Art

Portrait of a Girl


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American (probably Baltimore, MD c. 1763, active 1796-1824 probably Baltimore, MD)
Portrait of a Girl, c. 1810-1815
Former Title: Unidentified Lady
Painting
American
,
19th century
Oil on canvas
61 x 50.1 cm (24 x 19 3/4 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of William S. Lieberman
, 2007.133
Department of American Paintings, Sculpture & Decorative Arts
,
Description
Joshua Johnson is the first documented African-American painter to work in the United States. He was a professional portrait painter who lived in Baltimore, Maryland. His birth and death dates, as well as place of birth and death, are unknown.
Marks
label: A paper label on the wooden backing of the frame reads: "FROM/FITZGERALD'S/Emporium of Fine Arts/No. 5 (5?) N. GAY STREET/ BALTIMORE."
Provenance
Bertha Slattery Lieberman, Baltimore, MD; to her son William S. Lieberman, New York, NY; to Washburn Gallery, New York, NY, 1987-2005; Estate of William S. Lieberman, 2005-2007; his bequest to the Fogg Museum, 2007.
Bibliography
Carolyn J. Weekley, Stiles Tuttle Colwill, Leroy Graham and Mary Ellen Hayward, Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter, exh. cat., Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore, MD, 1987), p. 150, cat. 63, ill.

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), p. 310, cat. 269, ill.

Exhibition History
Joshua Johnson: Freeman and Early American Portrait Painter, Maryland Historical Society, 09/26/1987 - 01/03/1988; Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, 01/17/1988 - 05/15/1988; Whitney Museum of American Art, 06/18/1988 - 08/25/1988; Whitney Museum of American Art, Stamford, CT Branch, 09/09/1988 - 11/09/1988