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Maker(s):Field, Robert
Culture:American (1769-1819)
Title:portrait: Andrew Belcher
Date Made:1808
Materials:oil, canvas, wood, gilding, base metal: brass
Place Made:Canada; Nova Scotia; Halifax
Measurements:framed: 29 1/2 x 25 1/2 in.
Accession Number:  HD 70.181
Credit Line:Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Crawford J. Campbell
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Framed oil portrait of Andrew Belcher (1761-1841) by Robert Field (1769-1819), an English-born artist who worked in America and Canada. Andrew Belcher was the grandson of Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757), Governor of Massachusetts from 1729/30 to 1741 and New Jersey from 1747-1757, and son of Jonathan Belcher, Jr. (1710-1776), the first Chief Justice and a Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (1760-1764). Born in London, Andrew was attending school in Halifax when his father died in 1776. He went into business in Halifax under the name of Belcher and Wright, and married Marianne Geyer (1773-1839), daughter of Frederick and Susannah Geyer of Boston, in 1792. Belcher, a prominent member of the Legislature, was promoted to His Majesty's Council in 1801, made director of the Fire Assurance Association of Halifax in 1809, and was a member of the Marine Humane Society. According to tradition, Andrew Belcher made and lost three fortunes, and spent in England what he had made in Halifax, returning twice to Halifax to rebuild his fortune. Their son, Admiral Sir Edward Belcher (1799-1877) of the British Royal Navy, was a war hero, explorer, scientist, and writer whose Arctic expedition played a significant role in demonstrating the existence of the Northwest Passage; several places are named for him, such as Belcher Point (Alaska), Belcher Islands (Hudson Bay), and Belcher Channel (in the Arctic). There is a similar portrait by Field, also dated 1808, in the collection of The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. See also HD 70.182, HD 58.039, HD 58.040, and HD 58.041 for portraits of Marianna Geyer Belcher and Frederick William Geyer.


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