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Woman with Gold Necklace

ca. 1850 Attributed to Prior-Hamblen School oil on canvas 27 1/8 x 22 1/4 in. (69 x 56.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.134 Not currently on view

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Woman with Gold Necklace combines the Prior-Hamblin School’s enthusiasm for portraiture, ornamental painting, and landscape scenery. Aside from a lively business in portraiture, William Matthew Prior painted several landscape scenes, which he referred to as “fancy pieces,” a term used in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century to describe a variety of arts such as decorative painting, knitting, and quilting. His advertisements boasted that he worked “in a very tasty style.” (Vlach, Plain Painters: Making Sense of American Folk Art, 1988)


Figure female


folk art

paint - oil

fabric - canvas