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Maker(s):Field, Erastus Salisbury
Culture:American (1805-1900)
Title:portrait: Elizabeth Peck Hubbard
Date Made:1836-1837
Materials:oil on canvas, wood: pine
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Sunderland
Measurements:overall: 27 in x 24 in; 68.58 cm x 60.96 cm
Accession Number:  HD 91.002
Credit Line:Museums Collections Fund
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Framed oil portrait of Elizabeth Peck Hubbard (b.1830) by Erastus Salisbury Field (1805-1900) in the winter of 1836-1837, which is inscribed in pencil on the upper strainer, "Elizabeth Peck Hubbard. Later Mrs. George Alvord. Painted by Erastus S. Field." The portrait descended in the family of Elizabeth's older brother, Parker Dole Hubbard (1825-1895), who inherited the Hubbard Tavern in the Plumtrees section of Sunderland. The painting descended to Parker Dole Hubbard (1919-1994), son of George Caleb Hubbard (b.1878) and Florence Graves Hubbard, grandson of Parker Dole Hubbard and Elizabeth Newton Hubbard (1842-1915), great-grandson of Ashley Hubbard (1792-1861) and Betsey Dole Hubbard (1794-1862), and great-great grandson of Caleb Hubbard (1754-1850) and Lucretia Ashley Hubbard (1767-1853) of the Hubbard Tavern. Daughter of Ashley Hubbard and his second wife, Betsey Dole Hubbard (1794-1862), Elizabeth married George Alvord (d.1863), the son of James H. and Lucy Cook Alvord, in 1863. They lived in Winsted, Conn., and for several years in Washington D.C., where George Alvord worked for the U.S. Sanitary Commission and the Navy Department during the Civil War. 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 at 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); daughter Harriet Henderson Hubbard (2005.12.2); 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 shows the 7 yr. girl with light brown hair parted in the middle, long curls behind her ears, a chain with a floral pendant around her neck, and wearing a dark green pleated dress with mutton-leg sleeves.This is the same dress as worn by her older sister, Nancy Henderson Hubbard (1823-1863), in her portrait, HD 2005.12.2. There is a photograph of Elizabeth as a woman in a photograph album, HD 89.130, and a letter from Nancy Henderson Hubbard which may be addressed to Elizabeth, HD 89.130.1, both of which descended in the Hubbard family.


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