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Q: Portraits by Charles Wilson Peale ( No Answer,   0 Comments )
Subject: Portraits by Charles Wilson Peale
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: tr1752-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 11 Nov 2006 12:00 PST
Expires: 11 Nov 2006 19:42 PST
Question ID: 781906
I am attempting to find 2 portraits by Charles Wilson Peale of Mr and
Mrs Thomas Russell. They were painted around 1784 near Philadelphia.
There were 2 sets made, one of which he sent to his brother William
and can be found here with a lot of
information about them. The originals were sold at Sotheby's American
Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture auction May 25, 1995. It was
property from the estate of George Strichman, New York, lot 172. They
sold for about $90,000. I am attempting to find where they currently
are; the originals, not the copies. At a point they were at the Crane
Collection, but they said they
didn't have them very long and had to give them back to an attorney. I
am looking only for the current owner or information that would
directly lead to the owner.

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 11 Nov 2006 17:45 PST
Dear tr1752,

This is not yet an answer, but the result of my research so far.
Should you find it helpful in any way, please let me know.

The last reference about the whereabouts of the pair of portraits I
could find dates from 1997. That year, the Wisconsin Academy Review
published an article by George Parker where the paintings were
mentioned and shown:

The text clearly says: "This is the last in a series of three articles
addressing the lives of early Americans through artifacts held in
Wisconsin collections.. (...) The portraits, all of which are now
housed in Wisconsin..." Thich means that the portraits of Thomas
Butler and his wife must have been part of a, most likely private,
collection in Wisconsin in 1997 (they can't be identical with the pair
at the Butler Institute, since it was acquired as early as 1969: )

The author of the article must know where the portraits are/were
located. The problem is that George Parker is not just anybody: He is
the former chairman of the board of The Parker Pen Company. It would
be probably almost impossible to contact him directly.

But you could contact the publisher of the Wisconsin Academy Review to
inquire for further support:

Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
1922 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
Phone: 608/263-1692
Fax: 608/265-3039

If this turns out to be of any help for you, please let me know.

Clarification of Question by tr1752-ga on 11 Nov 2006 19:41 PST
Thanks for your fast response. Now that you mention it, I recall
contacting the Wisconsin Review a while back.  I should have mentioned
it. This is what they responded with:


We did a little sleuthing and here's what we've discovered...

We think the Academy, itself, might be able to help you discover the
paintings location and ownership and also the author, George Parker,
would be likely starting point.  Note that, based on the article, it's
very likely that the portraits are from a private collection, possibly
owned by Mr. Parker himself.  Unfortunately, Mr. Parker passed away
about a year ago, and I'm not sure where the next likely source of
information is.

According to his biography, Mr. Parker was CEO of Caxambas Associates
or the Caxambas Foundation, which owns art and currently has some
material (early 20th c., so not the right period for portraits you are
interested in) on loan to the Chazen Art Museum Museum here in

However, it's quite possible that an exhibit at the Chazen in 2003 did
include the portraits in question; certainly some portraits by that
artist.  And, "Professor Ann Smart Martin's and her students in a
year- long art history seminar selected and researched the objects and
the period."  We know Ann Smart Martin through her work with the
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts, and I would suspect, based on
this information, that she may be familiar with the painting, or would
know how to get in touch with the Caxambas Foundation, or if not her,
certainly someone at the Chazen Museum would know.

Ann Smart Martin:  (608) 263-5684 The
Chazen Museum:
608 263-2246

2003 exhibit information:

Mr. Parker's Obituary:
I hope this information is helpful and gets you closer to discovering
the paintings! Best of luck with this research.

UW Digital Collections Center

Ms. Smart did not respond to an email I sent her; I did not call. I'm
pretty sure the Caxambas foundation has them now. Thanks for jogging
my memory!
There is no answer at this time.

There are no comments at this time.

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