch of the arts in Philadelphia.
Krimmel had anglicized his name from Johann Ludwig after fleeing the Napoleonic wars in the Germanic duchy of
Württemberg. 2 American contemporaries reported that he had been trained there by the court painter Johann Baptist Seele
(1774–1814). Sailing first to London, Krimmel remained there for an unknown period. He came to Philadelphia in 1809
at about the age of twenty-three. Krimmel’s accidental drowning in 1821 in nearby Germantown tragically closed a brief
career. His determined efforts over a decade, however, had made him the first artist in America to build a career on painting
subjects from contemporary life. Annual exhibitions in Philadelphia and New York City between 1811 and 1821 usually
included at least one of his genre pictures.
The recent discovery of Going to Market—The Disaster is a significant addition to the small number of John Lewis Krimmel’s
known efforts. The picture has not been reproduced in prints, it has not been exhibited, and it is published here for the first
time. Although the painting has been unknown to art historians, descendants of Krimmel’s possible patron appreciated the
picture and have kept it in excellent condition. It is credible, but undocumented, that the original owner was the notable
Philadelphian Zachariah Poulson, Jr. 3 He edited and owned a newspaper, The American Daily Advertiser, from 1800 to 1839.
The likelihood of Poulson’s patronage gains support from several circumstances. Significantly, Poulson and his wife,
Susanna, knew Krimmel and went to his studio on May 23, 1819—the day after their daughter was there—according to a
note in one of Krimmel’s sketchbooks (Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, Delaware). 4 Poulson’s humanitarian
concerns, demonstrated through his many philanthropies, and his support for the arts generally offer insights into a
personality that could have led to an interest in contemporary genre pictures. Their subjects also paralleled daily events
reported in his newspaper, in which he energetically supported the fine arts. On January 3, 1820, for example, he gave
newspaper space to a long essay entitled “The Fine Arts” by the English immigrant John Robinson (died c. 1829), a portrait
and miniature painter. Robinson’s purpose was to justify an application by the Association of American Artists for
incorporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by explaining the public benefits of different kinds of picture subjects.
“Paintings of Domestic Scenes,” he wrote, “may be considered as having a corrective and enlightening tendency in the
general concerns of life.” Robinson’s thesis, that genre subjects offered models for good behavior, directly supported
Krimmel, who was president of the Association of American Artists the following year.
The strong lining canvas that, after about a half century, still firmly reinforces the original support of the painting may cover
Krimmel’s signature, a date, the title, or other inscriptions. But if the reverse of the painting is not inscribed, the lack of
documentation would not be surprising: Krimmel did not sign or inscribe most of his major paintings, such as Self-Portrait
with Susannah Krimmel and Her Children (private collection). 5
Secure attribution of Going to Market—The Disaster to Krimmel rests on an understanding of his distinctive approach to
painting. 6 Faint impressions remain of lines which he customarily made with a straight-edge and a compass in the damp
primer as guides for painting. These include lines on the house at the left, the inn at the right, and the trough at the lower
right. Equally significant for the attribution, the colors are typical of Krimmel, and the brush strokes range from Krimmel’s
customary broad ones in large areas of one color to his usual minuscule strokes for such details as ears and hands.
Documentary evidence firmly supports attribution of the picture to Krimmel and clearly identifies its subject. The catalogue
for the Eleventh Annual Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for 1822, the year after Krimmel died, records
as number 408 a now unlocated “sketch in oil” entitled Going to Market—The Disaster &c. do (that is, a sketch in oil, like
the previous entry, painted as a study for a picture). The title, among those associated with Krimmel, is the most appropriate
for the recently discovered picture, illustrated here. Krimmel evidently had sold it before exhibiting it and placing a title on
record. The owner of the sketch exhibited in 1822 probably bought it at Krimmel’s estate sale, which was advertised in Relf’s
Philadelphia Gazette and Daily Advertiser on August 7, 1821.
A sketch, like the one exhibited in 1822, was a step—the final one—in the traditional European method of developing a
picture. The procedure is revealed in Krimmel’s few surviving sketchbooks. 7 He began the process with swiftly executed
compositional sketches, which he continued to draw until he produced one that satisfied him. Krimmel explored details in
drawings and watercolors. He then combined them in black-ink sketches for evaluating the composition and determining
the tonal values of the projected picture. An example of the last step in the process is an oil sketch for another picture, Return
from Market. 8 The oil sketch exhibited in 1822, consequently, is undoubtedly for a picture Krimmel completed, and the
title—recorded soon after the artist’s death—probably is the one he intended.
The oil sketch for Going to Market—The Disaster is unlocated. 9 Krimmel could have scraped away the sketch and replaced it with
another, but the exhibition record of 1822 reveals that he kept the original sketch and stored it. His lack of a will required estate
administrators to auction his possessions and divide proceeds among his heirs. The administrators may have omitted listing the
sketch in advertisements for the estate sale because they considered it—like others that survive and were in the sale—to be
without value. 10 It is possible, though unlikely, that Krimmel gave the sketch to an acquaintance or to the patron who bought
the completed picture.
Going to Market—The Disaster is included in the present
author’s 1987 catalogue of Krimmel’s unlocated pictures,
despite the lack of documentary evidence for it. 11 The
reason for including the entry was that Krimmel would
have painted the picture if he invested time in a final study.
Between 1832 and 1836, Alexander Lawson
(1773–1846) engraved the most accurate known
representation of Krimmel’s related picture, Return from
Market, and retitled it The Happy Family (fig. 1). 12 The
earliest known documentary reference to Return from
Market is Charles Willson Peale’s description of it in a
letter to his son Rembrandt after seeing it in an
exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
in the spring of 1819. 13 Going to Market—The Disaster
fig. 1; Alexander Lawson (American, 1773–1846); The Happy Family,
1832–36; After John Lewis Krimmel, Return from Market, 1811–19; Engraving
on paper, 4 3 /8 x 6 1 /2 inches; Ewell Sale Stewart Library, The Academy of Natural
Sciences of Philadelphia
cannot be considered a companion picture with the same general date, because the figures and the setting are different, and
measurements for Return from Market are unknown. The picture which is the subject of this essay can only be dated
conservatively between 1811 and 1821, the years when Krimmel was active as a genre painter. Krimmel also exhibited a
picture identified as The Accident. 14 This title could refer to the picture which is the subject of this essay, but Going to
Market—The Disaster offers a better description of the subject.
Krimmel was familiar with the British or European tradition for market subjects through the annual exhibitions at the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in which he, too, had entered pictures. 15 One example he would have seen in 1811
was A Countryman Returning from Market, with Fowl and Basket of Eggs (no. 217) by the Dutch artist Aelbert Cuyp
(1620–1691); another, in 1813, was Going to Market (no. 64) by an artist identified only as “Brewdet.” Thomas
Gainsborough (1727–1788) had popularized market subjects among British artists and their public by introducing rustic
men, women, and children, who were going to market or returning, as elements in forest scenes as early as the 1760s. 16 The
slight suggestion of narrative in these pictures is well represented in Gainsborough’s Road from Market of 1767–68 (Toledo
Museum of Art). As market themes gained prominence, another Englishman, Francis Wheatley (1747–1801), became
known for adopting the subjects and emphasizing their anecdotal content. 17 Prints from his pictures and those of other
artists could have inspired Krimmel in Philadelphia, or he could have recalled pictures he had seen abroad.
Market subjects found a place in American painting in the years following Krimmel’s efforts. Typical examples are Market Day
(Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond) of 1842 by George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879) 18 and Going to Market (private
collection) of 1887 by Edward Lamson Henry (1841–1919). 19 These pictures reveal that representations of going to or returning
from market are among the weddings, elections, and Fourth-of-July celebrations that Krimmel introduced to American art.
Krimmel’s direct inspiration from specific British or European pictures and prints of market subjects has not been
established. Their existence is unlikely, because none of Krimmel’s other subjects can be traced to an exact source.
Krimmel did travel often from Philadelphia into the countryside to observe subjects for pictures. One of his few surviving letters
urges his friend Thomas Birch (1779–1851) to join him in the summer of 1812 or 1813 in an unspecified place for painting
“beautiful scenery.” 20 Krimmel’s sketchbooks document other excursions in both casual and detailed watercolors and drawings.
Among them, studies of a turkey could be the direct source for the one at the lower right of Going to Market—The Disaster. 21
Accuracy in painting the turkey and other details was essential for Krimmel’s contemporary acceptance. This feature of his
picture is useful today for documenting a vanished world. The usual portrait of the time records clothing among people
who—if not wealthy—were prosperous and occasionally preserved the costly attire in which they posed. Krimmel’s pictures
are unusual for recording dress among laborers and farmers without funds for portraits. They wore out clothing and repaired
garments with remnants until they discarded them. Going to Market—The Disaster records other transitory objects, from
buckets to wagons, that often lack documentation.
Many Americans in the second decade of the nineteenth century considered such records of daily life a lesser form of artistic
expression than the history painting endorsed in lectures to the Royal Academicians in London by Sir Joshua Reynolds
(1723–1792). His published annual Discourses were well known to Americans and reveal the gradual changes in the
principles since the Renaissance. Reynolds considered historical or literary subjects that offered moral instruction to be the
most important in a hierarchy of subjects. Portraits were at the bottom of the scale and slightly less important than genre
subjects. 22 The challenge to this standard and the new interest in subjects from daily life during Krimmel’s period are well
represented by James Robinson’s endorsement of them in Zachariah Poulson’s newspaper in 1820, cited above, and by the
North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal of Boston in 1816. 23
Genre subjects were gaining acceptance among progressive Americans, partly through the growing popularity of a
contemporary British artist, Sir David Wilkie (1785–1841), with whom Krimmel had declared an alliance. In 1813
Krimmel exhibited a copy (Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago) of an engraving by John Burnet (1784–1868) after
Wilkie’s cottage scene of 1806, The Blind Fiddler (Tate Gallery, London), in the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania
Academy; beside it he placed his American rural counterpart, Quilting Frolic (Winterthur Museum). 24 Wilkie shrewdly had
combined the waning humanist tradition with the rising genre movement by composing his scene from contemporary daily
life according to the rules for pictures illustrating moral lessons. Instances of Krimmel’s adoption of these rules in Going to
Market—The Disaster include simplifying the composition by limiting complete figures to no more than twelve, focusing
attention on a light-struck central subject while keeping the edges of the picture in shadow, and placing figures within
interlocking ovals or circles on the two-dimensional surface of the canvas. 25 Krimmel’s Going to Market—The Disaster also
conforms to the British and Continental tradition of adopting gestures from the theater to painting. Examples in this
painting are the man and woman in the wagon holding their hands out with fingers apart to express surprise.
Krimmel also followed Wilkie’s program and American critical opinion by idealizing rural life. An unidentified critic in the
Port Folio explained the interpretation in a review of Krimmel’s Quilting Frolic and his copy after Wilkie’s The Blind Fiddler,
when Krimmel exhibited them at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1813. Wilkie, the reviewer wrote, is the “founder of a new
school of painting—he appears to have copied nature very closely, without her deformities: he has given all the character
and finish of [David] Teniers [1610–1690] without his vulgarities.” 26
Thomas Jefferson was another strong contemporary spokesman for an optimistic philosophy of rural life and rural people.
Europeans often echoed his view in their fascination with the nation of farmers and the new kind of society without a hereditary
class structure. Alexis de Tocqueville, a visitor in 1831, is the best-known of these observers. This enthusiasm for the new
republic is equally evident during Krimmel’s period in a book by William Cobbett. The British visitor traveled throughout the
United States from May 5, 1817, to April 20, 1818, and wrote that here there was no “class like that which the French call
peasantry, and . . . of late years applied to the whole mass of the most useful people in England, those who do the work and
fight the battles.” 27 The Port Folio’s anonymous reviewer in 1813, cited above, concluded his endorsement of Wilkie by writing
that “we believe his school of painting well fitted for our republican manners, and habits, and more likely than any other to be
appreciated at present.” 28 Krimmel clearly expressed this theme through the farmers in Going to Market—The Disaster.
—Milo M. Naeve
In appreciation of Mr. Naeve’s contribution to this catalogue, a donation
in his name has been made, at his request, to the Skowhegan School of
Painting and Sculpture in Maine, a program for emerging artists.
1. Lillian B. Miller et al., eds., The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991), vol. 3, p.
500. Peale wrote the comment on May 28, 1817, in a journal for a trip to New York City. 2. Biographical information in this essay is from Milo
M. Naeve, John Lewis Krimmel: An Artist in Federal America (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1987), chapt. 1, “Krimmel in Europe and
America,” pp. 15–34. 3. The comprehensive biography remains M. Atherton Leach, “Zachariah Poulson,” The American Scandinavian Review,” vol.
8, no. 7 (July 1920), pp. 510–17. There are no references to Krimmel’s picture in Poulson’s estate papers (his wife predeceased him): County of
Philadelphia, Register of Wills, Estate of Zachariah Poulson, Will 151, 1844, and Estate Inventory, Sept. 13, 1844. 4. Sketchbook 5, inside back cover.
