Oil on canvas, 30 ½ x 25 ½ inches,original gilt frame.
This ranks among the finest known full-length portraits by William W. Kennedy, a native of New Hampshire and itinerant member of the Prior-Hamblin school of painters, executed in New Bedford, Massachusetts about 1845. Kennedy worked in Ledyard, Connecticut, in 1846, Berwick, Maine, in 1847 and by 1850 had moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he is recorded at a variety of addresses between 1851 and 1871, including 227 East Monument Street, just a few doors from where William Matthew resided during the same period. The distinctive rose held in the little girl’s hand is a signature device of William W. Kennedy.
By descent in the Tucker and Howland families of New Bedford, MA;
George E. Schoellkopf Gallery, New York;
Collection of Frank and Karen Miele, Whitehorse, NJ;
“The American Folk Art Collection of Frank and Karen Miele,”
Sotheby’s, New York, January 28, 1983, lot 5;
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Max R. Zaitz, Princeton, NJ;
“Selected Examples of American Folk Art,” George E. Schoellkopf Gallery, January, 1975.
Selected Examples of American Folk Art (New York: George E. Schoellkopf Gallery, 1975), unpaginated.