© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
H22
People
John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
Thomas Hancock (1703 - 1764)
Frame by Unidentified American Framemaker
Title
Thomas Hancock (1703-1764)
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1764-1766
Places
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Culture
American
Location
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
242.7 x 150.9 cm (95 9/16 x 59 7/16 in.)
Provenance
Commissioned by the sitter's nephew, John Hancock, at the request of the College, 1764-1766.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of John Hancock, nephew of Thomas Hancock, to Harvard College, 1766
Accession Year
1766
Object Number
H22
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Benjamin Peirce, A History of Harvard University, From its Foundation, in the Year 1636 to the Period of the American Revolution, Brown, Shattuck and Company (Cambridge, MA, 1833), p. 231

Augustus Thorndyke Perkins, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, J. R. Osgood & Company (Boston, MA, 1873), p. 69

William Garrott Brown, A List of Portraits in the Various Buildings of Harvard University, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, 1898), p. 21

Frank William Bayley, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, The Garden Press, W. B. Libby (Boston, MA, 1910), p. 53

Frank William Bayley, The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley: Founded on the Work of Augustus Thorndike Perkins, The Taylor Press (Boston, MA, 1915), p. 138

Cuthbert Lee, Early American Portrait Painters: The Fourteen Principal Earliest Native-born Painters, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, CT, 1929), p. 74

Frank William Bayley, Five Colonial Artists of New England: Joseph Badger, Joseph Blackburn, John Singleton Copley, Robert Feke, John Smibert, Southworth Press (Boston, 1929), p. 221, ill.

Theodore Bolton and Henry Lorin Binsse, "John Singleton Copley", The Antiquarian (New York, NY, December 1930), pp. 116-118., p. 116

Louise Burroughs, "John Singleton Copley", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1936), vol. 31, no. 12, pp. 251-258, p. 254

Royal Cortissoz, "The Art of Copley at the Metropolitan", New York Herald Tribune (New York, NY, December 27, 1936), sec. 7, p. 8, p. 8

Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), pp. 67-68

Alan Burroughs, Limners and Likenesses: Three Centuries of American Painting, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), pp. 67-68, fig. 55

Paintings of John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1936), p. 7, cat. 6

Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1936-1937 (Cambridge, MA, 1938), p. 17

Barbara N. Parker and Anne Bolling Wheeler, John Singleton Copley: American Portraits in Oil, Pastel and Miniature, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1938), pp. 99-100, pl. 45

Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, American Portraits, 1620-1825, found in Massachusetts, Volumes 1 and 2, Historical Records Survey (Boston, MA, 1939), p. 188, cat. 964

Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1939-1940 (Cambridge, MA, 1941), p. 23

James Thomas Flexner, John Singleton Copley, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, 1948), pp. 28, 54, pl. 19

John Chamberlain, The Enterprising Americans: A Business History of the United States, Harper & Row (New York, 1962), ill. p. 8

Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 30, 43-44, 108, 217, pl. 154

Louise Todd Ambler, Early Science at Harvard: Innovators and Their Instruments, 1765 - 1865, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, December 1969-January 1970), pp. 2, 74, cat. 2

Alison Shepherd Lewis, "John Singleton Copley and American Full-Length Portraits: The Project of Harvard Hall" (1969), Unpublished, pp. 9-13, 17

Robert Plate, John Singleton Copley: America's First Great Artist, David McKay (New York, NY, 1969), p. 43

Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1969-1970 (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 10, ill. p. 11

Nina Fletcher Little, "Floor Coverings", American Art Journal (May 1975), vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 107-117, p. 112

Wendy Ann Cooper, "Paul Revere's Boston, 1735-1818", The Magazine Antiques (July 1975), vol. 108, pp. 80-93, cat. 41, ill.

Esther Forbes, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In, Book of the Month Club, Inc. (New York, NY, 1980), p. 113

Melvin Maddocks, The Seafarers: Atlantic Crossing, Time-Life Books, Inc. (Alexandria, VA, 1980), ill. p. 58

Trevor J. Fairbrother, "John Singleton Copley's Use of British Mezzotints for his American Portraits", Arts Magazine (March 1981), pp. 122-30, pp. 125-126, 128-129, fig. 12

Leo van Witsen, Costuming for Opera, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN, 1981), p. 55, ill.

Wayne Craven, Colonial American Portraiture, Cambridge University Press (U.K.) (Cambridge, England, 1986), pp. 339-341, fig. 160

Sandra Grindlay, "Harvard's Portraits: An American Treasure", Harvard University Art Museums Review (Fall 1992), vol. II, no. 1, pp. 6-7, p. 6

Morrison Heckscher and Leslie Greene Bowman, American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1992), p. 138

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, "Furniture as Social History: Gender, Property and Memory in the Decorative Arts", American Furniture, Chipstone Foundation (Milwaukee, WI, 1995), pp. 39-68, pp. 48, 52, fig. 14

Carrie Rebora and Paul J. Staiti, John Singleton Copley in America, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1995), pp. 93, 156, 211, 221, 259, ill. p. 4

Elizabeth M. Kornhauser, American Paintings before 1945 in the Wadsworth Atheneum, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, CT, 1996), pp. 261-263, ill.

Susan Rather, "Carpenter, Tailor, Shoemaker, Artist: Copley and Portrait Painting around 1770", The Art Bulletin, College Art Association of America (New York, NY, June 1997), v. 79, pp. 269-90, p. 279

Harlow Giles Unger and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. (USA), John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot (New York, 2000), ill p. 18

John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, and Robert Shenton, Harvard A to Z, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 276

Kimberly Orcutt, Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004), pp. 2-3, ill., 12

Beth Carver Wees and Medill Higgins Harvey, Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New Haven, 2013), ill. p. 269

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), pp. 22, 24,132-134, 426, cat. 83, ill.

Stephen J. Hornsby and Richard W. Judd, ed., Historical Atlas of Maine (Orono, Maine, 2015), part 1, plate 13 verso [unpaginated], repr.

Jonathan Shaw and Jennifer Carling, "The Lost Museum: Teachings of the Philosophy Chamber, Recreated", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 42-49, p. 42

Colleen Walsh, Reviving the Philosophy Chamber, Harvard Gazette (May 25, 2017), Vol. CXII, pp. 24-25, p. 25, repr.

Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 71, Plate 7; pp. 17-19, p. 23 Fig. 14, p. 35 Fig. 25 in Ethan W. Lasser's "Harvard's Teaching Cabinet"; p. 57 in María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui's "A Repository of Gifts"; p. 172 (detail), pp. 181-189, p. 184 Fig. 13 (x-radiograph), p. 186 Fig 16 (detail), in Aleksandr Bierig's "Transposition"; pp. 224-235, Figs. 1-4, 6-9, and 13 in Teri Hensick and Kate Smith's "Copley's Working Practice"; p. 259 in Andrew Gelfand's "Chronology"

Exhibition History

The Paintings of John Singleton Copley, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 12/22/1936 - 02/14/1937

Early Science at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/18/1969 - 02/01/1970

Paul Revere's Boston 1735-1818, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 04/18/1975 - 10/12/1975

Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/08/2004 - 08/29/2004

The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu