Nearly Two Dozen Portraits of Marblehead People by John Singleton Copley
It's surprising to realize that nearly two dozen portraits of more than 15 men and women in Marblehead were painted by the most famous artist of colonial pre-Revolutionary America, John Singleton Copley, among nearly 300 portraits he painted of the rich and famous in and around Boston and in New York City from the late 1750s until he left for England in 1775 as the American Revolution began. (A few of the portraits are miniatures, and nearly all of the portraits are in major art museums around the country.) At the time, Marblehead was the sixth most populous metropolis in British North America, and –– even more surprisingly –– the second largest town in Massachusetts after Boston. Several citizens in Salem and in Gloucester commissioned portraits as well.
An illustrated talk about the portraits will given by social, architectural and cultural historian Judy Anderson. It will be held in the King Hooper Mansion, home of the family for whom more than half the Marblehead portraits were painted, now owned by the Marblehead Arts Association. A tour of the house by Judy Anderson from 1 to 2 pm will precede the 3 pm talk, focusing on the family as well as the architecture ($5 donation, no RSVP needed). Enjoy the MAA art exhibits in between.
The compelling and complicated personal lives of the subjects and family will be discussed in both the tour and the talk.
Both are part of ArtWeek Massachusetts, organized and promoted by the Boch Center.