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Maker(s):Richardson, L. C. (attributed)
Title:portrait: Jonathan Dwight
Date Made:1820-1830
Materials:oil on canvas, wood, paint
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Springfield
Measurements:framed: 33 3/8 x 27 3/8 x 1 1/2 in.; 84.7725 x 69.5325 x 3.81 cm
Accession Number:  HD 58.027
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Maitland Dwight
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Oil portrait of a three-quarter profile of a clean-shaven Jonathan Dwight (1743-1831) who has a long nose, mole on his chin, and bald top of the head and long hair at his neck; and is wearing a white cravat and black coat. The name "Scarlett, Philadelphia" is printed on the back of the canvas. Samuel Scarlett (c.1773-1864) was a landscape painter and restorer, who emigrated from England to Philadelphia about 1817 at age 35 yrs; he became curator or custodian of the Pennsylvannia Academy of Fine Arts in 1829. The portrait, which is unsigned and in a English 18th century black, molded frame with sanded gold wine and molded inner frame, which descended in the Dwight family from Jonathan to his son, Rev. Henry Dwight (1783-1857), to Edmund Dwight (1815-1900), to Rev. Franklin Dwight; to the donor. Dwight was descended from John and Hanna Dwight of Dedham, England who came to Dedham, Mass. in 1634; Capt. Timothy Dwight (1629-1718) who married Anna Flynt; and Henry Dwight (1676-1732) who married Lydia Hawley. Their son, Capt. Edmund Dwight (1717-1755) married Elizabeth Scott Dwight and had Jonathan. Jonathan was born in Boston, but the family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. At age 10, he was sent to live with his uncle, Josiah Dwight (1715-1768) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he started working as a clerk in his uncle's store. He continued the business after his uncle's death, and did very well, establishing branches in Boston and other Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the early 19th century. He married three times: Margaret Ashley (1745-1789) of Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1766; Margaret Van Veghten Vanderspiegal (1753-1795) of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1790; and Hannah Buckminster (1745-1824) of Brookfield, Mass., in 1796. The seven Dwight children who lived to maturity were from his first marriage. When Dwight died, he was purported to be the wealthiest man in Hampshire County. He was also generous, such as his donating $20,000 to build a new Congregational Church in Springfield in 1819. The family attributed the painting to L. C. Richardson, a painter living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who is listed in the "New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America" as a painter of the oil portraits of Jacob Sheafe (1754-1829) and his wife (1751-1833), then in the Wentworth Gardner House, Portsmouth, NH. In the late 1950s, Dr. Albert S. Roe, then of Winterthur Musuem, attributed it to Thomas Sully 1783-1872) of Philadelphia. There is another portrait of Dwight as a younger man, attributed to Joseph Steward (1753-1822), in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of New York.


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