5. Milo M. Naeve, “Self-Portrait with Susannah Krimmel and Her Children” in American Paintings, Philadelphia Collection LXIII (Philadelphia: Schwarz
Gallery, 1998), no. 10. For discussion of other undocumented pictures, see Naeve, Krimmel, p. 42. 6. See Naeve, Krimmel, pp. 40–41. 7. For detailed
discussion of Krimmel’s procedures, see Ibid., pp. 39–41. 8. See Ibid., p. 98, no. 56. 9. See Ibid., p. 100, no. 63. 10. See Ibid., p. 98, no. 56; p.
99, nos. 57 and 59; p. 100, no. 63. 11. See Ibid., p. 91, no. 28. 12. See Ibid., pp. 91–92, no. 29; pp. 120–22, nos. 110–12. 13. Letter, May 22,
1819, in Miller, The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family, vol. 3, p. 719. 14. Naeve, Krimmel, p. 88, no. 16. 15. Ibid., p. 87, no. 12;
pp. 69–73, nos. 2 and 3. 16. Diane Perkins, Evening Landscape with Peasants Returning from Market and Peasants and Colliers Going to Market: Early
Morning in Gainsborough, ed. Michael Rosenthal and Martin Myrone (London: Tate Publishing, 2002), p. 216, no. 114; p. 217, no. 115. 17. For British
and American pictures with these themes, I am grateful to Dr. Catherine Gordon, Director, Witt Computer Index, Courtauld Institute of Art, London
(Letter to Milo M. Naeve, Dec. 9, 2002), “List 1, The Witt Browse List” and “List 2, British Paintings in British Collections”; Nicole Semenchuk,
Assistant to the Coordinator, Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Information Resources, Smithsonian American Art Museum (Letter
to Milo M. Naeve, Nov. 18, 2002); and the Frick Art Reference Library, New York. 18. E. Maurice Bloch, The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham: A
Catalogue Raisonné (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986), p. 162, no. 124 (repro. p. 56). 19. Color illustration in advertisement, Adam A.
Weschler and Son, Auctioneers, Washington, D.C., Dec. 4–7, 1975 in The Magazine Antiques, vol. 108, no. 4 (Oct., 1975), p. 581. 20. Archives of
American Art; for the complete text, see Naeve, Krimmel, p. 22. 21. See Naeve, Krimmel, p.176, for description of Sketchbook 6, p. 32, and p.177
for illustration of it. 22. For detailed discussion of genre and the humanist theory of painting, of Reynolds, and of these topics in the new nation, see
Ibid., pp. 47–54. 23. The major arguments in the article are quoted in Ibid., p. 59. 24. For discussion of the pictures and illustrations of them, see
Ibid., pp. 69–71, no. 2; pp. 71–73, no. 3. 25. See Ibid., pp. 41–42. 26. For the complete text, see Ibid., pp. 71, 73, no. 3. For a pertinent assessment
of the theme in British art, see Michael Rosenthal, “The Rough and the Smooth: Rural Subjects in Later-Eighteenth-Century Art” in Prospects for the
Nation: Recent Essays in British Landscape, 1750–1880 (Studies in British Art no.4), eds. Michael Rosenthal, Christina Payne, and Scott Wilcox (New
Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 37–59. 27. William Cobbett, A Year’s Residence in the United States of America (New York: Clayton and
Kingsland, 1818), p. 248 (Copy: The Library Company of Philadelphia). For the dates and circumstances of the visit, see the introduction. 28. For the
complete text, see Naeve, Krimmel, pp. 71, 73.
View on the Wissahickon, 1826
Oil on panel, 11 x 16 1 /8 inches
Inscribed on panel verso: (at center in ink, probably by James Peale) “View on the
Wissahickon Painted in 1828/By James Peale Sen. r ”; (at upper left in ink, probably by
Anna Claypoole Peale Staughton) “Property of A. C. Staughton”; (at lower center in ink,
by the same hand) “Painted by James Peale Phila. da 1826;/age of 70”
Label (handwritten in ink) on panel verso: “Mrs. F. F. Peale.”
Provenance: The artist’s daughter Anna Claypoole Peale Staughton (1791–1878);
(probably) James Godman Peale (1823–1891), who married Ellen M. Field
(1827–1902); their son Fulton Field Peale (1848–1896); Mrs. Fulton Field Peale;
(probably) Washington James Peale (1847–1901); (possibly) his wife Mary G. Margery
Peale (1847–1914); Lilian Peale (1871–1927; after 1892 Mrs. Neville J. Rowan); Mary
Peale Rowan (born 1895); Schwarz Gallery by 1976; Connecticut private collection by
1987; Schwarz Gallery, 1998; Pennsylvania private collection, 1998–2003
References: Linda Crocker Simmons, “James Peale: Out of the Shadows,” in The Peale
Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770–1870, ed. Lillian B. Miller (New York: Abbeville
Press, 1996), pp. 202–19; American Paintings, Philadelphia Collection LXIII
(Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1998), no. 8 (repro. in color)
Illustrated: Robert Devlin Schwarz, A Gallery Collects Peales, Philadelphia Collection
XXXV (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 1987), p. 57, no. 44 (repro. in color)
Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame.
James Peale was born in Chestertown, Maryland, and in 1762, at age 13, became a journeyman in the saddlery business of
his brother, Charles Willson Peale (see plates 3 and 4). This was followed by an apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker in 1765.
About 1769 James joined his brother’s painting studio as a frame maker, painting fitter, and general assistant.
In a letter of 1771, Charles Willson records that his brother was painting by that date. 1 However, James’s early career was
interrupted by the Revolutionary War, during which he quickly rose to first lieutenant in General William Smallwood’s
Maryland regiment. In 1778 he was promoted to captain, and although he resigned his commission the next year, he
remained in the army a while longer, no doubt in response to special pleading from George Washington. After leaving the
army, James moved to Philadelphia, where he lived with Charles Willson’s family until, in 1782, he married Mary C.
Claypoole (1753–1829), sister of the artist James Claypoole (c. 1743–1800).
After the war, faced with difficulties in finding painting commissions, James benefitted from an arrangement (beginning in
1786) whereby he would specialize in painting portrait miniatures in watercolor on ivory while Charles Willson painted lifesize
portraits in oil. James would become known as one of the country’s best miniaturists.
James, like many members of the distinguished Peale family of artists, enjoyed a long life and actively painted to the end.
The range of his output is extraordinary. Although he had also painted in oils even while specializing in miniatures, failing
eyesight caused him to give up miniature painting entirely about 1810. A fine portraitist and one of the founders of the stilllife
tradition in America, he was also an excellent landscapist in the generation before the full-blown emergence of the
Hudson River School. His legacy survived in his children, whom he taught to paint. One daughter, Anna Claypoole Peale
(1791–1878), became one of the best miniaturists of her period; another daughter, Sarah Miriam Peale (1800–1885), is
considered the first professional female artist the country produced.
Charles Willson Peale’s letters contain several references to James painting landscapes. In a letter of May 19, 1788, he discusses
a raffle of James’s landscapes; 2 in the Columbian Magazine, Charles Willson mentions a “variable landscape scene” by James. 3
Charles Coleman Sellers says that James carried out these pictures for Charles Willson. 4 We do know from the contents of an
1820 letter from Charles Willson that landscape painting was a communal activity for the brothers: “My brother is with me,
and I propose to visit Skulkill [sic] the neighborhood of Canal, for the purpose of taking several interesting views.” 5
It was common for James, like other contemporary portraitists, to include either general or specific landscapes in the
background of his paintings of the 1790s, but it would be almost twenty years before his pictures would reveal an emotional
response to the landscape. James’s first “pure” landscape may be the one shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
in Philadelphia in 1819: Landscape—Belfield Farm, Near Germantown (no. 86). He would continue to exhibit his landscapes
at the Academy until his death in 1831.
The landscapes that James Peale painted in the 1820s, such as the View on the Wissahickon, had changed considerably from
those he executed in the 1790s, for there is now a sense of enjoyment and excitement about the landscape. The color is in
a higher key, light and shadow form interesting patterns, the figures—even in their genre activity—are integrated into the
composition rather than being merely placed in the setting, and the entire picture has a theme and unity missing from his
earlier landscapes. The final stage of James’s landscape production is marked by dramatic scenes in which he contemplates
man’s place in nature. As Edward J. Nygren comments, James’s earlier landscape work “exudes a sense of rural gentility of
man at ease in an environment of his making,” whereas the late period “speaks for the sublimity of nature where man is a
mute observer of forces beyond his control.” 6
James is known to have painted four views of the Wissahickon (as well as several of the Schuylkill and the Brandywine)
between 1821 and his death. 7 One Wissahickon picture at Swarthmore College and two at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
relate only in subject to this one. Another, however, now in a Philadelphia private collection, is quite similar and may have
been painted at the same time. An oil on canvas of corresponding proportions (15 3 /4 x 22 inches), it is painted from the
same vantage point and has a similar palette and style.
—Linda Crocker Simmons
1. Charles Willson Peale to Benjamin West, Apr. 20, 1771, in The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family, ed. Lillian Miller et al., vol.
1, Charles Willson Peale: The Artist in Revolutionary America, 1735–1791 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1983), p. 95. 2. Charles
Willson Peale, Diary No. 7, June 19, 1788, and June 22, 1788, in Miller, The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family, vol. 1, pp. 502,
504. 3. Charles Willson Peale, Columbian Magazine, vol. 3 (1789), pp. 413–16. 4. Charles Coleman Sellers, “James Peale: A Light in Shadow,
1749–1831” in Four Generations of Commissions: The Peale Collection of the Maryland Historical Society, ed. Eugenia Calvert Holland et al. (Baltimore:
The Maryland Historical Society, March 3–June 29, 1975), p. 30. 5. Charles Willson Peale to Rembrandt Peale, July 27, 1820, quoted by Linda
Crocker Simmons, “James Peale: Out of the Shadows,” in The Peale Family: Creation of a Legacy, 1770–1870, ed. Lillian B. Miller (New York: Abbeville
Press, 1996), p. 209. 6. Edward J. Nygren, Views and Visions: American Landscapes before 1830 (Washington, D.C.: The Corcoran Gallery of Art,
1987), p. 74. 7. The author estimated that the total may be about a dozen in a telephone conversation with Robert Schwarz, Sr., July 30, 2003.
(American, born England, 1779–1851)
Sleigh Ride on a Gray Day, 1832
Oil on canvas, 18 x 27 1 /4 inches
Signed and dated at lower left: “Tho Birch/1832”
Provenance: Mrs. Frederica F. Emert; Mrs. J. Watson Webb; the Shelburne
Museum, Shelburne, Vt.; (Christie’s, New York, May 30, 1986); Schwarz Gallery by
1992; Pennsylvania private collection until 2003
This is the earliest extant “snow piece” by Thomas Birch to which a secure date can be attached. Although Birch painted
winter scenes as early as 1811, none of his early snow pieces have been located. 1 Birch exhibited several sleighing pictures
between 1832 and 1842, 2 including at least thirteen examples based upon a format similar to that seen in this canvas. 3 This
painting may, in fact, have been the canvas exhibited at the Artists’ Fund Society in Philadelphia in 1834 as Snow Piece,
Sleighing Party &c; it may also have been exhibited there in 1835 as Winter Scene. Another artist identified simply as “W.”
(possibly Joshua Shaw [1776–1860]) composed the following poem about the 1835 exhibition in which Birch’s snow scene
Have you been to the Artists’ Exhibit?
If not, you should go with all expedition.
If you love the fine arts, you will find things there,
That are worth your notice, both rich and rare,
Pictures by masters, old and new,
Deserving an oft repeated view.
Here’s a snow scene of Birch’s so charming, so bold,
So true to all nature, it makes you feel cold. 4
Birch adapted his composition and subject from the work of Dutch artists such as Jan van Goyen (1596–1656), Salomon
van Ruysdael (1602–1670), and Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c. 1525/30–1569). Birch knew compositions by these artists
through prints and likely had seen paintings of winter scenes at the homes of collectors such as Edward L. Carey or Joseph
Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. Birch’s father, the famed artist William Birch (1755–1834), wrote in his manuscript
autobiography that he owned Jan van Goyen’s Winter Scene, which showed figures skating. 5 Thomas Birch’s decision to paint
winter scenes may also have been influenced by the popularity of sleighing and skating in Philadelphia. Francis Baily, an
English traveler, wrote with some surprise of the American mania for sleighing in Journal of a Tour in the Unsettled Parts of
North America in 1796 and 1797:
The amusement of which they seem most passionately fond is that of riding on the snow in what you
would call a sledge, drawn by two horses. It is astonishing to see how anxiously persons of all ages and both
sexes look out for a good fall of snow, that they may enjoy their favorite amusement; and when the happy
time comes, to see how eager they are to engage every sleigh that is to be had . . . . Whilst snow is on the
ground no other carriages are made use of, either for pleasure or service. 6
John Wesley Jarvis (1780–1840), writing to Birch in 1804, echoed Baily’s sentiments. “Sleighing,” he told his friend, “had
been so good here until today that there has been little else done.” 7
Although Birch was occasionally criticized for his choice of subjects and his literalism, the fact that he produced a great
number of similar canvases suggests that there was a market for snow pieces. A general prejudice against the verism of Dutch
landscapes and still lifes nonetheless persisted into the 1840s among many self-styled connoisseurs. The appropriateness of
a winter subject was questioned, for example, in an unidentified newspaper review of the third annual exhibition of the
Artists’ Fund Society in 1837. The critic, identifying himself as “A Lover of the Arts,” 8 nonetheless singled out Birch’s Snow
Scene for hesitant praise:
This looks like a faithful copy from nature, without much choice in the selection of the scene. Nature, at
this season of the year, is not in her most attractive robes, and does not afford much scope for the pencil.
