© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Edward Savage, American (Princeton, MA 1761 - 1817 Princeton, MA)
George Washington
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Stipple engraving
plate: 13.2 x 10.8 cm (5 3/16 x 4 1/4 in.)
sheet: 21.8 x 14.9 cm (8 9/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
framed: 48.6 × 38.4 × 3.2 cm (19 1/8 × 15 1/8 × 1 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: center, below image, printed in plate: Painted & Engraved by E. Savage
  • inscription: center, printed in plate: GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq.r / President of the United States of America. / From the Original Picture Painted in 1790 for the / Philosophical Chamber, at the University of Cambridge, / In Massachusetts. /Published Feb.r 7. 1792 by E. Savage No. 29 Charles Street, Midd.x Hospital.
  • inscription: lower right corner, in graphite: 3030.3 1.300
[The Old Print Gallery, Washington, DC] sold; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
Stauffer 2753; Hart 214; Baker 116
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Fund for the Acquisition of Prints Older than 150 Years
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Label Text: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820 , written 2017
Edward Savage, a self-taught Boston painter who worked in the manner of John Singleton Copley, engraved this portrait of Washington while studying in London with expatriate American artist Benjamin West. The prominent inscription ties the print to the Philosophy Chamber: Savage based the work on a portrait he had painted to commemorate the first president’s visit to the room in 1789.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, artists, naturalists, scholars, and officials from points across Britain, Europe, and North and South America traveled to Cambridge to tour the Philosophy Chamber and its collections. Their writings provide valuable commentary about the room and the period attitude toward its holdings. Washington, for instance, singled out Joseph Pope’s orrery as a “curious piece of mechanism” in the diary entry he penned after his tour.

Publication History

W. S. Baker, The Engraved Portraits of Washington, with Notices of the Originals and Brief Biographical Sketches of the Painters, Lindsay & Baker (Philadelphia, 1880), pp. 73-76 [reference citation]

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. 111, Plate 47

Exhibition History

The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017; The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, 04/17/2018 - 07/15/2018

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