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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Honeywell, Martha Ann
Culture:Americann (1787-1856)
Title:silhouettes
Date Made:1846-1848
Type:Silhouette
Materials:paper, ink, wood, gilding
Place Made:United States; Pennsylvania
Measurements:Frame: 7 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 26.67 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2010.23.1
Credit Line:Hall and Kate Peterson Fund for Paintings, Prints, Drawings and Photographs
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Description:
Framed double silhouette of a bust-length profile of a woman facing left and a man facing right constructed with black paper resting on top of off-white paper (probably glued), each over the ink inscription "Cut without Hands by M.A. Honeywell_" written in cursive and surrounded by a blue cardboard mat executed by Martha Ann Honeywell (c.1787-after 1848). A stamped envelope is attached to the back and is printed in the upper left-hand corner: "C.H. Hannum / 322 North Matlack Street / West Chester, Pa." Written in cursive ink in the address portion is "The pictures marked cut with-out hands / are of Lydia Ann Hughes./ The larger picture of one of my father's / family some one by the name of jackson./ Mary E.H. Hannum." This is probably Jackson Hughes (1822-1898) and Lydia Ann Battin (b.1827) who married in 1848 and lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania; their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Hughes, married Curtis Hoopes Hannum (b.1850) in 1879. Born in Westchester, New York, itinerant artist Martha Ann Honeywell (c.1787-after 1848) was known for her profile silhouettes, needlework, penmanship, and paper cutouts. Born without hands or forearms, for much of her life she performed in front of audiences in taverns and other venues using only the first joints of both arms, one foot with only three toes, and her mouth to cut her silhouettes. She also offered finely stitched needlepoint watch papers, wax works and artificial flowers, and wrote tiny verse with her mouth. The first broadsides and newspaper advertisements announcing her profession of profile cutting appear in 1806 and continue until 1848. She travelled and appeared with Sally Rogers (also another disabled artisan, see HD 2006.14.1-.2) in Charleston, SC, and then alone appeared in Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, New London, Boston, Salem, Newburyport, Haverhill, Portsmouth, Portland, Maine, and Hudson, NY, and travelled to Europe. See an example of her embroidery (HD 2010.22).

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