Collections: American Art: Colonel Nathan Beckwith

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    79.133.2.jpg 79.133.2_bw.jpg

    Colonel Nathan Beckwith

    This portrait depicts one half of a prominent couple from Dutchess Country. Nathan Beckwith was a land surveyor and his wife was the sister of Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke, the first American women's college. Their social status as rural gentry is suggested by their dignified posture and the attractive painted Federal-style chairs. Ammi Phillips was an itinerant painter who sought commissions in New York, western Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Apparently self-taught, he nevertheless modeled his images on the fashionable portrait conventions of the day. His style evolved from the simple forms and pastel colors of these early works to the large shapes and bold colors in the later portrait of Jeannette Woolley Storm.

    • Artist: Ammi Phillips, American, 1788-1865
    • Medium: Oil on canvas
    • Dates: ca. 1817
    • Dimensions: 30 1/2 x 24 9/16 in. (77.4 x 62.4 cm)  (show scale)
    • Signature: Unsigned
    • Inscriptions: Inscribed on envelope, lower right: Col 1 Nathan Beckwith/ Redhook/ Dutches [sic] County"; with the postmark "Troy" and the number "10".
    • Collections:American Art
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
    • Accession Number: 79.133.2
    • Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Harold J. Roig
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Ammi Phillips (American, 1788-1865). Colonel Nathan Beckwith, ca. 1817. Oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 24 9/16 in. (77.4 x 62.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Harold J. Roig, 79.133.2
    • Image: overall, 79.133.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2003
    • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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    Recent Comments
    07:05 06/2/2011
    cute typo: Their social status as rural gentry is suggested by their dignified pasture.
    um, maybe you meant "posture"? or maybe it is a brooklyn accent?!? love the brooklyn, and miss it! best museum in NYC.
    ~ed young, mrs. roig's grandson
    (delete this comment when copy is corrected please!)
    By ed young
    15:56 06/2/2011
    Hi Ed, thanks so much for spotting this. The correction will go live tomorrow.
    23:39 06/2/2011
    wait a sec, shelley, don't get me wrong, they had a dignified pasture too!
    By ed
    13:41 06/3/2011
    ha! old school bk, sure enough!

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