The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 1, 2024

Nathaniel Olds

Nathaniel Olds

(American, 1811–1890)
Framed: 87 x 71.8 x 5.7 cm (34 1/4 x 28 1/4 x 2 1/4 in.); Unframed: 76.5 x 61.2 cm (30 1/8 x 24 1/8 in.)

Did You Know?

This painting has a distinguished history inspiring Halloween costumes in the Cleveland area.


The green-tinted spectacles worn by Olds were designed to protect the eyes from the intensity of Argand lamps, a type of indoor light used during the early 1800s. These lamps burned whale oil, and many people worried that its bright flames might damage eyesight.The painter of this portrait founded the Western Union Telegraph Company in 1854 and soon became one of Cleveland's wealthiest industrialists. His grandson, Jeptha Wade II, was a founder of the Cleveland Museum of Art and donated the land upon which it stands as a Christmas gift to the city in 1892.
  • Maude Tarr, Madison, Wisconsin; The State Historical Society of Wisconsin; Jeptha H. Wade III, Boston (1968).
  • Turner, Evan H. "The Year in Review for 1992." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 80, no. 2 (1993): 38-79. Reproduced: p. 59; Mentioned: p. 66
    Wade, Jeptha H., Holly Rarick Witchey, and Ellery Sedgwick. The Autobiography of Jeptha Homer Wade, a Modest American: A Transcription and Accompanying Essays. 2018, 8. Mentioned and reproduced: pp. 8-9.
    Bifano, Wayne Thomas, and Timothy Lachina. The Wade Chapel: A Story of Art, Spirit, and Family. Cleveland, Ohio: Lake View Cemetery Association, 2019. Reproduced: P. 22
  • {{cite web|title=Nathaniel Olds|url=false|author=Jeptha Homer Wade|year=1837|access-date=01 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: