Category Archives: Art History Research

Democratization of American Art

Some art critics of the the American Art-Union wondered how businessmen qualified as arbiters of taste. Critics also complained that by increasing the quantity of art, quality would suffer. But, over time, the democratization of art proved successful. Continue reading

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Portrait of an Art Investigation – Lilian II

The painting’s subject, Lilian dePeyster Post Pulsford would have been taught that a lady’s name appears in the newspaper twice:  her wedding announcement and her obituary. But she shattered the rule when details of her Reno divorce appeared on the front page of the … Continue reading

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For the portrait that led to Jeremiah and Daniel Wadsworth and to the previous blog, John Trumbull’s tender side, the investigation began with the painting itself. Oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches, the hand of a skillful artist could be seen … Continue reading

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Stories Behind the Portraits: David McClanahan Hickman

After ten years of searching, not long ago I located a “lost” portrait by George Caleb Bingham, Captain David McClanahan Hickman.   John Francis McDermott first noted the existence of the 30 x 25 inch artwork in 1959 in his book, George Caleb Bingham, River … Continue reading

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The Mysterious Mrs. Arundel(s)

A signed and notarized letter dictated by the subject’s granddaughter had been passed down through a family. It began, “Portrait by Sully.” But a Christie’s appraiser and staff at two different Manhattan, New York, galleries said Thomas Sully (1783-1872) was not the artist. They offered no … Continue reading

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Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842)

Pennsylvania artist Jacob Eichholtz has too long been hidden under the shadow of his famous friend Thomas Sully (1783-1872). The story and images of their young sons posed wearing a large torn hat, repeated here from a Philadelphia Free Library blog, expresses their inter-relationship: Sully … Continue reading

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Discovering History through Art: A British Portrait

Introduction Fine Art Investigations evolved from the belief that art connects us to the truth better than the written word. Discovering history through art is the passion; identifying portrait artists is the by-product. A while ago, I had the opportunity … Continue reading

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Stories Behind the Portraits: Ruth McCarty (Mrs. Ephraim Allison)

Ruth McCarty was born on April 7, 1844, in Saline County,Missouri.  At the age of 24, 0n 28 May 1868, she married Captain Ephraim Allison, 32, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.  They honeymooned at the J. Huston Tavern … Continue reading

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