Mr. Birch executes landscapes of this kind with remarkable fidelity; but his home is on the deep. 9
Following the Civil War, however, public opinion had shifted in favor of genre paintings of winter pastimes. Art historian
Henry Tuckerman, writing in 1867 of another artist who specialized in winter scenes, stated that “lovers of art considered
one of Rene [sic] Francois Gignoux’s winter scenes essential to their limited collections; and orders flowed in upon him far
beyond his ability to execute.” 10
Part of the reason for the popularity of winter scenes can be attributed to the sheer number of artists who familiarized the
nineteenth-century public with the aesthetic possibilities of the season. Younger artists of varying degrees of art-historical
significance such as Thomas Doughty (1793–1856), Thomas B. Ashton (active 1835–52), George Robert Bonfield
(1802–1898), Regis François Gignoux (1816–1882), Joseph Morviller (active 1855–70), and Louis Mignot (1831–1870)
were inspired by Birch’s detailed images of snow and sleighing. 11 The American artist most often identified with winter
scenes is George Henry Durrie (1820–1863), and Birch’s influence is unmistakable in Durrie’s remarkably similar
compositions. Durrie, more than anyone else, popularized the format established by Birch through the medium of
lithography. His lithographic reinterpretations of Birch’s work, such as Sleigh Ride on a Gray Day, were issued in great
numbers by Currier and Ives, and proved to be one of the most popular genres among a mass audience.
1. Birch exhibited winter landscapes at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1811, in 1812 at both the annual and a supplemental exhibition, and in 1813.
He was not the only American artist to exhibit winter scenes before 1830, although they were quite rare. The Baltimore painter Francis Guy
(1760–1820), for example, exhibited Winter Scene in 1811 and a watercolor entitled Winter Scene in Philadelphia—Children Sliding &c by John
Lewis Krimmel (see plate 12) was shown in 1825. 2. Birch again exhibited winter scenes at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1834; and at the Artists
Fund Society in 1835, 1837, 1838, 1840, and 1841. 3. These included Winter Landscape, Signed “T. Birch,” 20 1 /4 x 30 inches, Provenance:
The Zucci Estate, Sewickley, Pa., purchased in 1960 from the estate by Mrs. E. S. Davenport; Winter Landscape, Signed and dated: “T. Birch 1838,”
20 x 30 inches, Provenance: Newhouse Gallery, New York, Harry Shaw Newman Gallery, New York, Winterthur Museum, De., Reproduction:
Art Digest, vol. 22 (Jan. 1, 1948), p. 6; Winter Scene in Pennsylvania, Signed and dated: “T. Birch 1835,” 18 x 27 inches, Provenance: Whitney
Museum of American Art, New York; Winter Scene, 1842, 24 1 /2 x 35 1 /2 inches, Provenance: Chapellier Galleries, New York, Reproduction: Art
Journal, vol. 36 (winter 1976–77), p. 163; Winter Landscape, 18 3 /4 x 26 inches, Reproduction: North Carolinians Collect, Mint Museum of Art,
Charlotte, N. C. (Sept. 12–Nov. 7, 1971), p. 3; Rider on a Snowy Road, 18 x 27 inches, Provenance: Vose Galleries, Boston, R. H. Love Gallery,
Chicago, Reproduction: A Selection of American Paintings (Chicago: R. H. Love Galleries, 1977), p. 60; A Sleighing Party, 1841, Provenance:
Purchased by Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, N. H. in 1963; Winter Scene, 1842, 18 x 27 1 /2 inches, Provenance: Purchased from Harry Shaw
Newman by C. K. Davis, given to Yale in 1947, Reproduction: Antiques, vol. 57 (Feb. 1950), p. 106; Winter in the Country, 17 x 26 1 /2 inches,
Provenance: IBM, Reproduction: American Landscape Art from the Primitive through Inness, Vose Galleries, Boston (summer 1945), p. 21; Winter
Landscape, 11 3 /4 x 8 1 /8 inches, Provenance: Originally thought to be from the Hopkinson Collection; Sleigh Ride in the Country, Signed and dated
“T. Birch 1841,” 20 x 30 inches, Provenance: Charles D. Childs, Boston, 1938, given to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, by M. M. Karolik, in
1947, Reproduction: New England Genre (Boston: Fogg Art Museum, May 15–Sept. 1, 1939), n.p.; Winter Scene, 18 x 27 inches, Provenance:
Newhouse Galleries, New York, 1933; A Sleighing Party, 1841, Provenance: Purchased by the Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, N. H., 1963.
4. “The Artists’ Fund Society,” for the United States Gazette (Philadelphia), May 13, 1835, in John Neagle Scrapbook, vol. 2. Manuscript owned by
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 5. “The Life of Wm Russell Birch, Enamel Painter, Written by Himself. With a List of his
Copys in Enamel (by desire) from the Pencil of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Master he Studied under with a short Detail Upon Enamel Painting,” 2
vols., Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 6. Francis Baily, Journal of a Tour in the Unsettled Parts of North America in 1796 and 1797
(London, 1861), p. 121. Quoted in Harold Edward Dickson, John Wesley Jarvis: American Painter, 1780–1840 (New York: New-York Historical
Society, 1949), p. 74. 7. Jarvis to Thomas Birch, Jan. 28, 1804, Hall Park McCullough, New York. Quoted in Dickson, Jarvis, p. 74. Birch and
Francis Guy were the first American artists to show a sustained interest in winter landscapes. Thomas Doughty (1793–1856), Thomas B. Ashton
(active 1835–52), and George Robert Bonfield (1802–1898) were painting such scenes in Philadelphia by 1835. 8. The pseudonym is known to
have been used elsewhere by Birch’s chief competitor, Joshua Shaw. 9. A Lover of the Arts, “Third Annual Exhibition of the Artists’ Fund Society,”
[Unidentified newspaper,1837], John Neagle Scrapbook, vol. 2, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 10. Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of
the Artists (New York: Putnam, 1867), p. 508. Quoted in Martha Hudson, “The American Winter Landscape, 1830–1870,” American Art Review,
vol. 2, no. 1 (Jan.–Feb., 1975), p. 67. 11. See Hudson, “The American Winter Landscape,” pp. 60–78.
Attributed to Edward H. Murray
(American, active c. 1856–75)
Fire Engine Panel
Oil on panel, 25 1 /2 x 16 1 /4 inches
Signed and inscribed at lower right: “MURR[AY?] Philada”
In addition to their very real achievements in saving lives and property, volunteer fire companies were a vibrant part of
Philadelphia street life in the nineteenth century. The social aspects of these all-male organizations led to rivalries that often
erupted in violence, one reason that a professional, citywide fire department replaced the volunteer companies in the 1870s.
The volunteer companies first marched in a large parade in Philadelphia in 1832, the centennial of George Washington’s
birth. For the next forty years, the companies competed in the brilliance of their parade regalia—hats, capes, and belts for
the firefighters and decorative panels like this one for their fire engines. The panels, by such Philadelphia painters as John
Archibald Woodside, Sr. (1781–1854), and his sons and David Bustill Bowser (1820–1900), were for parade use and display
and were made to be removed at other times. The slightly bowed, heavy wooden panel of this example suggests that it was
mounted on the side of a hand-pumper, where the shape of the panel had to allow for its placement over a large nut.
The female figure on this panel combines elements of the two figures representing the Schuylkill River, carved by William
Rush (1756–1833) for the Fairmount Waterworks in 1825. Similar iconography is known to have been employed on
decorative objects made for the Schuylkill Hose Company (founded before 1820) and the Fairmount Fire Company
(founded in 1823). Edward H. Murray, to whom this panel is attributed, was an ornamental painter listed in Philadelphia
business directories from 1856 to 1875. 1 No other works by this artist are known.
1. See George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564–1860 (New Haven, Conn.:
Yale University Press, 1957), p. 462.
Christian Friedrich Mayr, N.A.
(American, born Bavaria, 1803–1851)
It’s Too Tight, 1837
Oil on canvas, 24 x 21 inches
Signed and dated at lower right (at bottom of door): “C. Mayr 1837”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1984; Pennsylvania private collection, 1986–2003
Exhibited: National Academy of Design, New York (1837), no. 227
References: Chad Mandeles in William H. Gerdts et al., From All Walks of Life: Paintings of the
Figure from the National Academy of Design (New York: National Academy of Design, 1979), p. 69;
Helene M. Kastinger Riley, “Christian Friedrich Mayr,” The Magazine Antiques, vol. 154, no. 5
(Nov. 1998), pp. 688–95 (repro. p. 694, pl. 9)
The portrait and genre painter Christian Mayr was born in Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany, and probably studied both
with his stepfather, Christian Friedrich Fues (1772–1836), and at the Royal Art Academy in Nuremberg. It is recorded that
he was an architectural painter and a lithographer at Nuremberg in 1823, the same year he entered the Royal Academy in
Munich. Mayr arrived in New York about 1833. In the same year, he exhibited six paintings at the National Academy of
Design. In 1835 he went to Boston, and the following year he went to the South; Mayr finally settled in South Carolina.
In 1838 he became an American citizen in Charleston, where he resided until 1843. While there he also ventured into the
field of daguerreotype photography, advertising “whole length likenesses” on February 13, 1843. In 1844 he went to New
Orleans but returned to New York the next year, where he remained until his death.
Although Mayr painted portraits to earn his living, he is best remembered for his genre scenes depicting humorous events
of everyday life in America. His best-known painting is a large canvas of black people dancing in a hotel kitchen, titled
Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, executed in 1838 and now in the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. 1 That
work, like this one, dates from his Charleston period. Mayr exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design and was
elected an Academician in 1849. Also in New York, he exhibited at the American Academy of the Fine Arts in 1835 and at
the Apollo Association in 1839 and 1840. The Apollo Association purchased three of his paintings in 1839, and the
American Art-Union bought ten of his works for distribution among its members between 1847 and 1851. His painting
Reading the News is in the permanent collection of the National Academy of Design and his work also was exhibited in the
Academy’s Centennial Exhibition in 1925.
1. See Elizabeth Johns, American Genre Painting: The Politics of Everyday Life (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991), pp. 114, 127.
(American, born England, 1783–1872)
William Wagner (1796–1885), 1836
Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches
Recorded: Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully
(Charleston, S.C.: Garnier and Co., 1969), p. 306, no. 1867
Thomas Sully was one of the most skilled and prolific portrait painters in America in the nineteenth century. Sully emigrated
from England in 1792 with his actor-parents, who came to the United States under the sponsorship of his father’s brotherin-law,
a theater manager. Sully grew up in cities all along the East Coast, but he received drawing instruction at the
Reverend Robert Smith’s school in Charleston, South Carolina, where he also studied with his brother-in-law, the Frenchborn
miniaturist and drawing teacher, Jean Belzons (active in the United States, 1794–1812). Sully began painting
professionally with his brother Lawrence Sully (1769–1804) in both Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. In 1807 Sully went
to Boston to visit the famous painter Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828), but by 1808 had settled in Philadelphia with his wife,
Sarah Annis, at Sixth and Minor streets. Sully subsequently moved to 11 South Fifth Street, where he would remain until
his death. To refine his artistic skills, however, in 1809 Sully traveled to England, where he received the advice of Sir William
Beechey (1753–1839), Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), and Benjamin West (1738–1820).
In his 70-year career, Sully painted over 2,000 portraits, including those of some of the most distinguished personages of
his time: Fanny Kemble, Andrew Jackson, William Strickland, and even Queen Victoria. He was made an honorary member
of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the National Academy of
Design in New York. Sully had numerous students and was an astute businessman, establishing one of Philadelphia’s first
commercial galleries, in partnership with the framer James S. Earle.
The subject of this portrait, “Professor” William Wagner, was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant who traded in coal and
lumber throughout North and South America. He was also a noted amateur scientist who amassed a substantial collection
of natural history specimens, including minerals, fossils, sea shells, and animal skeletons. A philanthropist who was
committed to educating the public, Wagner began to give free lectures on natural science at his home, Elm Grove.
