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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Hildreth, Caroline Negus
Culture:American (1814-1867)
Title:drawing: Asiel Abercrombie
Date Made:1845-50
Materials:crayon, paper, gesso, gilding, glass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Deerfield
Measurements:frame: 33 x 28 1/2 in.; 83.82 x 72.39 cm
Accession Number:  HD 85.054
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. J. Douglas (Emily C.) Abercrombie

Framed crayon on paper drawing of Asiel Abercrombie (1807-1874) by Caroline Negus Hildreth (1814-1867). The drawing had the remains of a torn label inscribed "bie." The son of Isaac (1759-1847) and Martha (d.1837) Abercrombie of the Cheapside section of Deerfield, Asiel Abercrombie married Elizabeth Brooks Fuller (1817-1906), the daughter of Aaron Fuller (1786-1859) and his first wife, Elizabeth Hill Fuller (d.1818) of Deerfield, in 1845. Asiel and Elizabeth had three children who lived: Robert (b.1846), William Hyslop (1851-1940) and Hattie Fuller (1860-1955); only Robert married - Ellen Margaret Crawford in 1873. Robert and Ellen's son, James Douglas Abercrombie (b.1878) was the father of James Douglas Abercrombie (1913-1978), husband of the donor. This portrait probably descended through Asiel; to Asiel's son William Hyslop; to William's nephew, James Douglas Abercrombie. The youngest daughter of sign painter Joel Negus (d.1816) and Basmeth Negus of Petersham, Massachusetts, Caroline Negus joined her sister Mary Angela in Deerfield in 1824 where they lived with their sister, Fanny Negus Fuller (1799-1845), the second wife of Aaron Fuller who married in 1820. In the spring of 1824, Cariline attended school, possibly Deerfield Academy, and in the early 1830s attended Katherine Fiske's Female Seminary in Keene, New Hampshire, which also stressed the ornamental arts. Other artists in the families included Caroline's nephews, Fanny's stepson Augustus Fuller (1812-1873) (both briefly studied with artist Chester Harding), and Fanny's son George Fuller (1822-1884). She established herself as an artist in Boston, where she exhibited at the National Academy and the Boston Athenaeum. In 1844, Caroline married the historian Richard Hildreth (1807-1865) who had been born in Deerfield, where his father Hosea Hildreth (1782-1835) was principal of Deerfield Academy, and later moved to Boston; both died in Italy where they had moved in 1860.

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