Friday, 25 November 2016

American Folk Art - part 15

Continuing a major series on American Folk Art featuring 21 postings. Folk Art encompasses art produced by artists and ordinary folk with little or no training in the arts, and is traditionally utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. The period I’m covering is the C18th and C19th.
See parts 1-14 also for earlier works.

Note: Follow me on Twitter for notice of updates @poulwebb

This is part 15 of a 21-part post on American Folk Art:


John Sherburne Blunt (1798 – 1835)


John Sherburne Blunt was born in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area. His brief career consisted of portraiture, landscapes, and marine art. He also produced ship ornaments and miniatures in his early years. He married in 1821, and in 1825 he opened an art instruction school in Portsmouth. He moved to Boston in 1831.

1828 Winter Scene
oil on canvas mounted on Masonite 60.6 x 69.8 cm
Museum of FIne Arts, Boston, MA

1829-30c Portrait of a Child
oil on canvas 68.2 x 58.4 cm

1830-31c ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Country Squire
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm

1830-31c ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Country Squire's Wife
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm

1830-33 ( attributed to ) Miss Frances A. Motley
oil on canvas 89.8 x 74.3 cm
American Folk Art Museum, New York City

1830-35c ( attributed to ) Mary Beth Steward

1830c Portrait of a Lady
oil on canvas 76.2 x 63.5 cm

1831c Gentleman fron Providence, RI
oil on canvas 66 x 55.9 cm

1831c Lady on Red Sofa
oil on canvas 84.4 x 71.7 cm
Folk Art Museum, New York City

1835 Boston Harbour
oil on panel 52.1 x 71.4 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

1835c Portrait of a Gentleman
oil on canvas 83.8 x 68.6 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Gentleman
oil on canvas 75.6 x 62.9 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Lady in a Black Dress
oil on canvas 83.8 x 71.1 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Lady
oil on canvas 75.6 x 62.9 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Young Girl
oil on canvas

n.d. Portrait of a Young Woman
oil on canvas 66 x 55.9 cm

n.d. Portrait of the Wife of Rufus Kendall
oil on canvas 77.5 x 63.5 cm

Samuel Addison Shute (1803-1836) and 
Ruth Whittier Shute (1803-1882)

Helen and Steven Kellogg's entry in "American Radiance" for Samuel Addison and Ruth Whittier Shute note that they "were an unusually talented, prolific and enterprising pair of artists who married in Sommerworth, New Hampshire, on October 16, 1827. Ruth was born in Dover, New Hampshire, on Octover 3, 1802, the eighth of nine children; Samuel was born on September 24 of the same year. He attended the Governer Dummer Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, and went on to study medicine at Dartmouth College.

After his marriage, Dr. Shute's focus shifted away from medicine, and he joined his wife in an artistic partnership that took the couple through the hamlets and small cities of northern New England and New York State, selling their services as itinerant portrait painters. Their efforts met with considerable success until Samuel's untimely death in Champlain, New York, in 1836, at the age of 32.

The Shutes employed a highly unusual method of painting, in that they simultaneously directed their creative energies to the same portrait. Although the great majority of their works are unsigned, a number of them are inscribed on the reverse “Painted by R.W. Shute and S.A. Shute”. In several, their contributions are more specifically documented as having been “Drawn by R.W. Shute and Painted by S.A. Shute”.

By September 1833, Ruth alone was signing paintings. For four years after her husband's death, Ruth continued to travel the region and paint, before marrying Alpha Tarbell and moving to Lexington, Kentucky. Her last known portrait is of her granddaughter, dated 1874.

1828 Mary Ann Russell
graphite, watercolour, gouache, ink and gum arabic on paper 25.3 x 20.8 cm

1830-35c ( attributed to ) Child with Blue Shoes
graphite, watercolour and gouache on wove paper 58.1 x 50.2 cm

1830c ( attributed to ) Miniature Portrait of A Young Lady
watercolour on paper in original frame 5.4 x 6.7 cm

1830c Double Portrait of a Young Boy and a Baby
graphite and watercolour on paper 73 x 48.9 cm

1830c Miniature Portrait of a Young Boy
watercolour on paper in original frame 5.4 x 6.7 cm

1830c Portrait of a Little Girl
graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 67.3 x 43.2 cm

1830c Portrait of a Young Boy in a Blue Dress
graphite, charcoal and watercolour on paper 70 x 48.3 cm

1830c Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Book
graphite and watercolour on paper mounted on cardboard 64.8 x 49.5 cm

1830c Portrait of Miss Adeline Bartlett of Lowell, MA
graphite and watercolour on paper 13.3 x 12.1 cm

1831-32c Abigail S. Burnham
graphite, watercolour, gouache, ink and gold foil on paper 34.3 x 24.1 cm
Folk Art Museum, New York City