In 1855 he founded the Wagner Free Institute of Science and obtained permission from municipal authorities to use Spring
Garden Hall, on the corner of Spring Garden and Thirteenth streets, as a place to house his collection and library and to hold
educational programs. In order to create a permanent home for the Institute, Wagner constructed a three-story exhibition hall
on the southwest corner of Montgomery Avenue and Seventeenth Street in 1865. 1 The Wagner Free Institute of Science remains
at this location, and it is noteworthy as having the oldest program devoted to free adult education in the United States.
Commissioned by a Philadelphia merchant named George Nugent, this portrait was commenced on July 1 and completed
on July 19, 1836, for a fee of $150. Wagner had commissioned Sully to paint a portrait of Nugent in 1827. 2 The exact
relationship of Wagner and Nugent is unknown, but it is likely that they were business associates and friends. This painting,
the earliest known likeness of Wagner, is a typical example of Sully’s bust portraiture of the mid-1830s.
—Robert Wilson Torchia
1. For information on the Institute, see J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia, 1609–1884 (Philadelphia: L. H. Everts
and Co., 1884), vol. 2, pp. 1225–27, and Morris J. Vogel, Cultural Connections: Museums and Libraries of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley
(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991), p. 60. 2. Sully’s portrait of Nugent is illustrated and discussed in American Paintings, Philadelphia
Collection LXVIII (Philadelphia: Schwarz Gallery, 2001), no. 13 (repro. in color).
Manuel Jaochim de França
(American, born Portugal, 1808–1865)
Wilson McGunnegle (1829–1863), 1846
Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 3 /4 inches
Signed and dated at lower left: “M de Franca/pinxit 1846”
Inscribed on stretcher verso: “WILSON McGUNNEGLE/MARRIED ISABELLA STEELE RAY”
Although Manuel Jaochim de França was a prominent portraitist who secured numerous commissions in Philadelphia
throughout the 1830s and early 1840s, little is known about his career. 1 He was born in Portugal, the eldest son of a
wealthy wine merchant, and studied at the Art Academy in Lisbon. Probably fleeing political turmoil following the death
of King John IV in 1826, the young artist immigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia. De França
established a studio at the northeast corner of Sixth and Spruce streets and exhibited several portraits at the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts in 1830. He soon befriended Philadelphia’s senior portrait painter, Thomas Sully (1783–1872),
and other prominent artists such as John Neagle (1796–1865), Joshua Shaw (c. 1777–1860), and the engraver John Sartain
(1808–1897). 2 Like his associates, de França was a proponent of artists’ rights and became one of the founders of the Artists’
Fund Society in 1835; he exhibited sporadically with the group until 1844. De França also exhibited at both the Apollo
Association and the National Academy of Design in New York City (1838–41).
De França married and in 1842 moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he painted altarpieces for churches. About two
years later, possibly after traveling in Kentucky and Tennessee, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri. De França embarked on an
extremely successful career there, ultimately becoming the city’s most popular portraitist. In 1859 he became one of the
founders of the Western Academy of Art, the first art institution west of the Mississippi River; the following year he
exhibited seventeen paintings in the group’s first annual exhibition. De França’s declining health forced him into
semiretirement, and he died in St. Louis on August 22, 1865.
This formal portrait of seventeen-year-old Wilson McGunnegle dates from de França’s early years in St. Louis. The artist
seems to have been particularly adept at representing children and young people, and he often placed his subjects in
elaborate settings, as in this painting. 3 Although de França was clearly influenced by the British painterly technique practiced
in Philadelphia by Sully and Neagle, de França’s slightly more detail-oriented style may reflect the vestiges of his Portuguese
training. The round hull and high stern of the three-masted, square-rigged vessel in the left background suggest that it is a
bark. The vessel’s presence in the painting probably indicates that the sitter’s family, whose name appears in St. Louis marine
insurance records, was involved in shipping on the Mississippi River. The stormy sky may allude to the hazards faced by
youth in the transition to adulthood. In fact, Lieutenant Commander Wilson McGunnegle died in the Civil War, during
which he served the Union as commander of an ironclad vessel known as “the Old War Horse.” He is buried in Bellefontaine
Cemetery in St. Louis.
—Robert Wilson Torchia
1. The most extensive biography of the artist is Karen McCoskey Goering, “Manuel de Franca: St. Louis Portrait Painter,” Gateway Heritage:
Quarterly Journal of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, vol. 3, no. 3 (winter 1982–83), pp. 30–35. The largest concentration of his portraits
is owned by the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. 2. The earliest source of information on de França is John Sartain, Reminiscences of a
Very Old Man (New York; D. Appleton and Co., 1899), p. 143. 3. See, for example, Matthew Hinzinga Messchert (1839; Philadelphia Museum
of Art); this portrait is illustrated and discussed in William Gerdts, Revealed Masters: 19th-Century American Art (New York: American Federation
of the Arts, 1974), pp. 7–8.
Samuel Bell Waugh, A.N.A.
Miss Jane Mercer, 1840
Oil on canvas, 40 1 /2 x 29 1 /2 inches
Label (handwritten in ink) on stretcher verso: “Miss Jane Mercer/by An American
artist named Waugh/painted at Naples/1840”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1986; acquired from a Seattle, Wash., dealer who
acquired it from a member of the Mercer family who settled in Washington;
Pennsylvania private collection, 1986–2003
Note: This portrait retains its original frame.
Samuel Bell Waugh was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, and as a young man studied drawing with John Rubens Smith
(1775–1849). He lived in Montreal for a time and exhibited portraits at the Society of Artists and Amateurs in Toronto. He
continued his study of art in England, France, and Italy. Although Waugh spent short periods of time in Buffalo, New York;
New York City; and Bordentown, New Jersey, his primary residence for most of his career was Philadelphia. His panoramas
of Italy were exhibited there and contributed greatly to his reputation, leading to numerous portrait commissions from the
city’s elite. Waugh’s son Frederick (1861–1940) and his daughter Ida (died 1919) both became professional artists.
Waugh exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum and the National Academy of Design in New York, which elected him an
Associate Member in 1845 and an Honorary Member, Professional, in 1847. He also participated in exhibitions of the
Artists’ Fund Society and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His portraits are in the New-York
Historical Society in New York; the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; the Pennsylvania Academy of
the Fine Arts in Philadelphia; and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
This dashing portrait was painted during the eight years Waugh spent in Italy, but its fluid brushwork and vivid contrasts of light
and dark are distinguishing features of the Romantic, English-inspired portrait style shared by Waugh’s Philadelphia
contemporaries, Thomas Sully (see plate 17), John Neagle (1796–1865), and Manuel de França (see plate 18). It is presumed
that Miss Jane Mercer was a member of the distinguished family for whom Mercer, Pennsylvania, Waugh’s birthplace, was named.
Edward Edmondson, Jr.
A Basket of Peaches
Oil on canvas, 16 3 /4 x 21 inches (oval)
Inscribed on canvas verso: "original by Edward Edmondson Dayton O."
Label (framer, printed) on frame verso: “[missing] CURRIER &/IMPORTERS
OF/PICTUR[ES]/AND PICTURE FRAMES./211 Kearny Street,/Four Doors
North of Sutter.” (Note: Although Edmondson’s name is missing from the label and
the name of the town is not given, the artist’s father was a currier and there are
Kearny and Sutter streets in his native Dayton, Ohio; this is probably the label of
the senior Edmondson’s business, suggesting that the frame is original.)
Edward Edmondson, Jr., was the son of a Dayton, Ohio, leather goods and used-furniture dealer, to whom he was
apprenticed until he was twenty. The artist’s obituary mentions a single lesson with a local portrait painter as his only formal
training in art. A Dayton business directory lists Edmondson as a portrait painter for the first time in 1858. 1 It is likely that
he received additional formal training between that date and the end of his apprenticeship eight years earlier, possibly from
Charles Soule, Sr. (1809–1869), who taught other local artists their craft. 2 Edmondson remained in Dayton for most of his
career. In 1880 he moved to California, where he died three years later.
Edmondson painted portraits, genre pictures, landscapes, and still lifes. The portraits, particularly, are quite conventional;
the still lifes are more distinctive. In American Still-Life Painting, William H. Gerdts and Russell Burke write: “The subject
matter of Edmondson’s still lifes is probably more unusual than that of any other mid-nineteenth-century painter. His
pictures include a California Pepper Tree, Paw-paws, a Lettuce Leaf, and a California Snow Plant.” Gerdts and Burke go on
to describe a painting of a “strangely shaped piece of watermelon.” 3 Even when Edmondson paints more common fruits such
as apples and peaches, their arrangement often gives his compositions a palpable tension. In 1972 the Dayton Art Institute,
which then owned twenty-nine of Edmondson’s pictures (about half of those then known), mounted a comprehensive
exhibition, The Paintings of Edward Edmondson (January 8–February 13). The catalogue, by Bruce H. Evans, includes a
horizontally oriented, oval oil painting of peaches with nearly the same dimensions as the painting illustrated here. 4
1. Bruce H. Evans, The Paintings of Edward Edmondson (Dayton, Ohio: The Dayton Art Institute, 1972), p. 4. 2. Evans., The Paintings of Edward
Edmondson, p. 5. 3. William H. Gerdts and Russell Burke, American Still-Life Painting (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971), p. 72. 4. Still Life
with Peaches and Cherries (oil on canvas, 14 1 /2 x 21 inches; private collection). Evans, The Paintings of Edward Edmondson, p. 23, no. 25.
Alfred Thompson Bricher, A.N.A.
Coastal View with a Rowboat
Oil on prepared board, 9 1 /2 x 20 inches
Signed at lower left: “ATBRICHER [initials conjoined]”
Oil on prepared board, 10 x 20 inches
Signed at lower left: “ATBRICHER [initials conjoined]”
The term Luminism was first used in 1954 by the pioneer historian of American art John I. H. Baur to describe the work
of American landscape and marine painters working later than those who founded the first American landscape school,
commonly called the Hudson River School. 1 The Luminists were most interested in depicting atmosphere and capturing the
effects of light and usually worked in a horizontal format. Paintings that stressed horizontality were well-suited to coastal
views, and such “insistently lateral” 2 compositions were the speciality of Alfred Thompson Bricher. His beach scenes of
Narragansett, Rhode Island; coastal New Hampshire; and Grand Manan Island (off Canada) are noted for their warm, hazy
skies and cool, translucent water.
Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Bricher began painting part-time at the Lowell Institute while he pursued a business
career in Boston. He turned to painting full-time in 1858, working in Boston and Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1871,
he moved to Staten Island, New York, where he remained for the rest of his life, painting oils and watercolors along the New
England coast during the summer months. In 1973, the Indianapolis Museum of Art mounted a retrospective exhibition,
Alfred Thompson Bricher, 1837–1908, with a catalogue by Jeffrey R. Brown.
1. John Wilmerding, American Light: The Luminist Movement, 1850–1875, by John Wilmerding et al. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art,
1980), p. 12. 2. Wilmerding, American Light, p. 131.
(American, born Germany, 1832–1932)
In the Woods
Oil on canvas, 27 x 22 inches
Signed at lower right “H. Herzog”
Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame.
For most of his very long—eighty-five years—and productive career travel was Herman Herzog’s greatest inspiration. Born in
Bremen, Germany, Herzog entered the Düsseldorf Academy at the age of seventeen; Andreas Achenbach (1815–1910) was
the teacher who had the most lasting impact on his painting style. Another teacher was the Norwegian artist Hans Frederick
Gude (1825–1903), who encouraged his young student to visit Norway. Herzog’s 1855 visit to that country awakened him
to the sublime and wild aspects of nature. He exhibited widely on the continent, winning awards in Paris, Liège, and Brussels.
Disturbed by the political situation in Germany, Herzog immigrated to the United States sometime in the late 1860s or
early 1870s, settling in West Philadelphia, where he and his wife raised two sons. Even before his arrival, his paintings had
been shown in several of the annual exhibitions of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he
continued to show through 1880.
Herzog’s first recorded American sketching trip took him through the Northeast in 1871. Trips like this one were an
important aspect of his art, for it was his practice to refer back to his travel sketches, including those from his European
years, throughout his career. Herzog traveled widely in the United States and was inspired by the great variety of scenery,
painting many views of the Pennsylvania countryside, the West—especially its National Parks, eastern coastal views as far
north as Maine, and lush landscapes in Florida, where he often visited his son between the mid-1890s and about 1910.
Herzog’s work was well received, and his profitable investment of the income from the sale of his paintings allowed him to
stop selling his art, which remained largely in his family’s possession. The Schwarz Gallery has been collecting paintings by
Herzog for years, and in December 1979 published a catalogue devoted to his work: Herman Herzog (1832–1932). The
Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, held a major Herzog exhibition in 1992; the exhibition
catalogue, American Paintings of Herman Herzog, includes an essay by Donald S. Lewis, Jr.
William Trost Richards
Thunder Clouds, Long Island
Oil on prepared board, 10 x 20 inches
Signed at lower left: “Wm. T. Richards”
Label (handwritten in ink) on board verso: “Thunder Clouds”
Provenance: Sarah Roberts acquired this painting from Richards (a distant family
connection) shortly before her marriage on a visit to Mattituck, Suffolk Co., Long
Island, where she saw the artist at work on it; to her son, Haverford, Pa.
William Trost Richards studied in his native Philadelphia with the German landscape painter Paul Weber (1823–1916) and
in Florence, Rome, and Paris. After returning from his second trip to Europe in 1867, Richards began painting the seascapes
and coastal views of New Jersey and Long Island that would occupy him for so much of his career. In 1875 he purchased a
summer home in Newport, Rhode Island, and in 1882 he built a house, Gray Cliff, overlooking Narragansett Bay and the
ocean beyond. Richards now increasingly chose New England subjects, displaying a particular fondness for views of the open
sea with just a faint indication of the coastline in the foreground. Later in his life he made frequent trips to England, but
he never strayed from the type of painting for which he was best known: tight, realistic, sometimes dramatic coastal scenes
executed in the luminous and almost transparent palette of the Pre-Raphaelites. After selling his home in Newport, Richards
spent his final years at “Oldmixon” in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Richards was a member of the American Water Color Society and the National Art Club, both in New York. He exhibited
at various museums and art associations throughout the United States as well as at the Royal Academy in London and won
numerous prizes. The majority of his paintings were shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia
from 1852 until the final year of his life. He also exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, where he
won a medal. Today his paintings are in museums and private collections throughout the United States.
The Mischianza, 1881
Oil on canvas, 35 x 49 1 /4 inches
Signed, dated, and inscribed at lower left: “FRED JAMES/Phila da 1881”
Provenance: The Rittenhouse Club, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia; Schwarz
Gallery by 1992; Pennsylvania private collection until 2003
Frederick James specialized in genre scenes of eighteenth-century subjects, figures in interiors, and religious subjects. After
attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, he went to Paris, where he studied with Jean-Léon
Gérôme (1824–1904). It may have been in Paris that James developed his interest in genre subjects. Upon his return to the
United States, he settled in New York City, where he lived until sometime before 1907, when he died in Quebec, Canada.
James was a frequent exhibitor at the National Academy of Design in New York (1874–98), the Pennsylvania Academy of
the Fine Arts (1876–91), and the Brooklyn Art Association (1893, 1894).
The word mischianza, or meschianza, is derived from the conflation of the Italian words mescere (to mix) and mischiare (to
mingle). The Mischianza was a medley of events held at Walnut Grove in Philadelphia on May 18, 1778, to celebrate the
departure of General William Howe, commander-in-chief of the British army in Philadelphia, for his native England.
Howe’s officers each contributed 140 pounds to pay for the affair, which included a procession of decorated boats that
advanced up the Delaware River and docked near Green Street Wharf, a jousting tournament on a nearby green, an elaborate
banquet, dancing, and a colorful display of fireworks. Each guest received an elaborate invitation featuring the Howe family
crest and a sun setting into the sea that was mounted with a streamer bearing the motto Luceo Discendens, Aucto Splendore
Resurgam (“He is shining as he sets, but he shall rise again in great splendor”).
James’s painting depicts a group of men, dressed as knights, departing for the Mischianza. Captain John Andre was one of
four officers selected to manage the entertainment. In his account of the event, seven young American women were chosen
to be the knights’ ladies: “They wore gauze Turbans spangled and edged with gold and Silver, on the right Side a veil of the
same kind hung as low as the waist and the left side of the Turban was enriched with pearl and tassels of gold or Silver and
crested with a feather.” Their dresses were of white silk with long sleeves and sashes tied in large bows on the left, “trimmed,
spangled, and fringed according to the Colours of the Knight.” The knights’ garb was the same as “that worn in the days of
Henry the 4th of France”: a white satin vest; full pink sleeves with straps of white satin laced with silver and edged in black;
a large pink scarf fastened on the right shoulder with a white bow across the chest; a pink and white sword belt, also laced
with silver and black; and a white satin hat ornamented with red, white, and black plumes. To joust against these seven white
knights were seven black knights, dressed in black satin with orange and gold trimmings. 1
One month after the Mischianza, the Americans marched in and reclaimed Philadelphia, leaving the British “knights” barely
time to escape. Later, when the American officers under George Washington’s command had a ball in honor of the French
officers who had aided them, the American ladies who had attended the Mischianza were at first denied invitations. They
were eventually included, although hesitantly, and the memory of the event lasted for many years.
The house shown in this painting is known as John Wister’s Grumblethorpe. Built in 1744, Grumblethorpe is located at
5267 Germantown Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Originally intended to serve as a summer home, it
eventually became Wister’s primary residence and was referred to for many years as “Wister’s Big House.” During the
Revolution, while the British occupied Philadelphia under Howe, General James Agnew had his headquarters for a time at
Grumblethorpe, which he may have chosen for its prominence and the fact that it was easily identifiable. James’s choice of
Wister’s house for his painting of the Mischianza may be based on this historical fact.
In 1808 the main house underwent many changes, chief of which was the removal of the balcony on the second-floor street
side and the substitution of the Federal-style doorway seen in this painting for the original. Charles Jones Wister, Jr., who wrote
a two-volume history of Grumblethorpe, disliked the additions and would not allow any artist to paint the Federal facade as
shown in James’s painting, but supplied a model of the early facade to those depicting it. No major changes have been made
since 1819. In the 1940s G. Edwin Brumbaugh restored some of the rooms to their original eighteenth-century design and the
Federal doorway was removed and restored to its original style. Grumblethorpe, which is now maintained as a museum by the
Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, is one of the most important Colonial houses in Germantown, not
only because of the eminence of the Wister family, but also because it represents the final stage in the development of
Germantown domestic architecture.
1. John W. Jackson, With the British Army in Philadelphia: 1777–1778 (San Rafael, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1979), pp. 240–42.
Edward Lamson Henry, N.A.
An Old Philadelphia Interior (probably 616 Spruce Street), 1870
Oil on paper, mounted on canvas; 9 3 /4 x 7 inches
Signed and dated at lower left: “ELH.70”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1992; Pennsylvania private collection until 2003
Reference: Elizabeth McCausland, The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry,
N.A., 1841–1919 (Albany: University of the State of New York for the New York
State Museum, 1945)
Three of Edward Lamson Henry’s major Colonial Revival genre pictures are set in the interiors of surviving eighteenthcentury
houses in the Philadelphia area: Cliveden and Stenton, both in Germantown, and Hope Lodge in Whitemarsh.
Henry painted other exteriors and interiors in Philadelphia and its environs throughout his career, including one of his
earliest recorded works, Barnyard Scene near Philadelphia (1859; location unknown) 1 and Independence Hall (1871; location
unknown). 2 Henry’s widow, Frances Henry, wrote in “A Memorial Sketch” that Henry and his friend William Kulp, an
antiquarian, were involved in restoration work at Independence Hall in 1870, 3 the year Kulp died from tuberculosis. 4 Henry
had first met Kulp in 1858, when he went to Philadelphia to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the
two young men were fellow lodgers at 702 Chestnut Street. A house that Kulp rented at 616 Spruce Street during the 1860s
is believed to have been the setting for several of Henry’s Colonial Revival interiors, including this one. 5 A photograph of
Henry’s painting Old Clock on the Stairs (1868; Shelburne Museum, Vermont), in the Henry Collection at the New York
State Museum in Albany, is inscribed: “A Study after Nature in lower Spruce Street, Philadelphia, in 1866.” 6 William Kulp’s
aunt, Hannah Tyson, is believed to have been the model for the elderly woman in Quaker dress in the painting illustrated
here, as well as Old Clock on the Stairs and a third picture, Old Woman Reading (1868; location unknown). 7
1. Elizabeth McCausland, The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry, N.A., 1841–1919 (Albany: University of the State of New York for the New
York State Museum, 1945), p. 149, no. 9. 2. McCausland, Henry, p. 164, no. 91. 3. Frances Livingston Wells (Mrs. E. L.) Henry, “A Memorial
Sketch: E. L. Henry, N.A., His Life and His Work,” in McCausland, Henry, p. 324. 4. Information about William Kulp (c. 1829–1870) given here
is courtesy of Mary Louise Fleisher. 5. Although Henry believed that the house at 616 Spruce Street was a colonial structure, it was built between
Jan. 1804 and Feb. 1808 for Joseph Barger, a lumber merchant. In the 1860s William Kulp rented the house from the trustees of the estate of the Rev.
Robert Blackwell; he may also have had use of furniture that belonged to the estate. At the time of his death at the age of 41, Kulp owned nothing of
value. He was Philadelphia agent for the sale of Henry’s paintings (see n. 6); he and Henry were both agents for antiques collectors. Both men were
involved in historic preservation and reconstructions; Kulp also made reproduction furniture for Henry. Information courtesy of Mary Louise Fleisher.
6. See McCausland, Henry, p. 160, no. 70 (repro. p. 304, fig. 214). This painting, or another version of it, was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts in 1867 (no. 255), “For sale. W. Kulp.” Kulp’s name is given after the titles of a number of Henry’s paintings in the Academy’s Exhibition
Record for several years after Henry left Philadelphia in 1860; presumably Kulp acted as Henry’s agent in Philadelphia. Peter Hastings Falk, ed., The
Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1807–1870 (Madison, Conn.: Soundview Press, 1988), p. 97. 7. Henry
identified her in a 1917 letter to the owner of a second version of Old Clock on the Stairs, quoted in Nancy C. Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the
Shelburne Museum (Shelburne, Vt.: Shelburne Museum, 1976), p. 76. A photograph of her in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
is inscribed on its reverse: “This photograph of Aunt Hannah Tyson was made by John Moran 1866 in the garden of William Kulp’s residence 616
Spruce St. The old carved oak chair was loaned by Miss Anna Watson whose father wrote Watson’s Annals an antiquarian who received valuable points
from Kulp regarding old time people in the city and environs.” Courtesy of Mary Louise Fleisher.
Edward Lamson Henry, N.A.
Von Steuben’s Tavern, 1909
Oil on canvas, 17 x 32 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: “E.L. Henry 1909”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1976; Pennsylvania private collection, 1992–2003
Exhibited: The Cragsmoor Free Library, Cragsmoor, New York, E. L. Henry’s Country Life: An Exhibition
(July 3–19, 1981); traveled to the New York State Museum (Aug. 12–Sept. 8, 1981); the Munson-
Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York (Dec, 20, 1981–Jan. 24, 1982); the Roberson Center for the
Arts and Sciences, Binghampton, New York (Feb. 7–Mar. 14, 1982); Guild Hall, East Hampton, New
York (Mar. 27–May 5, 1982); the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey (May 22–July 4, 1982); repro.
in color in cat., p. 13; The R. W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, La., The Works of Edward Lamson
Henry: Recollections of a Time Gone by (Sept. 13–Nov. 8, 1987), repro. in cat., p. 49
Reference: Elizabeth McCausland, The Life and Work of Edward Lamson Henry, N.A., 1841–1919
(Albany: University of the State of New York for the New York State Museum, 1945)
The genre and landscape painter Edward Lamson Henry was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He grew up in New York City,
and at age seventeen he began studying art in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and with F. Weber
(n.d.). From 1860 to 1862 he was in Paris, where he studied with Charles Louis Suisse (1846–1906), Charles Gleyre
(1806–1874), and Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). When he returned to the United States, he settled in New York City and
began his career as a professional artist. In 1864 he served in the Civil War as a captain’s clerk for the Union. He returned to
New York and set up a studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building, where he remained until 1885. His many patrons included
the Union League Club of New York, the painter Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), and James W. Drexel. Henry maintained a
summer studio in Cragsmoor in southeastern New York State, which became an important artists’ colony, attracting painters like
J. G. Brown (1831–1913), Charles Courtney Curran (1861–1942), and George Inness (1825–1894).
During the first ten years that Henry spent at Cragsmoor, near Ellenville in Ulster County, he painted a variety of rural subjects,
whereas after 1890 he concentrated on canal scenes. His first dated canal sketch (1890) shows the Delaware and Hudson Canal at
Ellenville. In the summer, people would picnic along the canal or ride in canal boats towed by horses. In addition to his canal scenes,
Henry delighted in depicting early American transportation by stagecoach, horse and buggy, and railroad. This interest developed early
in his career, as can be seen in his sketches of horses, oxcarts, bicycles, and steamboats, executed before 1860. Henry also collected
period clothing, antique furniture, and carriages that he used in his historical genre scenes. The bulk of his costume collection was
given to the Brooklyn Museum in 1921, and his carriages went to the Johnstown (New York) Historical Society in 1922.
Henry received numerous awards, including honorable mention at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889 and the World’s
Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. He exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, the Century Association,
the Lotus Club, the Salmagundi Club, the Artists’ Fund Society, and the New-York Historical Society, all in New York City. The
Pennsylvania Academy showed his paintings from 1859 to 1868 and from 1877 to 1879. Henry’s paintings are now in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, the Albany Institute of History and Art,
and the New York State Museum in Albany, and the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, as well as in numerous private collections.
