George Caleb Bingham, James Lawrence Minor, 1844 (156)

Stories Behind the Portraits: Robert Patterson Clark

Provenance By descent in family.  The subject’s grandson detailed the history of his grandfather and the ownership of the painting on an upside down blank invoice. The painting and note passed down through several generations to the current owner. Date The extremely high and wide collar and neck cloth indicated indicated a date in the mid-1830s. Facts below pinpoint a probable time …

George Caleb Bingham, Joshua Belden, 1839 (66)

Stories Behind the Portraits: The Mysterious Mrs. Arundel(s)

A signed and notarized letter dictated by the subject’s granddaughter had been passed down through a family. It began, “Portrait by Sully.” But a Christie’s appraiser and staff at two different Manhattan, New York, galleries said Thomas Sully (1783-1872) was not the artist. They offered no suggestions as to who the artist could be. Without the name of an artist, the portrait’s owner knew the value was …

Discovering History through Art: A British Portrait

Introduction Fine Art Investigations evolved from the belief that art connects us to the truth better than the written word. Discovering history through art is the passion; identifying portrait artists is the by-product. A while ago, I had the opportunity not only to identify the artist of a portrait, but to learn a small historical fact that resonated deeply. The …

Stories Behind the Portraits: Sallie Rodes Rollins

In 1845, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins established a scholarship for young people from Boone County, Missouri, both men and women. What would cause a man of the 19th century to include such a stipulation in his will?  How could his perception of women have been so far ahead of his time? Could his wife, Sallie Rodes Rollins, be responsible? Sarah Harris Rodes, who …

Stories Behind the Portraits: Ruth McCarty (Mrs. Ephraim Allison)

Ruth McCarty was born on April 7, 1844, in Saline County,Missouri.  At the age of 24, 0n 28 May 1868, she married Captain Ephraim Allison, 32, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.  They honeymooned at the J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock and settled in Clinton, Missouri. Their first son, Charles, was born about 1869 and then a second, …