Saturday, 3 December 2016

American Folk Art - part 18

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 1-17 also for earlier works.

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

This is part 18 of a 21-part post on American Folk Art:



Ruby Devol Finch (1804 – 1866)


Few women during the early nineteenth century practiced as professional artists, yet many were engaged in artistic activities they had begun as schoolgirls. A number of portraits by Ruby Devol Finch have been known for some years, including portraits of friends and neighbours in the community of Westport and Westport Point, Massachusetts. Finch was active between 1830c and 1843.

1830-35c ( attributed to ) Portrait of Elijah and Hannah Robinson
graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 17.8 x 22.9 cm
Abby Aldrich Folk Art Museum, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, VA

1830-35c The Podigal Son
 graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 31.4 x 35.6 cm
Folk Art Museum, New York City
photo © John Bigelow Taylor, New York

1830-35c The Prodigal Son Returns: The Celebration
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 14.9 x 19 cm
Private Collection

1830c Portrait of Ann Potter
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 27.9 x 22.9 cm framed

1831 Kirby Family Record
watercolour and ink on paper 52.1 x 41.3 cm
Abby Aldrich Folk Art Museum, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, VA

1836c ( attributed to ) Memorial Portrait of Tillinghast Tripp
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 20.3 x 13.3 cm

1836c ( attributed to ) Portrait of Susannah Tripp
graphite, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 18.4 x 13.3 cm

1838 Federal Style House

1843 ( attributed to ) Memorial Portrait of Sally Allen
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper 18.4 x 13.3 cm
New Bedford Whaling Museum

1930-35c ( attributed to ) Portrait of Abner Davis
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper mounted on panel 33.6 x 20.3 cm

1930-35c ( attributed to ) Portrait of Betty Davis
watercolour, gouache and ink on paper mounted on panel 33.6 x 20.3 cm

n.d. ( 1830s ) An Equestrian Figure 


Ruth Henshaw Bascom ( 1772 - 1848 )

1829 Self-Portrait
Ruth Henshaw Bascom, also known as Aunt Ruth, was an American folk artist who produced over 1,400 portraits. She was the daughter of Colonel William Henshaw and Phebe Swan of Leicester, Massachusetts, and a schoolteacher from 1791 to 1801. Bascom married first, at about 32 years of age, to Dr. Asa Miles, but he died a year or more after their marriage. She married a second time for about 35 years to Reverend Ezekial Lysander Bascom. Bascom didn't give birth to children of her own, but she had a stepson from her first marriage, stepdaughter from her second marriage, and a niece and nephew that she raised. She documented the daily activities of her life in diaries beginning at the age of 17, which included records of the portraits that she made.

While married Bascom fulfilled the role of a minister's wife, was a teacher, and was active at the local library and in temperance societies. She made her first portrait in 1801, but she did not begin creating portraits regularly until after 1818. Bascom worked with a variety of materials, including pastels, pencils, cut paper, and foil. Some of her initial works were layered pieces of paper that represented the head and neck, clothing, and accessories placed over a background. She also made pastel portraits on one sheet of paper in the latter part of her career.

1829 inscribed "Elizabeth Cummings Low-Boston July 1829 by Mrs. Bascom, Ashby"
 40.6 x 28.9 cm

1830 Frances Knowlton
pastel and pencil on paper 49.5 x 36.8 cm

1831c ( attributed to ) Mr. Kendall
pastel, black paint and graphite on cut paper attached to blue paper

1831c ( attributed to ) Mrs. Kendall
pastel, black paint and graphite on cut paper attached to blue paper

1832 Portrait of Charles Mann of Fitchburg, MA
pastel on paper, cut to profile with appliquèd gold foil necklace 45.6 x 34.3 cm

1834 Portrait of a Helen Mann ( Rugg ) of Fitchburg, MA
43.8 x 33.6 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Portrait of Cornelia T. Newell Miller
pastel and pencil with fold foil accents on paper 43.8 x 31.1 cm

n.d. Portrait of a Young Woman
pastel and pencil on cut paper mounted on gilt foil 38.7 x 29.8 cm

n.d. Portrait of Lydia Luana Thompson of Phillipston, MA
cut paper with pastel and pencil mounted on coloured paper 39.4 x 29.2 cm

n.d. Profile Portrait of a Woman
mixed media 45.7 x 33 cm

n.d. Profile Portrait of a Boy in a High Collar
pastel and pencil on paper 43.2 x 33 cm

n.d. Profile Portrait of a Young Boy
cut-out paper with pastel, pen and ink, on tinted blue paper ground 39.4 x 29.2 cm

n.d. Profile Portrait of a Young Boy in a Ruffled Collar
pastel and pencil on paper 40.6 x 30.5 cm


Royall Brewster Smith (1801 - 1855)

