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 Sarah Bushnell Perkins  (1771 - 1831)

About: Sarah Bushnell Perkins
 

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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: portrait

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Ad Code: 3
Sarah Bushnell Perkins
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of a lady seated in a Windsor chair
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for many years only as the "Beardsley Limner," Sarah Perkins was identified by scholars in 1984 as the person who was this artist, and fourteen unknown artist portraits, primarily of her own family, were assigned to her. They are distinguished by strong modeling and contrast with the flat appearance of the work of most artists of her time who had little advantage of training.

Perkins was born in and lived in Plainfield, Connecticut, where her father was a physician and teacher. Her mother died of tuberculosis when Perkins was twenty-four, and she cared for the seven younger children. Then her father died four years later, and she was left to support the family. In 1801, she married General Lemuel Grosvenor, a widower who had five children and with the addition of several more children of her own, her total responsibility was sixteen children.

Apparently she had no formal art training, but she was connected socially to Yale University where she may have had some training. Her father was also the proprietor of the Plainfield Academy in Connecticut, and she may have had lessons there. The pastel portraits that she did when she was young suggest that she had lessons from Joseph Seward who lived near her family in Hampton. She was also extremely skillful in handling fabrics and texture and increasingly moved towards a looser, painterly style with some abstraction in her cloth.

Source: "American Women Artists" by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein

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