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Samuel Warren Holland, Aged Two Years

19th century Attributed to M. W. Hopkins Born: Harwinton, Connecticut 1789 Died: Williamsburgh, Ohio 1844 oil on wood panel 26 1/8 x 22 1/8 in. (66.5 x 56.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.119 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 1A


Luce Center Label

This image of a young boy has been attributed to the artist Milton Hopkins, who painted portraits in New York State and Ohio during the first half of the nineteenth century. We know little about the sitter, Samuel Holland, because there were several people of the same name living in the United States at that time. The artist painted a whip to show that the child was male, a necessary symbol in a period when boys wore skirts until they were five or six. The boy gazes directly at the viewer with large dark eyes that stand out against his pale skin and fair hair, and his fancy costume suggests he was a member of a wealthy household. Early in the nineteenth century, children often died in infancy, and parents commissioned portraits of their sons and daughters as keepsakes.

Keywords

Portrait male - Holland, Samuel Warren - child

painting

folk art

paint - oil

wood

About Attributed to M. W. Hopkins

Born: Harwinton, Connecticut 1789 Died: Williamsburgh, Ohio 1844

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Attributed to M. W. Hopkins