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Mrs. William Mather Smith (Helen Livingston)

1821 Unidentified watercolor on ivory 3 x 2 3/8 in. (7.6 x 6.0 cm) rectangle Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund 1944.7.3 Not currently on view


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Helen Livingston was born in 1789 and at the age of nineteen married William Mather Smith, with whom she had three sons. On August 17, 1807, Helen was a passenger on the maiden voyage of the Clermont, the first American steamboat to travel the Hudson River. This painting shows the elegant lady at thirty-two, wearing an extravagant bonnet, ruffle, and shawl. The miniature of William Mather Smith is also in this collection.

Keywords

Portrait female - Livington, Helen - bust

Portrait female - Smith, William Mather, Mrs. - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory