Tag Archives: Art Authentication

An Opera Singer’s Digestion and an Art Bully’s Tactics

George L. Stout, conservator with Harvard’s Fogg Museum of Art in the 1920s, first articulated the three-legged stool approach to art authentication when connoisseurship alone was the standard. Questioning a connoisseur’s opinion, “was as naughty as inquiring about the digestive … Continue reading

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Dating the Portrait Miniature

To determine when an artwork was created – in this case, the portrait miniature — we analyze and compare clothing and hairstyles with fashion plates, photographs and other portraits with known dates.  Surprisingly, men’s clothing is usually easier to date than women’s. Men who commission … Continue reading

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Another Conant?

Not long after we completed our work on Alban Jasper Conant with the Portrait of Woman of Strong Character, an art collector asked me to determine if a portrait of two children could be the lost painting, “Group, Two Young Girls,” 1839/40, by George … Continue reading

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The Boisseau in Ilwaco – Nathan Ball Bradley

To answer the second question posed in an earlier post: Who is the Unknown Man in the portrait painted by Alfred Boisseau in 1886 that currently hangs in Ilwaco, Washinghton, I examined a Family Bible that was with the portrait.  The marriage of … Continue reading

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Who Was Alban Jasper Conant?

Alban Jasper Conant, the artist of Woman of Strong Character, was a triple A polymath – an artist, an archaeologist, and an anthropologist. As an artist, he painted a president, a war hero, judges, legislators, and members of prominent families. His … Continue reading

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Artist of Woman of Strong Character

We found the artist of Woman of Strong Character.  The artist is Alban Jasper Conant (1821-1915). Stripping the portrait of the Louisiana red herring, all we knew for certain was that the portrait was purchased in central Missouri around 1975. … 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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The Importance of Dating

In the 1920s, an elderly woman from Liberty, Missouri, gave her niece two rolled, damaged canvases. One, she said, depicted the niece’s grandfather, James Turner Vance Thompson  (1797-1872); the other, one of his three wives. In the 19th century, it was not uncommon for a … Continue reading

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