Tag Archives: Art and Genealogy

The Mystery of Five Family Portraits: III

Introduction The third of the five family portraits depicted Judge Lewis Penn Witherspoon Balch (1787-1868). His grandson would marry a granddaughter of Julia Anna Marion Prosser (Mrs. Richard Bland Lee II) (1805-1886). Subject Balch was born on July 31, 1787, in Georgetown, … 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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Provenance Research: Elizabeth A. Brook Weed (Mrs. Robert J. Arundel) Portrait

Provenance research revealed that though the letter of attribution contained many errors, the portrait of Elizabeth Weed Arundel descended impeccably within two families. The attribution of the artist of the portrait to Thomas Sully, however, is questionable. The next step to determining the actual artist was Connoisseurship. Continue reading

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The Importance of Watson’s Insight

It’s not uncommon over the generations for family to forget the name of the person in the portrait who hung on the wall at Aunt Edna’s house for as long as anyone can remember. Auctions are littered with portraits of … Continue reading

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