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Maker(s):Copley, John Singleton
Culture:American (1738-1815)
Title:Reverend Arthur Browne
Date Made:1757
Type:Painting
Materials:oil, canvas, wood, gilding
Place Made:United States; New Hampshire; Portsmouth (probably)
Measurements:framed: 29 1/2 x 24 1/2 in.; 74.93 x 62.23 cm
Accession Number:  HD 55.084
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
1955-84t.jpg

Description:
Framed oil, half-length portrait of Reverend Arthur Browne (1699-1773) wearing a long powdered wig, black silk robe, and white band, which is signed "J.S. Copley, pinx 1757" in the lower left corner for John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), and has a name plate on the frame inscribed, "Reverend Arthur Browne / John Singleton Copley." Born in Ireland, Browne received both his M.A. from Trinity College, Dublin, and was ordained deacon and Episcopal priest for the Society of Missionaries by the Bishop of London in 1729. He also married Mary Cox (d.1773), the daughter of Rev. Thomas Cox, D.D., of Drogheda, Ireland, and they had nine children between the years of 1730-1746. After arriving in Newport, RI, in 1729, Browne served as the minister of King' s Chapel in Providence, RI, from 1730-1736, and then Queens' Chapel (now St. John's) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from 1736 to his death in 1773 when he died during a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts. HD also owns Copley's portrait of Mary Cox Browne (HD 55.085). Both portraits passed through several hands since they were acquired from the Brownes by Mrs. Charles Burroughs, the wife of the successor to Reverend Arthur Browne at St. John's Church. Both portraits were still owned by Mrs. Charles Burroughs of Portsmouth in 1873; and later passed to Arthur Livermore I (1766-1853), the son of Arthur and Mary Browne's daughter, Jane Browne (1734-1802) who married Samuel Livermore 1732-1803), the first US senator from New Hampshire, in 1759. The National Academy of Art has a Copley portrait of Jane Browne dated 1756, which descended in the family from Louisa Bliss Livermore (1790-1871) who married Samuel and Jane's son, Arthur Livermore I (b.1811), in 1810. Louisa Livermore bequeathed the Jane Browne portrait to her grandson, James Lauren Ford (1854-1928) of Brookhaven, NY, who sold it to the Art House in 1924. It is believed that the Arthur and Mary Browne paintings went to their son, Arthur Livermore II (b.1811); however, at some point the portraits were separated. Arthur II's daughter, Suzanna Plumridge Livermore, married an Englishman, Edmund Sutton, and moved to England, taking the portrait of Mary Cox Browne, and the Arthur Browne portrait went to the General Theological Library and was subsequently purchased by Richard Morrison in 1948. Sometime in the late 1940s/early 1950s, both portraits were probably reunited by the dealer, Norman Hirschl. Edmund and Suzanna Sutton's son Ralph Sutton of Chagford, Devon, sold the Mary Cox Browne portrait to Ellerton M. Jette, and it passed through the U.S. Customs House in Boston in 1953 where is was examined by Barbara N. Parker, Assistant in American Painting of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Flynts bought both portraits from Jette in 1955. The portrait of Jane Browne (the daughter of the sitters) by Copley is owned by the National Gallery, Washington, DC.

Tags:
portraits; clergy

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+55.084

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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