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 Gilbert Charles Stuart  (1755 - 1828)

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About: Gilbert Charles Stuart


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Rhode Island / England      Known for: portrait painting, some genre-figure

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Gail Sloop

George & Paul
In 2004, I took all of Sequoyah Elementary students (340 children K-5th) to see the Washington's Lansdowne Portrait at the Oklahoma City Art Museum with the financial help of Donald W. Reynolds. Every year, my 4th grade students compare and contrast the Washington and Revere portraits and artists. This teaches the students, history, honor, loyalty and the importance of individual vision and tolerance. Now, I am going to share this information with A+ Oklahoma educators. Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, thank you so much for your support of the Arts and Culture in our great nation.
Working for Peace and Creavity,
Gail Sloop
Oklahoma City

jack Taylor

Gilbert Stuart's Son Charles
I have a miniature oil of Geo washington signed Charl. Stuart circa 1805-10..any knowledge of the output of Gilbert Stuart's son Charles?

H. Martin

Athenaeum Portrait of George Washington
I inherited a wonderful portrait of George Washington from my grandparents who were residents of Nashville, Tennessee. My grandparents acquired the portrait in 1949 from the family of Thomas Alabone (or Alibone) Washington, who resided in that area. The portrait had been in their family since the early 1800's. I am researching for information that would aid in an attribution to Stuart. Any information or other assistance one may offer will be greatly appreciated.

H. Martin



Mary Webb

Fake Stuart in White House
Edgar Allen Beem wrote a wonderful article for ARTnews May, 2001 in which he reviewed the controversy surrounding the portrait of George Washington by Stuart which has hung in the White House since 1800.
It could be a copy, and the debate about its originality, or lack thereof, makes an interesting story.

Mary Webb

Portrait Saved !
Courtesy of the Smithsonian Public Affairs Office The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery received a commitment of up to $30 million on March 13, 2001 from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The gift will allow the National Portrait Gallery to purchase the well-known Gilbert Stuart "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington. The cost of the painting, which has been on loan to the gallery since 1968, is $20 million. An additional $4 million will fund a dedicated space for the painting in the Portrait Gallery, and up to $6 million will be used to pay for a national tour and education programs relating to the painting. The Portrait Gallery is currently being renovated and will reopen in 2004. The portrait's owner, Lord Dalmeny of London, notified the Smithsonian that he had decided to sell the portrait. He gave the National Portrait Gallery an exclusive opportunity to purchase it for $20 million, but only if the Smithsonian could acquire the resources by April 1. "This was a patriotic emergency and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation answered the call," Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small said. "Gilbert Stuart's great portrait of George Washington will now be owned by the nation-forever." "My fellow trustees and I are excited and proud to be able to play a part in saving this national treasure for the American people," said Fred W. Smith, chairman of the board of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. "We felt, as I am sure every American did, that it would be a tragedy to lose this original portrait of our Founding Father. This gift will now secure the Lansdowne portrait of George Washington and provide for its permanent home at the Smithsonian." "In addition, we will also provide the financial resources to fund a three-year national tour of the painting and educational materials for America's school children to celebrate the legacy of George Washington," Smith added. "Our benefactor, Donald W. Reynolds, believed that every American owed a debt of gratitude to those that came before us. He also felt that we have an obligation to keep the symbols of our country's principles for those in the future. This gift will accomplish those goals and honor his name and ideals into perpetuity." The 8-foot-by-5-foot portrait shows Washington in a black suit, with an oratorical gesture of an outstretched hand, the way he used to appear at state occasions during his presidency. Only three such paintings by Stuart are known to exist, and this is the original, painted from life in 1796. "This rendering of George Washington is truly one of our nation's most important treasures, recognized and revered by all Americans," said Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery. "It's an American icon. We're grateful that the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation stepped forward." The 205-year-old painting is in excellent condition, according to Portrait Gallery Curator of Painting and Sculpture Ellen Miles. The provenance or history of the portrait is fully documented, Miles added, from the artist's studio to the current owner's family's purchase of it in the 1880s. The commonly used name-the "Lansdowne" painting-comes from the name of the person for whom it was painted, the Marquis of Lansdowne. It was commissioned by one of America's wealthiest men, Sen. William Bingham, and his wife Anne, for the first Marquis of Lansdowne, a British supporter of the American cause in Parliament during the Revolution. The gift was a remarkable gesture of gratitude and a symbol of reconciliation between America and Great Britain. Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) was a preeminent portrait painter in the United States in the early 19th century. He recorded likenesses of American lawyers, politicians, landowners and diplomats, and their wives and children, painting nearly 1,000 portraits in his lifetime. His subjects included Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and James Monroe, as well as Paul Revere, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, architect William Thornton, Mohawk Chief Joseph Brandt and other well-known figures. In a resolution drawn up after Stuart's death in 1828, the artists of Philadelphia noted, "We consider the late Gilbert Stuart to have been the Father of American Portraiture." The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Reynolds was the founder and principal owner of the Donrey Media Group, a nationwide communications and media company. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is one of the nation's largest private foundations. The Lansdowne portrait is currently on view in "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden" in the National Museum of American History. The National Portrait Gallery is housed in the Old Patent Office Building at F and Eighth streets N.W. near the MCI Center. The National Portrait Gallery, a Smithsonian Institution museum, was established by an Act of Congress in 1962 and was opened to the public in 1968. The Patent Office Building, which houses the National Portrait Gallery as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is currently closed for a four-year renovation.


Famous Portrait
From Art Daily, March 3, 2001

LONDON.- Harry Dalmeny wants to sell to the Smithsonian Institution Gilbert Stuart's great "Lansdowne portrait" of George Washington for $20 million. Harry Dalmeny, the 33-year-old heir to the Dalmeny and Rosebery fortunes, owns the famous image of the first president, which Stuart painted from life in 1796, and has given the Smithsonian until April 1 to buy the painting. The familiar portrait of a stern, authoritative Washington with right hand outstretched is "a fundamental document of the Republic," says Marc Pachter, director of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. "Its significance is comparable to the Constitution or the Star-Spangled Banner." The Stuart has hung in the Portrait Gallery since 1968, on long-term loan from Dalmeny's family. With the gallery closed for renovations, the painting is temporarily being shown at the National Museum of American History.

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