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Maker(s):Field, Erastus Salisbury
Culture:American (1805-1900)
Title:portrait: Harriet Henderson Hubbard
Date Made:1836-1837
Materials:oil on canvas
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Sunderland
Measurements:framed: 32 1/2 in x 29 1/2 in; 82.55 cm x 74.93 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2005.12.2
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund with generous support from Nancy H. Durborow
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Framed oil portrait of Harriet Henderson Hubbard (1823-1863) by Erastus Salisbury Field (1805-1900) in the winter of 1836-1837. Harriet Henderson Hubbard was the first child of Ashley Hubbard (1792-1861) and his second wife, Betsy Dole Hubbard (1794-1862), whom he married in 1822 after the death of his first wife, Nancy Henderson Hubbard in 1821. The painting descended in the Hubbard family to Nancy Howes Durborow, daughter of Elizabeth Graves Hubbard Howes (1907-1994), granddaughter of George Caleb Hubbard (b.1878) and Florence Graves Hubbard, great-granddaughter of Parker Dole Hubbard (1825-1895) and Elizabeth Newton Hubbard (1842-1915), great-great-granddaughter of Ashley Hubbard and Betsey Dole Hubbard, and great-great-great-granddaughter of Caleb Hubbard (1754-1850) and Lucretia Ashley Hubbard (1792-1853) of the Hubbard Tavern in the Plumtree section of Sunderland. Born in Leverett, Mass., Field worked mainly painting the middle-class citizens of rural New England. Though he studied painting with Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872) in New York for 3 months from Dec. 1824 to Feb. 1825, Field continued to paint in a country style. His portraits, with their flat compositions and blunt directness, were popular in rural towns and small cities along the Connecticut River Valley, from Greenfield and Northampton in the north to Hartford and New Haven in the south. His rapid style conveyed details of clothing and facial expressions with minimum brushwork; Field could complete a full portrait of an adult sitter in a day's time at a cost of $5, and created over 1500 paintings over his career. Although each portrait captures a distinct personality, his portraits share stiffly formal characteristics such as refined silk dresses, woolen coats, and mahogany furniture, along with other symbols of fashion, status, education, and civic-mindedness. The early portraits often depict their subjects with triangular-shaped shoulders and elf-like ears. After decades as an itinerant portrait painter, Field met the new competition from photography (introduced by his former teacher, Morse) by using the technology to provide his portraits with sharper realism; he later became interested in romantic, imaginative landscapes that illustrate religious allegories, and political and historical narratives, the best-known being his "Historical Monument of the American Republic" in the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Mass. The nephew of Lucretia Ashley Hubbard and Caleb Hubbard, Field stayed with the Hubbard family in Plumtrees from 1836, off and on during his career, and painted 11 members of the family. HD's collection of Hubbard family portraits by Field include: Caleb Hubbard (HD 89.044) and his wife, Lucretia Ashley Hubbard (HD 89.045); their son, Ashley Hubbard (HD 89.010) and two of his wife, Betsy Dole Hubbard (HD 89.010 and 89.046); and children, Israel Wales Hubbard (HD 2005.1), Nancy Henderson Hubbard (HD 2012.6), Parker Dole Hubbard (2005.21), Stephen Ashley Hubbard (HD 91.002), and Elizabeth Peck Hubbard (HD 91.002). The half-length portrait of the 14 yr. girl has dark brown hair parted in the middle with a long coil by each ear and a bun on the back of her head, and is wearing a white collar or fichu with center bow and a pin, and a pleated green dress with mutton-leg sleeves. This is the same dress as worn by her younger sister, Elizabeth Peck Hubbard (b.1830) in her portrait, HD 91.002. Harriet married Christopher C. Adams (b. 1814) on June 1, 1843; she died in 1857.


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