The location of the tavern depicted here has not been determined; it could be one of several spots along the East Coast where Henry
traveled and worked. Numerous taverns and inns were named for Baron Friedrich von Steuben (1730–1794), who reported to
Washington at Valley Forge in 1777 and thereafter was largely responsible for training and reorganizing the Continental Army. After
the Revolution, the Prussian-born Von Steuben (who became an American citizen in 1783) was given property on the Hackensack
River at New Bridge, New Jersey (his house now belongs to the Bergen County Historical Society). He later moved to New York City,
where he became one of the most popular figures in the social life of the city and state. Von Steuben is best remembered for his
Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, the military handbook of the Continental Army.
The Tory Refugees, 1901
Oil on canvas, 24 x 16 inches
Signed, dated, and inscribed at lower right: “H. Pyle./Copyright 1901 Harper & Bros.”
Inscribed in crayon on canvas verso: “The Tory Refugees/Colonies and Nation/Part
VIII” (Note: The inscription indicates that this painting was intended to be an
illustration for Woodrow Wilson’s “Colonies and Nation” [part 8] in Harper’s New
Monthly Magazine [Aug. 1901]; however, it did not appear in part 8 or any of the
ten other parts of the series.)
References: Jane Allen Gregory et al., Howard Pyle: Diversity in Depth (Wilmington:
Delaware Art Museum, Mar. 5–Apr. 15, 1973); Henry C. Pitz, Howard Pyle: Writer,
Illustrator, Founder of the Brandywine School (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1975)
Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame.
Before motion pictures and television, and well into the twentieth century, illustrated daily newspapers, weekly and monthly
magazines, and books conveyed visual popular culture, literature, and entertainment into almost every American home.
Hundreds of artists provided millions of images, and evolving printing technology multiplied the options for their
production and distribution. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were truly the Golden Age of American
illustration, and Howard Pyle, through the amazing volume of his published illustrations and his extraordinary influence on
his students and the many others who emulated his work, was undoubtedly the period’s preeminent American illustrator.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1853, Howard Pyle commuted to Philadelphia to study art with F. A. van der Wielen
(n.d.) while still working in his father’s leather business. When Scribner’s Monthly Magazine first published one of his
illustrations in 1876, Pyle moved to New York, where most of the magazines that would publish his work were based. There
he continued his training at the Art Students League. In 1880 Pyle returned to Wilmington, and in 1894 he started teaching
illustration at the newly founded Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.
The Drexel Institute gave selected students scholarships to work with Pyle at his summer studio in Chadds Ford,
Pennsylvania, near Wilmington. In 1900 he built a studio on Franklin Street in Wilmington and confined his teaching to
Wilmington and Chadds Ford. His most celebrated students were Frank Schoonover (1877–1972) and Newell Convers
Wyeth (1882–1945), leaders of what came to be known as the Brandywine School. The influence of these artists was
international and went beyond illustration, largely because of the fame of the paintings of N. C. Wyeth’s son Andrew (born
1917) and his grandson Jamie (born 1946). Howard Pyle died suddenly in Florence, Italy, in 1911.
Pyle executed two basic types of illustration: black-and-white line drawings that, when reproduced, were reminiscent of the
engravings of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), and oil paintings that were photographically reproduced in black and white or
color. Pyle’s style was influenced by the English Pre-Raphaelite artists; his page design owes much to the work of William
Morris (1834–1896). Both artists frequently illustrated medieval subjects, and Pyle often wrote the stories—especially those
for young people—himself.
Pyle also produced a second type of illustration—oils that were painted to meet the requirements of the developing
technologies of photographic reproduction and color printing. Those intended to be reproduced in black and white, like
The Tory Refugees, illustrated here, were painted in monochrome. Many of the stories Pyle illustrated for magazines were
historical fiction set in America in the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods, part of the Colonial Revival that was
also shaping much of the architecture and decorative arts of the period in the United States. The painters Edward Lamson
Henry (see plates 26 and 27) and Frederick James (see plate 25) were also part of the Colonial Revival.
In addition to popular stories of America’s past, Pyle was called upon to illustrate nonfiction articles by academic historians
published for a mass audience in Scribner’s Monthly Magazine (which became The Century Magazine in 1881), Harper’s
Weekly, and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, among others. The Tory Refugees is an illustration for part 8 of Woodrow
Wilson’s “Colonies and Nation,” an eleven-part series of articles that appeared in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine between
January and November 1901. Woodrow Wilson taught history at Bryn Mawr and then at Princeton, where he was president,
1902–10. He was the Democratic governor of New Jersey, 1910–12, and went from writing history to making it as president
of the United States, 1913–21. His two terms encompassed World War I and ended in an incapacitating stroke.
Hyrroken Launches the Ship “Ringhorn,” c. 1930
Oil on prepared board, 18 x 14 inches
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery by 1980; private collection, 1985–2001
Reference: Rowland Elzea and Elizabeth H. Hawkes, eds., A Small School of Art: The Students of
Howard Pyle (Wilmington: Delaware Art Museum, 1980), pp. 152–53
Illustrated: Katherine Pyle (author and illustrator), Tales from Norse Mythology (Philadelphia:
Lippincott, 1930), p. 223
Katherine Pyle, the youngest sister of Howard Pyle (see plate 28), was encouraged and influenced by her brother, with whom she
shared a studio on Franklin Street in her native Wilmington, Delaware. She received her formal art training in Philadelphia at the
School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design) and the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (now
Drexel University), where she took the illustration class taught by her brother. She wrote and illustrated children’s books, fairy tales,
and stories based on mythology—about thirty books in all. She also did illustrations for the Atlantic Monthly (which published her
poem “A Piping Shepherd” when she was still a child), 1 the Ladies’ Home Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, and Child Life.
1. Elizabeth H. Hawkes, A Small School of Art: The Students of Howard Pyle, ed. Rowland Elzea and Elizabeth H. Hawkes (Wilmington: Delaware
Art Museum, 1980), pp. 152.
Wildflower (fountain), modeled 1915, cast 1947 or later
Bronze with original green patina; 42 inches high, base 13 inches wide x 14 inches deep
Signed and stamped on base: “E. Berge ©, cast by Roman Bronze Works, Inc., NY” 1
The Beaux-Arts style that dominated American architecture in the early twentieth
century often featured sculpture: as architectural ornament, as free-standing
decoration in interiors, and as important elements of private gardens, public
parks, and city squares. The international expositions of the period were
showcases for sculpture, and Edward Berge won awards at several of these: a
bronze medal at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901, bronze and gold
medals at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis in 1904, a bronze medal at the
Santiago Exposition in Chile in 1910, and a bronze medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition
in San Francisco—where a version of this fountain was exhibited—in 1915. He also exhibited
at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the National Academy of
Design in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
After studying at the Maryland Institute and the Rinehart School of Sculpture in his native
Baltimore, Berge pursued further studies in Paris at the Académie Julian and with Charles
Raoul Verlet (1857–1923) and Auguste Rodin (1840–1917). Back in the United States,
he was a member of the National Sculpture Society, the Charcoal Club, and the
National Arts Club. His monuments can be found in cities across the country,
including the Armistead, Hayes, Jones, Latrobe, Tattersall, and Watson
monuments in Baltimore; an American Indian memorial in Clifton Park in
Baltimore; and the Gist memorial in Charleston, South Carolina. Berge also
executed a Pietà for Saint Patrick’s Church in Washington, D.C.; and his
fountains and garden figures, for which he is probably best known, are in
gardens and parks as far away as Australia.
1. The foundry’s name became Roman Bronze Works, Inc., in 1947. See Michael Edward Shapiro, Bronze Casting and American Sculpture,
1850–1900 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985), p. 199.
John Frederick Peto
Table Top Still Life
Oil on canvas, 29 3/4 x 22 inches
Inscribed in ink on verso: “Painted By My Father/John F. Peto./Helen Peto Smiley”
Provenance: Keyser Family, Island Heights, New Jersey; private collection; another private
collection by 1964
Reference: John Wilmerding, Important Information Inside: The Art of John F. Peto and the Idea of
Still-Life Painting in Nineteenth-Century America (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1983)
John Frederick Peto was born in Philadelphia in 1854. His father dealt in picture frames, giving him an early exposure to art.
In 1877 Peto enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he met William Michael Harnett
(1848–1892). The two artists painted highly illusionistic still lifes that inspired a whole school of American trompe l’eoil
painters. Peto exhibited in the Academy’s annual exhibitions for several years, and during the next decade he had studios at
different addresses on Chestnut Street. In 1887 he went to Cincinnati, probably in pursuit of a commission. While there he
met Christine Pearl Smith, who became his wife. Back east, the couple started visiting Island Heights, New Jersey, a shore resort
with Methodist beginnings. In 1889 Peto built a house in Island Heights and devoted himself to his wife and daughter and to
the quiet pursuit of his art. His studio, which still stands today, was filled with simple, often worn, objects that the artist painted
over and over, refining his vision in groups of related compositions: small pictures of three or four objects, often a mug, a book,
and a pipe, objects hanging on a wall or a door, rack pictures, and tabletop still lifes like this one.
Nicholas A. Brooks
(American, 1849–after 1904)
A Ten-Dollar Bill, c. 1890
Oil on canvas, 10 1 /4 x 16 1 /4 inches
Signed at lower left: “N. A. Brooks”
Reference: Bruce W. Chambers, Old Money: American Trompe l’Oeil Images of
Currency (New York: Berry-Hill Galleries., Inc., Nov. 11–Dec. 17, 1988)
In 1879, the trompe l’oeil still-life painters William Michael Harnett (1848–1892) and John Frederick Peto (see plate 31),
his classmate at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, both painted their first rack pictures—lifesized,
illusionistic depictions of flat objects, mostly papers, attached to a vertical surface or hanging on a wall. That year Harnett
also painted Still Life—Ten-Cent Bill (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Alex Simpson, Jr., Collection). Other American artists,
including Peto, the Connecticut artist John Haberle (1856–1933), and the Cincinnati artist Charles Alfred Meurer
(1865–1955), followed Harnett’s example and made paper money a subject of their trompe l’oeil paintings. During the last
two decades of the nineteenth century, paintings of currency became a preoccupation for a number of artists in New York
City: Nicholas A. Brooks, Ferdinand Danton, Jr. (1877–after 1912),Victor Dubreuil (active 1890–1900), and Marius A.
Gouy (1866–1942). Brooks, who exhibited landscapes at the Brooklyn Art Association beginning in 1876, first painted
currency about 1887. 1 According to Bruce W. Chambers in Old Money: American Trompe l’Oeil Images of Currency, they are
usually fives or tens and always of the series of 1880, as in this example. 2
1. Bruce W. Chambers, Old Money: American Trompe L’Oeil Images of Currency (New York: Berry-Hill Galleries., Inc., Nov. 11–Dec. 17, 1988), p. 54.
2. Chambers, Old Money, p. 55.
John White Alexander, N.A.
Dorothy Roosevelt, 1901–2
Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 inches
Signed at lower left: “J. W. Alexander”
Provenance: Descended in the family of the sitter; Kermit Roosevelt, New York, until c. 1970
Exhibited: Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, Exhibition of Paintings by John White Alexander (1902), lent by Mrs. H. L. Roosevelt; American Art
Galleries, New York, Portrait Exhibition (1903); Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, John White Alexander Memorial Exhibition (1917), recorded in cat.,
p. 45; Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, The World of Theodore Roosevelt (Nov. 17, 2002–Feb. 16, 2003) [Note: There
are exhibition labels, label fragments, and other notations on the stretcher verso.]
References: Charles Caffin, “John W. Alexander: The Painter of Idealized Sentiment,” World’s Work, vol. 9, no. 3 (Jan. 1895), pp. 5682–98
(repro. p. 5692); Joseph Walker McSpadden, “John White Alexander: The Artist of The Flowing Line” in his Famous Painters of America (New
York: T. Y. Crowell and Co., 1923), pp. 355–76
Note: This portrait retains its original frame, which was probably designed by the New York architect Stanford White (1853–1906). Frames with
this design were produced by several manufacturers, and Alexander used similar frames on other paintings.
This portrait of Miss Dorothy Roosevelt (later Mrs. Langdon Geer), 1 a distant cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt, will be
included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of John White Alexander’s works by Mary Anne Goley, who states that it was
painted in 1901 or 1902, shortly after the artist returned to New York following a decade in Paris. 2 Goley describes this as:
a typical portrait by Alexander that demonstrates the supple, flowing line that earned him his reputation as “The
Painter of the Flowing Line” (McSpadden). The subject is depicted in the genteel manner of a Gilded Age portrait.
She is dressed formally in a white dress and posed in profile before a subtly articulated backdrop that reflects [Diego]
Velasquez’s [1599–1660] treatment of space. She is seated in an Empire style chair that belonged to Alexander and that
he would use repeatedly in his portraits.
John White Alexander, who was orphaned at an early age, worked hard to become an artist—first as a messenger in his native
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and then as an illustrator in New York City—and ultimately became one of the most sought-after
portraitists of America’s Gilded Age. By 1877 he had enough money to go to Europe, where he hoped to study in Paris. When
he was not readily accepted into an atelier there, he entered the Royal Academy in Munich. Within a few months he joined a
group of American students who painted with the Munich-trained American artist Frank Duveneck (1848–1919) at nearby
Polling. Known as “Duveneck’s Boys,” several of the young artists, including Alexander, went with Duveneck to Venice, where
the expatriate American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) was then working. Whistler’s “art for art’s sake”
approach to painting was a potent influence on Alexander’s evolving style.
Alexander returned to New York in 1881 and worked once again as an illustrator, while also seeking portrait commissions. His
painting style matured during the course of further European travel (notably to Spain during the 1880s), and the decade he spent
in Paris following his marriage gave his portraiture the confidence and sophistication so evident in Dorothy Roosevelt, painted
soon after his return to New York. As Goley notes, Alexander clearly thought well of this portrait, as it was frequently exhibited
between 1902 and 1908. Its exhibition at Durand-Ruel Galleries in New York in 1902 generated considerable press coverage,
including a review in the New York Evening Sun that identified the sitter as “a clever amateur actress.” 3 Alexander spent the rest
of his life in the United States, where he painted murals as well as portraits. Honors included election to the National Academy
of Design in New York, which he served as president from 1909 to 1913. Dorothy Roosevelt was included in Alexander’s memorial
exhibition at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1917.
1. Also spelled “Gear,” according to information cited by Mary Anne Goley in “Report Prepared for Schwarz Gallery,” August 24, 2001, n.p. 2. Goley,
“Report Prepared for Schwarz Gallery,” n.p. 3. Nov. 21, 1903, cited in Goley, “Report,” n.p.
Lydia Field Emmet, N.A.
Portrait of a Girl
Oil on canvas, 33 1 /2 x 41 1 /2 inches
Signed at upper right: “Lydia Field Emmet”
Label (probably framer, printed) on frame verso: “D. B. BUTLER & CO./
ENGRAVINGS/ETCHINGS/AND/Picture Frames/PAINTINGS RESTORED/
116 EAST 57 th St./N.Y.”
Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame.
Together with her sister Rosina Emmet Sherwood (1854–1948) and her cousin Ellen Emmet Rand (1876–1941), Lydia
Field Emmet was one of three talented women artists—from a family distinguished by achievement in the professions,
literature, art, and public service—who became especially well known for their portraits of children.
The three aspiring artists studied painting in New York with William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), probably the most
influential American teacher of his time. Chase’s classes—in New York, Philadelphia, and California; in various parts of
Europe, where he guided and taught American students during several summers; and especially at the Shinnecock Summer
School of Art on Long Island—included many young women at a time when women were just beginning to gain acceptance
as professional artists. Emmet also studied with Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858–1928), Kenyon Cox (1856–1919), and
Robert Reid (1862–1929) in New York. She continued her training in Paris with William-Adolphe Bouguereau
(1825–1905), Louis-Joseph-Raphaël Collin (1850–1916), Tony Robert-Fleury (1837–1912), and the American sculptor
and painter Frederick William MacMonnies (1863–1937), who worked with Claude Monet (1840–1926) at Giverny.
By means of a bravura technique for which several of her teachers, especially Chase, were also noted, Emmet attempted to
create a feeling of spontaneity in her portraits that would give lively expression to her sitters’ personalities. As her niece Lydia
Sherwood McClean would recall, the artist often remarked that a sitter “has such a bright little expression, if I can only catch
it.” McClean also noted that “The sisters shared the same love of beauty, the same delight in humor and absurdity, the same
affection and sympathy for children and young people (whom they treated completely as equals).” 1
Lydia Field Emmet exhibited widely in museums and at international expositions, where she won many awards. In 1982
the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, mounted The Emmets: A Family of Women Painters, with a checklist and
essay by Martha J. Hoppin.
1. Quoted in McClean’s preface to Martha J. Hoppin, The Emmets: A Family of Women Painters (Pittsfield, Mass.: The Berkshire Museum, 1982),
Charles Austin Needham
Park Snows (Madison Square, New York)
Oil on canvas, 28 1 /2 x 40 1 /2 inches
Inscribed in pencil on stretcher verso: “Paris & Bro[?]”
Label fragment (exhibition) on canvas verso: (printed) “[missing] Boston, Mass.”/
(handwritten in ink) “[missing] N.Y./[missing] to blank”
Label (exhibition) on stretcher verso: (printed) “TO BE DETACHED AND
SECURELY FASTENED/TO BACK OF FRAME”/(handwritten in ink) “Chas.
Austin Needham/Park Snows”/(printed) “CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART,
Label (shipper, printed) on stretcher verso: “No.___/RETURN TO/W. S.
BUDWORTH & SON/PACKERS and SHIPPERS,/424 WEST 52nd STREET,/
Provenance: Descendant of the artist, Naples, Fl., until 1997
Exhibited: Boston Art Club, Seventy-Fifth Exhibition (Jan. 4–Feb. 2, 1904), as Park
Snows (or Winter in Madison Square); Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.,
First Biennial Exhibition (Feb. 7–Mar. 9, 1907), as Park Snows (no. 392)
For American artists at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, New York City’s parks
provided subjects not only for simple landscapes but also for paintings that used landscape as a means of expressing the
artists’ feelings about the human life of the city and their own participation in it. City views and urban life had been a
particular interest of the French Impressionists. The artists known as American Impressionists adopted elements of the
French artists’ style, especially their high-keyed palette and glancing strokes of broken color, and tended to paint idealized,
often genteel, park scenes, while contemporary American realists usually employed darker palettes and cruder brushwork,
and devoted more attention to the daily lives of city dwellers at different social levels.
Many views of Paris parks and boulevards by such French Impressionists as Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Camille
Pissarro (1830–1903), for example, are taken from a high vantage point and at a sufficient distance so that individual
human activities are blurred into generalized patterns of movement. Childe Hassam (1859–1935), an American
Impressionist, painted similar views in Boston, Paris, and especially New York, where he often depicted Fifth Avenue,
Union Square, and Madison Square.
Bounded by Madison and Fifth avenues and Twenty-third and Twenty-sixth streets, Madison Square was once the center of
a fashionable neighborhood. Hassam featured Madison Square in Spring Morning in the Heart of the City (The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York), which he painted in 1890 and considerably altered between 1895 and 1899. In other New York
views, like Winter in Union Square (early 1890s, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Hassam made the human element an
even smaller part of an urban picture in which nature asserts control of the man-made environment as snow blankets the
ground and wind bends the trees. In Park Snows (Madison Square, New York), Charles Austin Needham, who from 1890 to
1921 lived near Madison Square at 145 East Twenty-third Street and who certainly knew Hassam’s work, 1 pushes his image
of winter in New York even closer to abstraction, emphasizing the curving pattern of the sidewalks in the square, in a
manner reminiscent of the night views of the contemporary photographers Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and Edward
Steichen (1879–1973). Needham captures the dynamism of the city to which its occupants contribute their energy but that
exists as a larger force with a life of its own, like the weather, largely unaffected by any one individual.
Charles Austin Needham studied with August Will (1834–1910) in his native Buffalo and then at the Art Students League
in New York. A painter, sculptor, illustrator, and craftsman, he was a member of the American Water Color Society, the New
York Watercolor Club, and the Salmagundi Club in New York. He showed works in the exhibitions of the above
organizations; in annuals at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington,
D.C., and the Boston Art Club; and at international exhibitions, including the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where
he won a silver medal.
1. Interestingly, Needham was fifteen years older than Hassam, whose work remained relatively conservative. The two artists participated in some of
the same exhibitions, but the younger artist showed his work much more extensively, and it was widely published at the time. One of those
publications, Three Cities by Childe Hassam (1899), is cited in American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol.3, A Catalogue of Works by
Artists Born Between 1846 and 1864 by Doreen Bolger Burke (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University
Press, 1980), p. 356, according to which Winter in Union Square is reproduced in the New York section of Three Cities.
Robert Bruce Crane, N.A.
Oil on canvas, 20 1 /8 x 24 1 /8 inches
Signed at lower right: “BRUCE CRANE”
Provenance: Schwarz Gallery until 1984; Pennsylvania private collection, 1984–1999
Bruce Crane is one of the best known of the American landscape painters called Tonalists, artists working at the end of the
nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century who—inspired by the French artists of the Barbizon School—were
especially interested in depicting atmosphere and the effects of light within a more conservative style and more limited
palette than those favored by contemporary artists influenced by the French Impressionists.
Born in New York, Crane studied drafting and architecture there, painting at first only in his spare time. Ultimately he
became a full-time artist, opening a studio and studying with Alexander H. Wyant (1836–1892), under whose tutelage he
moved from a tight, literal rendering of nature, which probably reflected his background as a draftsman, to a more moody
style influenced by Wyant’s Barbizon-inspired canvases and the French originals to which his teacher introduced him.
Crane further pursued his studies for a year and a half in Paris, also painting outdoors in the nearby artists’ colony of Grezsur-Loing.
He returned to the United States in 1881 and continued to paint plein-air landscapes much as he had done in
France, now concentrating on views of the Adirondacks, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Crane achieved his
greatest recognition around the turn of the century, when he won the Webb Prize from the Society of American Artists. In
his mature works, especially autumn and twilight scenes, atmospheric effects are achieved through variation of texture rather
than the precise delineation of detail, with color carefully modulated over a rather narrow range. After 1904 Crane spent
many summers in the artists’ colony of Old Lyme, Connecticut. In 1984 the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme
mounted a retrospective exhibition of Crane’s work; the catalogue includes essays by Charles Teaze Clark and Mary Muir.
Charles W. Hargens, Jr.
Morning Light, 1920
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 inches
Signed at lower left: “C. HARGENS”
Label (exhibition) on stretcher verso: (printed) “[THE PENN]SYLVAN[IA
ACADEMY OF THE] FINE ARTS/ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH
ANNUAL EXHIBITION/1920/[ . . . ]/(handwritten in ink) “Morning Light/
[Cha]rles Hargens/[Ches]tnut St./Phila” (Note: This painting is not listed in the
Academy’s Exhibition Record.)
Charles W. Hargens, Jr., was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in
Philadelphia, where his teachers included Cecilia Beaux (1855–1942), Hugh Breckenridge (1870–1937), Emil Carlsen
(1853–1932), William Merritt Chase (1849–1916), and Daniel Garber (1880–1958). Considered one of the Pennsylvania
Impressionists, Hargens was profoundly influenced by Garber—both in his landscape painting style and his choice of subjects—
as is evident in this attempt to capture the morning light playing on a hillside seen through a screen of trees. In 1940 Hargens
and his wife Marjorie Garmon (n.d.), a fashion illustrator, moved to Carversville in Bucks County. This landscape, which may
have been painted there years earlier when Hargens still had a studio in Philadelphia, remained in the artist’s possession until he
moved into a retirement home. In addition to his Bucks County landscapes, Hargens provided designs for advertisements (the
Coca Cola Company was a client) and worked extensively as an illustrator of books and magazines. He often illustrated stories
of the old West and became known for his paintings of Western, Native American, and wildlife subjects.
Beach Scene, France
Oil on prepared board, 14 3 /4 x 17 1 /2 inches
Signed at lower right: “Martha Walter”
Reference: W. Douglass Paschall, Impressionist Jewels: The Paintings of Martha
Walter (Philadelphia: Woodmere Art Museum, 2002)
Martha Walter studied under the influential teacher William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts, where she was awarded the prestigious Cresson Scholarship for European Travel. She then studied
in Paris at the Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian. By the time she returned to the United States at the outbreak
of World War I, Walter was producing Impressionistic paintings executed en plein air, which would remain her speciality
for the rest of her long career.
Many of Walter’s paintings, like this one, are beach scenes. In the United States she often painted at Gloucester,
Massachusetts, and Coney Island, New York. In the 1920s Walter painted many beach scenes at St. Malo, a beach resort and
yachting center on the northwest coast of France. In 1922 she had an exhibition at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris, from
which the French government purchased a painting for the Musée du Luxembourg. Her paintings are now in the Art
Institute of Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy, and the Toledo
Museum of Art. The Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia mounted Walter’s first retrospective in 1955 and her most
recent museum show in 2002.
Paulette Van Roekens
(American, born France, 1896–1998)
Rittenhouse Square Flower Market, 1918
Oil on prepared board, 12 x 19 1 /4 inches
Signed at lower right: “Paulette van Roekens”
Inscribed on board verso: (in ink) “25/Paulette van Roekens/Glenside Pa/Rittenhouse Square
Flower Market/May 24/1918”; (in pencil) “1367 A/Dorothy Picknell”; “Mrs. W. A. Strum/251 W
89 St/NY/Mr. Ferris Berney/ c /o Issac [sic] Hamburger & Sons/Baltimore & [illegible]/Md.”
Stamps (supplier and manufacturer) on board verso: “HENRY M. TAWS,/Artists and Designers/
Materials,/920 Arch Street, Phila”; “ARTIST/Illustrating Board /[ . . . ]/HURLOCK BROS./[ . . . ]/
Philadelphia [ . . . ]”
Reference: Mary O’Brien and Tricia Fagan, Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. Brian H. Peterson
(Doylestown, Pa.: James A. Michener Art Museum; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2002), pp. 272–75
The painter and teacher Paulette van Roekens was born in Château-Thierry, France, and immigrated to the United States
with her parents, settling near Philadelphia. She studied in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and
the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design), where she was later a professor of
painting and drawing. She married another Moore instructor, Arthur Meltzer, in 1927. The couple lived in Bucks County,
where they often exhibited with other Pennsylvania Impressionists at the Phillips Mill Community Association, and later in
Huntington Valley, near Philadelphia.
