Portrait of Elizabeth Stirling Foote
Thomas Seir Cummings
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
In keeping with the emotional symbolism of miniatures, couples frequently exchanged these tokens to mark an engagement or wedding, as was the case for Elizabeth Stirling (1811–1900) and Erasmus Darwin Foote (1808–1866), who married in March 1833. (Accession no. 16.687.2, in Drawer 47A, is the companion miniature.) The artist, Thomas Seir Cummings of New York, was the most famous miniaturist of his day and also taught and published on the subject. Contemporary critics praised his works for their ability to “raise sensations in the bosoms of those who gaze on them.”
Watercolor on ivory portrait in brass locket with glass lenses on both sides
Image (sight): 2 11/16 x 2 3/16 in. (6.8 x 5.6 cm)
Frame: 3 x 2 5/8 in. (7.6 x 6.7 cm)
Frame (height with loop): 3 7/16 in. (8.7 cm)
Case: 4 3/16 x 3 1/8 x 1 in. (10.6 x 7.9 x 2.5 cm) (show scale)
Signed in pencil on verso: "Cummings Pinx.t; dated 1832."
Museum Collection Fund
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Thomas Seir Cummings (American, born England, 1804-1894). Portrait of Elizabeth Stirling Foote, 1832. Watercolor on ivory portrait in brass locket with glass lenses on both sides, Image (sight): 2 11/16 x 2 3/16 in. (6.8 x 5.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 16.687.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 16.687.1_PS1.jpg)
overall, 16.687.1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Locket has a small window on the verso (window is empty) and glass lens is dislodged, paper and fabric backing inside; companion piece 16.687.2. Miniature is housed in fitted red leather case with latch.
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