1831-32c Master Burnham
graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 69.8 x 48.3 cm
Folk Art Museum, New York City

1831c Frederick Buxton
graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 46.3 x 38.7 cm

1831c Portrait of Two Children
watercolour, pen and ink on paper

1832 inscribed "This is portrait of Electa Pierce, sister of my grand-mother Marshall, who was Mary Bowers Pierce, lived in Dunstable and Hudson, N.H."
watercolour and pencil on paper with gold foil 59.7 x 47 cm

1832 Miss Emeline Parker of Lowell, MA
graphite, watercolour, gouache, gum arabic and gold foil on heavy white wove paper 60 x 47.3 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

1832 Portrait of Eliza Parker Townsend of Lowell, MA
graphite and watercolour on paper 61 x 50.8 cm

1832c Portrait of Jeremiah H. Emerson
graphite, watercolour, gouache, ink and gold foil on paper 74.3 x 48.3 cm

1833c Eliza Gordon ( Mrs Zophar Willard Brooks )
watercolour and gouache on paper with applied gold paper 62.6 x 48.3 cm
Folk Art Museum, New York City

1833c Portrait of a Standing Little Girl
watercolour on paper 66 x 54 cm

1834 Portrait of a Child
graphite, watercolour, pen and ink on paper 41.3 x 36.8 cm

1835 Portrait of Mrs. David Stevens of St. Albans, VT by Ruth Whittier Shute
oil on canvas 76.2 x 61.6 cm

1840c ( attributed to ) Elderly Lady Seated in a Chair
watercolour on paper 48.8 x 38.7 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Woman in Blue
watercolour and ink on paper 50 x 40 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Woman
watercolour and pencil with gold foil55.9 x 45.7 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Woman with Tortoiseshell Comb
oil on canvas 69.5 x 61 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Young Boy
graphite. watercolour, pen and ink on paper

n.d. Portrait of John and hannah Maria Pickett
graphite and watercolour on paper 74.3 x 54 cm


Asahel Lynde Powers (1813-1843)

Asahel Lynde Powers was born in Springfield, Vermont in1813. He began his career as an itinerant artist at an early age; the first portrait attributed to him is from 1831. Several portraits from the mid-1830s were painted in Springfield, indicating that Powers returned there periodically from his travels through Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Powers' paintings from the 1830s are considered his strongest portraits due to their intensity, crispness, and decorative quality.

In the early 1840s the artist moved to Olney, Illinois. A number of likenesses dated 1840 and painted in the area of Plattsburgh, New York. While in New York Powers evidently gave painting tuition as well. Landscape and still life painter Daniel Folger Bigelow (1823-1910) of Peru, New York, wrote that he acquired his first instruction from Powers, to whose influence he owed his own "delicacy of coloring and treatment."


There are no known works, however, from the artist's Illinois residency. An 1844 document from Clinton County, the only evidence of Powers' marriage, orders Elizabeth M. Powers, his widow, to make an inventory of the deceased's possessions, suggesting that she may not have accompanied him to Illinois, where he died in 1843.


1826? Mrs. Patrick Henry ( Dorothea Dandridge )
oil on canvas 85.1 x 60.3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

1826? Patrick Henry
oil on canvas
Shelburne Museum, Vermont

1830c Portrait of Eliza Ann Farrar inscribed "Eliza Ann Farrar daughter of Jacob and Achsah Fisk Farrar born May 6 1814 painted by Asahel Powers Springfield Vermont circa 1830"
83.8 x 62.9 cm
Private Collection

1831c possibly William Sheldon
oil on wood 104.4 x 78.7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1833 Hannah Fisher Stedman
oil on wood 91.5 x 63 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1835c ( attributed to ) Portrait of Abel Fisk Farrar Worcester, Massachusetts
oil on canvas 87.6 x 64.8 cm
Private Collection

1835c Portrait of a Young Man
oil on panel


Pair of wedding portraits of Colonel Butterfield and his wife Octavia. The Colonel wears the uniform of the 26th Regiment of Vermont Militia. One dated 1836 on reverse:

1836c Colonel Butterfield
oil on canvas 50 .8 x 48.9 cm
Private Collection

1836c Mrs Butterfield
oil on canvas 50 .8 x 48.9 cm
Private Collection

1839c Portrait of a Young Gentleman
oil on poplar panel

n.d. ( attributed to ) "Carson Dana Gifford Miller, born Vermont 1812, died Rochester, NY, April 30, 1891"
 oil on paperboard 20.3 x 35.6 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Carson Dana Miller or her Sister (1897-1881)
oil on paperboard 20.3 x 35.6 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Hemon Miller (1897-1881)
oil on paperboard 20.3 x 35.6 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Woman Wearing a Golden Brown Dress and Gold Jewellery

n.d. Azuba Allen Carpenter, Wife of Dr. Henry Gray

n.d. Charles Mortimer French


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