Van Roekens was a member of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy and the National Association of Women Painters
and Sculptors. She won the Pennsylvania Academy’s Fellowship award in 1928 and gold medals at the Plastic Club and the
Sketch Club in Philadelphia. Van Roekens exhibited at various Philadelphia galleries and art institutions as well as the
National Academy of Design in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.,
the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Boston Art Club, and the Newport Art Association. Her paintings are in the
Pennsylvania State University in State College; the Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery in Reading, Pennsylvania; and
the Pennsylvania Academy, the Sketch Club, and the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Moore College of Art and
Design mounted a Van Roekens retrospective in 1962. The critic Henry C. Pitz wrote about Van Roekens’ work:
She rejoices in color and movement and translates that color and movement into vivacious pigment. She
gravitates toward subjects that sparkle with pattern and bright hues—the circus, the theatre . . . the
summer life of Philadelphia’s parks . . . the Atlantic beach. She rejoices in the sensuous feel of paint. She
responds to the gay and alert aspects of life. 1
Named for the scientist, clock maker, and patriot David Rittenhouse (1732–1796), Rittenhouse Square is one of the five
original city squares in Thomas Holmes’s 1683 plan for William Penn’s “greene Country Towne.” One of many civic
improvements inspired by America’s “City Beautiful” movement, Rittenhouse Square was redesigned in 1913 by Paul Cret
(1876–1945), French-born professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Neighbors near the square, who
raised $30,000 to start the project, asked for a park that would resemble the Parc Monceau, located in a fashionable section
of Paris. They set up the Rittenhouse Improvement Association to continue fund-raising and granted permission to the
Flower Market Association to set up its first Flower Market in the Square May 20, 1914. The Rittenhouse Square Flower
Market is held every May to benefit the Rittenhouse Improvement Association and selected children’s charities. 2
1. Quoted in Mary O’Brien and Tricia Fagan, Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. Brian H. Peterson (Doylestown, Pa.: James A. Michener Art Museum;
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), p. 274. 2. See Beverly Wilson Spahr, “Seventy-Five Years Ago at the Rittenhouse Square
Flower Market,” The Center City Sentinel, vol. 1, no. 8 (Apr. 1991), pp. 11–13. Courtesy of Lou Barker.
Rain: Spring, c. 1938–39
Oil on canvas, 46 x 42 inches
Signed at lower center: “Arthur Meltzer”
Inscribed in pencil on stretcher verso: “DAMAR ‘V’/RAIN: SPRING/JULY—1944”
Stamp (supplier) on canvas verso: “CLAESSENS/BELGIQUE/ROUE [?] DEPOSE”
Provenance: Collection of the artist until c. 1980; private collection, Wilmington,
Delaware, until 2001
Reference: Mary O’Brien in Pennsylvania Impressionism, ed. Brian H. Peterson
(Doylestown, Pa.: James A. Michener Art Museum; Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 2002), pp. 172–77
Note: This painting retains what appears to be its original frame, probably made by
Arthur Meltzer was born to Lithuanian immigrants in Minneapolis. He studied at the Minneapolis School of Art with
Robert Koehler (1850–1917), and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia with Hugh Breckenridge
(1870–1937), Arthur Carles (1882–1952), Daniel Garber (1880–1958), Philip Hale (1865–1931), Joseph Pearson
(1876–1951), and Robert Vonnoh (1858–1933). He was a member of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy, the
Graphic Sketch Club (now the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial), and the Art Alliance, all in Philadelphia.
In 1921 Meltzer won the Cresson Scholarship for European Travel from the Pennsylvania Academy. After he returned to
Philadelphia, he became the head of the Fine Arts Department of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now
Moore College of Art and Design), where he met the artist Paulette Van Roekens (see plate 39), who was also on the staff.
The two artists married in 1927 and celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 1977. They found an old house in Bucks County,
which they restored. Using his high school training as a woodworker, Meltzer also made furniture and picture frames. The
strong decorative qualities of the painting illustrated here may recall his six-year apprenticeship with the Ford and McNutt
Stained Glass Company in Minneapolis. According to a relative of the artist, the barn in this painting was located near
Newtown, a short distance from the Meltzers’ Bucks County home.
Meltzer’s works have been exhibited in the annual and biennial exhibitions of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran
Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C., the National Academy of Design in New York, and the Pennsylvania Academy; at the
Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio and the University of Connecticut in Storrs; and in Philadelphia at the Art Alliance, the
Art Club, the Sketch Club, and the Woodmere Art Museum. Meltzer and Van Roekens also exhibited with other
Pennsylvania Impressionists at the Phillips Mill Community Association in New Hope.
Tony Lewis completed his doctoral work on Thomas Birch at Northwestern University in 1994. He was a writer for the
Micro Gallery computer project at the National Gallery of Art from 1993 to 1995 and was subsequently curator of paintings
at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, and acting assistant director of the Middlebury College Museum of
Art in Vermont. He is currently teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where he is also director
of the Museum of Art.
Milo M. Naeve is the Field-McCormick Curator Emeritus of American Arts of The Art Institute of Chicago. He is the
author of John Lewis Krimmel: An Artist in Federal America. His other publications include The Classical Presence in American
Art, Identifying American Furniture (3rd edition), and articles on a wide variety of subjects, including relationships between
British and American arts. In 1996 he received the Royal Society of Arts’ award for “the most distinguished article published
in the decorative arts.” His most recent exhibition (with catalogue) was 150 Years of Philadelphia Painters and Paintings:
Selections from the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art (Library Company of Philadelphia, 1999).
Scott W. Nolley received his undergraduate degree in art conservation from Virginia Commonwealth University. In
1996 he earned his master’s degree in art conservation from Buffalo State College (formerly the Cooperstown Program).
Nolley has worked at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City and the Smithsonian Institution and has done on-site
projects for the Astoria Column restoration in Astoria, Oregon, and preservation work on the cave paintings at Pictograph
Cave in Billings, Montana. As Conservator of Paintings and Objects for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Nolley
carried out and presented extensive research on the works of Edward Hicks. He is currently head of the Richmond-based
firm of Fine Art Conservation of Virginia, which he established.
Linda Crocker Simmons received her B.A. in art history from American University and her M.A. in art history from
the University of Delaware. She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation on the landscapes of James Peale. She is
Curator Emeritus of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where she served on the curatorial staff for twentysix
years. Her research and publications have focused on members of the Peale family, as well as African American art,
women artists, painters of the American South, and folk or nonacademic painters. Her publications include “The Biennial
Exhibition: The First Sixty Years from 1907–1967” in The Forty-Fifth Biennial: The Corcoran Collects, 1907–1996 (1998);
American Drawings, Watercolors, Pastels, and Collages in the Collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, with Edward J. Nygren
et al. (1983); and Jacob Frymire: An American Limner (1975). She is currently working on the Peale Paintings Project at the
Maryland Historical Society.
Carol Eaton Soltis received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She was guest curator of the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s 1985 exhibition Rembrandt Peale, 1778–1860: A Life in the Arts, for which she wrote the
catalogue. In 1992 she co-curated, with Dr. Lillian Miller, the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition In Pursuit of Fame:
Rembrandt Peale, 1778–1860 and contributed an essay on Peale’s style to the catalogue. While a member of the staff of the
Peale Family Papers at the National Portrait Gallery, she assembled a catalogue raissonné of Rembrandt Peale’s work. She has
published numerous articles on the artist and is a member of the Peale Paintings Project at the Maryland Historical Society.
Robert Wilson Torchia is Assistant Professor of Art History at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. He received his
Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. A specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art with a
particular interest in Philadelphia, he was guest curator of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s exhibition John Neagle,
Portrait Painter of Philadelphia (1989) and has published articles on Neagle, Thomas Eakins, Joshua Johnson, and Thomas
Sully. He is also the author of American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, part 2, The Collections of the National Gallery of
Art Systematic Catalogue (1998). In 2002 he organized an exhibition on the St. Augustine Art Association for the Lightner
Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.
Carolyn J. Weekley received her B.A. from Mary Baldwin College in Virginia and her M.A. from the University of
Delaware, the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. She has served as Curator of the Museum of Early Southern
Decorative Arts, Old Salem, North Carolina, and Curator of Decorative Arts at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in
Richmond. In 1979 she was named Curator of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg. Subsequent
positions there included Associate Director and Director. She was named the Julie Grainger Director of Museums (Abby
Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Carter’s Grove, and Bassett Hall) at
Colonial Williamsburg in 1999. Her publications include articles on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American artists
and she has co-authored books on the Center’s collections as well as on Joshua Johnson and Edward Hicks.
Alexander, John White 33
Berge, Edward 30
Birch, Thomas 7, 14
Bricher, Alfred Thompson 21, 22
Brooks, Nicholas A. 32
Crane, Robert Bruce 36
de França, Manuel Jaochim 18
Drexel, Francis Martin 10, 11
Du Vivier 2
Edmondson, Edward, Jr. 20
Emmet, Lydia Field 34
Hargens, Charles W., Jr. 37
Henry, Edward Lamson 26, 27
Herzog, Herman 23
Hicks, Edward cover, 1
James, Frederick 25
Krimmel, John Lewis 12
Mayr, Christian 16
Meltzer, Arthur 40
Murray, Edward H. (Attributed) 15
Needham, Charles Austin 35
Peale, Charles Willson 3, 4
Peale, James 13
Peto, John Frederick 31
Polk, Charles Peale 5, 6
Pyle, Howard 28
Pyle, Katherine 29
Richards, William Trost 24
Van Roekens, Paulette 39
Sully, Thomas 17
Walter, Martha 38
Waugh, Samuel Bell 19
Wertmüller, Adolph-Ulric 8, 9
SELECTED SCHWARZ GALLERY PUBLICATIONS
Herman Herzog (1832–1932), 1979 *
Philadelphia Artists: The Weber Family, 1985 *
A Gallery Collects Peales, 1987
Anna Richards Brewster, 1990
Franklin Watkins, 1992
Charles James Theriat in North Africa (brochure), 1993
The Gilmans, 1996
The Smiths: A Family of Philadelphia Artists, 1999
Xanthus Smith and the Civil War, 1999
The Stephen Girard Collection, 1980
Philadelphia Portraits, 1982, * 1985 *
The Philadelphia Marine Tradition (1815–1915), 1983 *
A Century of Philadelphia Artists, 1988
American Miniatures, 1990
Fifty Years on Chestnut Street, 1993
150 Years of Philadelphia Still-Life Painting, 1997
American Paintings, 1998, 2001
A Civil War Album, 1999
The Lambdins of Philadelphia: Newly Discovered Works, 2002
American Works on Paper, 2002
* photocopy only
The Schwarz Gallery provides appraisals for insurance and estate valuation and, in conjunction with the Art Dealers Association
of America, for gift-tax purposes. Expert conservation of paintings and works on paper can be arranged, and guidance in selecting
period and fine reproduction frames is offered. To discuss American and European paintings and decorative arts you may have
available for purchase, please contact Robert Schwarz at 215 563 4887, fax 215 561 5621, or email@example.com.
Founded in 1930 by Frank S. Schwarz, the Gallery began as specialists in Philadelphia furniture and silver. Today, under the
direction of the founder’s son Robert D. Schwarz, Sr., grandson Robert D. Schwarz, Jr., and widow Marie D. Schwarz, the focus
is on nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings. The Gallery is honored to count among its clients a wide range of private
collectors as well as many of the country’s major museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brandywine River
Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art
Museum, the Timken Museum of Art, and the Winterthur Museum and Gardens.
Robert Schwarz earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Dickinson College, and supplemented his studies in the fine arts at
the University of Vienna and The Barnes Foundation. In 1964, he joined his father’s firm and developed his interest in fine art
into an expertise in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century painting. As curator of The Stephen Girard Collection from 1970 to
1980, he documented this important collection in a scholarly catalogue. Subsequently, his publication of more than seventy
informative catalogues in conjunction with the Gallery’s exhibitions has established the firm’s excellence in its field.
F I N E P A I N T I N G S SCHWARZ F O U N D E D 1 9 3 0
P H I L A D E L P H I A
1806 Chestnut Street Philadelphia PA 19103
Tel 215 563 4887 Fax 215 561 5621 firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Dealers Association of America; Art and Antique Dealers League of America; CINOA