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Harriet Lane Johnston

1878 John Henry Brown Born: Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1818 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1891 watercolor on ivory 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. (12.1 x 8.9 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of May S. Kennedy 1928.1.1 Not currently on view


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Harriet Lane Johnston (1830-1903) was President James Buchanan’s niece and ward, and served as hostess of the White House during Buchanan’s administration. Orphaned at age eleven, she was raised by her uncle, but came into her own as a strong presence in the White House. In 1903 she earned the affectionate nickname “First Lady of the National Collection of Fine Arts” when she gave her art collection to the “national art gallery,” which Congress decided should be part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords

Occupation - art - collector

Portrait female - Johnston, Harriet Lane - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory

About John Henry Brown

Born: Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1818 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1891

More works in the collection by
John Henry Brown