Skip Navigation

Maria Clarissa Leavitt

Samuel Lovett Waldo

American Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
These portraits were painted around the time that the sitters moved from New York to Brooklyn, where David Leavitt had an interest in the Brooklyn White Lead Company (later Dutch Boy Paint). One of his partners in this enterprise was the Brooklyn Museum’s founder, Augustus Graham. In this work, David Leavitt looks up from his newspaper, which signals involvement as a citizen in the larger world of business and politics.

Maria Leavitt, fashionably dressed and coiffed, is seated in a Neoclassical armchair before an open window. A generalized landscape view associates her with nature—a reference both to the sheltered lifestyle of a lady in society and to the heightened sensitivity then attributed to the female gender.
MEDIUM Oil on panel
DATES ca. 1820–1825
DIMENSIONS 33 3/16 x 25 1/2 in. (84.3 x 64.8 cm) frame: 42 11/16 x 36 x 4 1/2 in. (108.4 x 91.4 x 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Anna S. Delafield, Fisher Howe, Lawrence Howe, and R. Warren Howe in memory of their brother, David Leavitt Howe (1915-1995)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CAPTION Samuel Lovett Waldo (American, 1783–1861). Maria Clarissa Leavitt, ca. 1820–1825. Oil on panel, 33 3/16 x 25 1/2 in. (84.3 x 64.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Anna S. Delafield, Fisher Howe, Lawrence Howe, and R. Warren Howe in memory of their brother, David Leavitt Howe (1915-1995), 1996.43.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.43.2_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1996.43.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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.
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.