Tag Archives: Art Detectives

The Most Popular Item…

The most popular item in the exhibition, George Caleb Bingham: Witness to History, at the Jackson County Art Museum in the Truman Courthouse in Independence, Missouri, was the original brooch worn by Mary Snell (Mrs. Priestly Haggin McBride.)  The brooch is … Continue reading

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Outside the Box – John Neagle

It’s been great fun while in the midst of a project involving all antebellum portrait artists in the Ohio River Valley to spend time with the work of intriguing but sometimes slighted artists. John Neagle (1796-1865) is one.  Beyond the well-known … 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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