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Maker(s):Chandler, Joseph Goodhue
Culture:American (1813-1884)
Title:Miss Abigail C. Dunlap
Date Made:1850
Materials:oil, canvas
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; South Deerfield
Measurements:overall: 30 x 24 in.; 76.2 x 60.96 cm
Accession Number:  HD 67.168
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Oil portrait of Miss Abigail C. Dunlap of South Deerfield, Mass, by Joseph Goodhue Chandler (1813-1884), which is inscribed on the back "Painted for Miss Abigail C. Dunlap aged 6 years by J. G. Chandler July 1850." Joseph Chandler was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts, to Captain David Chandler (1770-1838) and Clarissa Goodhue Chandler (1788-1891), Joseph Goodhue's daughter and the sister of Harriet Talyor Goodhue Williams (1799-1874), who married in 1803. Joseph Chandler trained early as a cabinetmaker, but later, between ages 14 and 19, travelled to Albany, NY, to study painting with Williams Collins (1787-1847) who was listed in Albany directories from 1827-1832. Chandler's earliest portraits date from about 1837, and are primarily those of famly members. In 1840, Chandler married Lucretia Ann White (1820-1868), an established painter in Hubbardson, Mass., and they likely collaborated on a number of portraits over the years. Chandler then travelled as an itinerant painter, primarily in northwestern Massachusetts, until he established a studio in Boston in 1852. The Chandlers returned to Hubbardston in 1860, where they lived and worked for the rest of their lives. Chandler's portraits of children can appear in "exotic" background in which there are unusually-shaped mountains and trees such as this piece. Abigail Dunlap is wearing an off-the-shoulder blue dress and holding a book in the right hand and flowers in her left, looking at the viewer from the center of the painting. Miss Dunlap married Samuel Wilby, and spent her life in South Deerfield.

Label Text:
Six-year-old Abigail Dunlap (1844-1916) of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, had her likeness taken by the itinerant artist Joseph Goodhue Chandler. The book in Abigail’s hand announces her ability to read, and her dress reflects contemporary children’s styles. While Abigail's dress resembles a fashionable children's frock of the time, Chandler probably invented both the garment as well as the fantasy background with its unusually shaped mountains and trees.


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