Independence (Squire Jack Porter)

Copied Frank Blackwell Mayer, Independence (Squire Jack Porter), 1858, oil on paperboard, 1215 78 in. (30.440.3 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Harriet Lane Johnston, 1906.9.11
Free to use

Artwork Details

Independence (Squire Jack Porter)
1215 78 in. (30.440.3 cm.)
Credit Line
Bequest of Harriet Lane Johnston
Mediums Description
oil on paperboard
  • Recreation — leisure — smoking
  • Allegory — quality — determination
  • Portrait male — Porter, Jack
  • Architecture Exterior — detail — porch
  • Architecture Exterior — domestic — house
Object Number

Artwork Description

Jack Porter, a veteran of the War of 1812 who made a handsome living from Pennsylvania's coal mines, is surrounded by handmade objects, including a corncob pipe, a roughly-hewn wooden bench, and his wife's knitting. As a self-sufficient landholder and businessman, "Squire Jack" embodied an independent and enduring spirit that, by the 1850s, had become an American ideal, celebrated by painters and writers alike. The squire takes his ease on the porch of a substantial home, dressed in a flowered vest, black cravat, and polished boots that signal the rewards of his hard work.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006