Born in Buxton, Maine, 7 August 1801, the artist was probably named after the Smith family's physician, Dr. Royal Brewster. As the eleventh of fourteen children of John McCurdy and Elizabeth McLellan Smith, Royall successfully survived a childhood of limited financial means and some illness to become a successful artisan.
Between 1830 and 1837, Royall Brewster Smith executed some three dozen portraits of residents of southern Maine. As an itinerant, he painted subjects from such towns as Limington, Gorham, and Saco, all located within twenty-five miles of each other. Many of these sitters were from related families, some of them connected to Smith's own. There is no indication that Smith ever received formal training. Generally his works are three-quarter, half-length views on simple but brightly coloured backgrounds. The careful lettering of inscriptions on his paintings suggest that Smith may have worked as a sign painter as well as an artist.
In 1840 he married Roxana Gowen in the town of Gorham. By 1843 the couple had moved to Bangor, where Smith worked as a carpenter and painter until his death in December 1855.

1833 Eliza R. Read
oil on canvas 79.7 x 64.6 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1833 John G. Read
oil on canvas 79.7 x 64.5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1834c Abner Chase Stockin, Age Three, of Monmouth, Maine
oil on canvas 83.8 x 67.9 cm

1837 ( Standish, Maine ) Miriam McDonald
90.2 x 76.2 cm
painted a year before their marriage ( see below )

1837 ( Standish, Maine ) Nathaniel Richardson
90.2 x 76.2 cm painted a year before their marriage ( see above )

n.d. ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Man
oil on canvas 83.8 x 73.7 cm

n.d. Hannah Ayer

Joseph Goodhue Chandler ( 1813 – 1884 )

Chandler was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He trained first as a cabinetmaker; later, at some time between the ages of 14 and 19, he travelled to Albany, New York, where he studied painting with William Collins. His earliest known portraits date from 1835c and are mainly of family members. Following his father's death, he bought his brother's share of the family farm and supplemented his income by land management. In 1840 Chandler married Lucretia Ann Waite, an established painter from Hubbardston, Massachusetts. A descendant reported that Lucretia "finished up" her husband's paintings, and the two artists probably collaborated on several portraits. Soon after his marriage, Chandler began his career as an itinerant painter, traveling principally in northwestern Massachusetts until he established a studio in Boston in 1852. In 1860 the Chandlers returned to Hubbardston, where they spent the rest of their lives. Chandler died in 1884, and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.
1835c ( attributed to ) The Slater Children
oil on canvas 88.9 x 118.1 cm

1836-38c Girl with Kitten
oil on canvas 122 x 70.5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1837-1845c Young Girl Holding a Cluster of Grapes with Her Dog at Her Feet
oil on canvas 98.7 x 67.9 cm

1840c Portrait of Two Children
oil on canvas 106.7 x 76.2 cm

1845-50c ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Man
oil on canvas mounted on hardboard 71.8 x 65.1 cm
The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

1845c Two Boys with Bow and Fishing Pole
oil on canvas 142.2 x 114.3 cm

1846 Portrait of Miss Annis S. Griffen
oil on canvas 127 x 73.2 cm

1847 Captain Charles Parsons of Conway, Franklin County, MA
oil on canvas 90.2 x 73 cm

1847 Daniel Stowell
oil on canvas 74.9 x 61 cm

1847 Pamela Stowell
oil on canvas 74.9 x 61 cm

1847 Persis Stowell
oil on canvas 74.9 x 61 cm

n.d. ( probably 1847 ) Portrait of a Boy with His Dog and Riding Crop ( James Henry Stowell )
oil on canvas 109.2 x 60.3 cm

1847 Sylvia Parsons of Conway, Franklin County, MA
oil on canvas 90.2 x 73 cm

1850 Charles H. Sisson
oil on canvas 122.2 x 63.7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1850 Miss Mary S. Gardner aged 3 Years
oil on canvas

1861c ( attributed to ) Hugh and Wright Carpenter
Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont

1866c Still Life with Fruit
oil on canvas 63.5 x 76.5 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

1871 Portrait of a Boy
oil on canvas 91.4 x 73.7 cm

before 1879 George Washington
oil on canvas 76.2 x 61 cm

Frederick Eugene Bennet

Mary Elizabeth Bennet

n.d. ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Young Boy with his Dog
oil on panel 123.2 x 93.3 cm

n.d. ( possible attribution ) The Drummer Boy
oil on canvas 116.8 x 78.7 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Double Portrait of a Girl and Boy
oil on canvas 165.7 x 116.2 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Portrait of a Boy Holding a Sword Accompanied by His Dog
oil on canvas 101.6 x 76.2 cm

n.d. ( attributed to ) Portrait of Charles W. Allen, Age 9
oil on canvas 86.4 x 71.1 cm

n.d. Melinda Prouty Lamson with son Nathaniel

n.d. Portrait of a Boy with His Dog
oil on canvas 147.3 x 91.4 cm

n.d. Whiting and Joseph Griswold

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