Category Archives: Stories Behind George Caleb Bingham Portraits

Stories Behind the Portraits: Vestine Porter

Q. “In old portraits, why aren’t people smiling?” A.    (1) They wanted to look honorable and serious, and definitely, not like fool. (2) They had bad teeth. Times and attitudes changed, and people like John King Stark, husband of George … Continue reading

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Stories Behind the Portraits: Frances Booker George

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Portrait If you are already familiar with the portraits of George Caleb Bingham, especially Mary Ann Gilliss (Mrs. Benoist Troost) at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, then you know at first glance that George Caleb Bingham … Continue reading

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George Caleb Bingham’s father-in-law, Reverend Robert Stewart Thomas (1805-1859), was “a tall man…above six feet in height, but a stoop… diminished his stature … His limbs were not fleshy, in fact, they were inclined to be lean – and though … Continue reading

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Stories Behind the Portraits: Eliza Thomas Bingham

George Caleb Bingham’s portrait of his second wife, Eliza Thomas Bingham (1828-1876), went up for auction this fall. I did not mention it publicly because I did not want to be seen as shilling for it. Perhaps I should have. … 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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Stories Behind the Portraits: Sallie Rodes Rollins

In 1845, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins established a scholarship for young people from Boone County, Missouri, both men and women. What would cause a man of the 19th century to include such a stipulation in his will?  How could his perception of … 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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Stories Behind the Portraits: Judge Priestly H. McBride

The person who most likely gave the brooch to Mary Snell McBride that is the most popular item in the exhibition, George Caleb Bingham: Witness to History was her husband, Judge Priestly H. McBride (1796-1869).  Judge Priestly McBride was known as a fair judge. He was a … Continue reading

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