Joseph Blackburn (American)
Oil on canvas, Unframed: 124.7 x 99.3 cm (49 1/8 x 39 1/8 in.). Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1919.1005
Posed bolt upright in a billowing satin gown, Mrs. Atkinson (born Hannah Wentworth, 1700-1769) is almost a mannequin for the display of opulent textiles. As the sister of the first royal governor of New Hampshire and the wife of that colony's chief justice and richest man, she was as close to an aristocrat as any person both in British America. Mrs. Atkinson and her husband found a suitable portrait painter in Joseph Blackburn who was probably born and trained in England, and was thus familiar with fashionable tastes. Mr. Atkinson's portrait is now in the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts.
Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Catalogue of the Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition of the Cleveland Museum of Art: The Official Art Exhibit of the Great Lakes Exposition, (26 June-4 October 1936), p. 21, listed catalogue number 19, not illustrated.Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Juxtapositions (10 September-10 October 1965).
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