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Maker(s):Perkins, Sarah
Culture:American (1771-1831)
Title:portrait: Joseph Perkins
Date Made:1785-1795
Materials:pastel crayon, paper, canvas
Place Made:United States; Connecticut; Plainfield
Measurements:framed: 22 x 19 1/2 in.; 55.88 x 49.53 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1367.1
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Pastel portrait on paper of Dr. Joseph Perkins (1704-1794) wearing a long white wig, colorless brown coat and black waistcoat on a tan background, which was done by his granddaughter, Sarah Perkins (1771-1831), a pastel portrait artist working in the New Haven and Plainfield, Connecticut, area who is known as the Beardsley Limner. The portrait has a label on the lower left of the stretcher: "Joseph Perkins M.D. born in Norwich July Oct. 25th 1704 died in Norwich July 7 1799. Married Mary Bushnell, daughter of Dr. Caleb Bushnell July 23, 1730 buried at ? graveyard." This Jospeh Perkins portrait descended with a portrait of perhaps Sarah's older sister, Mary Perkins Merwin (1765-1793) (HD 1367.2). The portrait is part of the group that included Sarah Perkins's grandmother, Mary Bushnell Perkins (1707-1795) (HD 2010.16), her father Dr. Elisha Perkins (1741-1799) and his wife Mrs. Elisha (Sarah Douglas) Perkins (1744-1795), and Sarah's brother Elisha Perkins, Jr. (1763-1840), all of which were published in "Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin" (October, 1959) and were owned at that time by Charles Armistead Coit, a Perkins family descendent. HD also ownes Sarah Perkins's "Little Boy Whittling" (HD 2000.2). Most of Sarah Perkins's portraits are dated in the 1790s. This may be explained by her mother's death in 1795 when Sarah Perkins, the fourth of ten children, took charge of the household, which included four younger siblings - Elizabeth (b.1778), Henry Perkins (1781-1850), George Perkins (1783-1852), and Olive (b. 1789). Her father died in 1799, and in 1801, Sarah married General Lemuel Grovesnor (1752-1833), a widower with five children, and they had four more children.


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