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Maker(s):Steward, Joseph (attributed)
Culture:American (1753-1822)
Title:portrait: Reverend Stephen West
Date Made:ca. 1790
Materials:oil, wood: pine, paint
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Stockbridge?
Measurements:framed: 12 3/4 in x 10 3/8 in; 32.385 cm x 26.3525 cm
Accession Number:  HD 79.020
Credit Line:Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt Fund for Curatorial Acquisitions
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Framed half-length oil portrait of the Reverend Stephen West (1735-1819) done in oil on a pine panel, which is attributed to Joseph Steward (1753-1822). The portrait depicts West seated in a Chippendale-style chair - the ears of the crest rail are obvious behind him - he has his hair pulled back off his face with a curl above each ear and curls in the back, he is dressed in a brown coat with a yellow waiscoat and white cravat, he holds a leather book in his hand, the portrait is framed in an oval wooden frame painted black (modern frame made by Howard Zea, father of President Phil Zea); There is an old label inscribed in ink on the back: "Very old portrait / painted on wood Loaned by / Mrs. John Britton Clark / 249 Marcy Ave-" and in pencil, "Born Conn 1720 of Rev. Stephen West / successor to / Jonathan Edwards / in Stockbridge." There is also a section of a typed sheet (see data file) with biographical information supplied by Wyllis E. Wright of Williams College and Maragaret B?, town clerk. Stephen West was born in Tolland, Connecticut, the son of Zebulon West, a judge of the court of Hartford county. After graduated from Harvard in 1755, West taught school at Hatfield, Massachusetts, where he studied theology with Rev. Timothy Woodbridge. West became chaplain at Ft. Massachusetts (now North Adams) in late 1757; he succeeded Jonathan Edwards in the Indian mission at Stockbridge in 1758, and was ordained as minister of Edward's Stockbridge Congregational church in 1759. In 1770, he resigned charge of the Indian mission, and about the same time he adopted Calvinistic theological opinions in opposition to his former views, which were Arminian. He was one of the original trustees of Williams College, was chosen vice-president at the first meeting of the board, and held this office for nineteen years. West married Elizabeth Williams (1730-1804), the daughter of Ephraim Williams (1691-1754) who moved to Stockbridge in 1738. Elizabeth was the half-sister of both Ephraim Williams (1715-1755) whose estate was left for the founding of Williams College, and Dr; Thomas Williams (1718-1775) who moved to Deerfield in 1739 and whose grandson, Dr. Stephen West Williams (1790-1855), was named after Rev. Stephen West. In 1806, West married Miss Eleanor Dewey of Sheffield, Massachusetts, who survived him. Williams College and the Stockbridge Museum have portraits of West.


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