George William West, James Rumsey, ca. 1790, oil on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Eugene A. Rumsey and Brothers, 1957.11.2
Born in 1743, James Rumsey was a man of many trades. Although not formally educated, he was skilled at science, blacksmithing, cabinetmaking, and milling. In 1784, George Washington commissioned Rumsey to build a house and stable for him at his residence in Bath, Virginia. Washington also supported Rumsey’s vision---realized in 1786---of building a steamboat capable of navigating the Potomac River. The first trial run was not a success, but a reworked design of 1787 fared better. Rumsey spent four years in London in search of financial backers.
- ca. 1790
- On View
- Not on view.
4 7/8 x 4 1/8 in. (12.4 x 10.5 cm) rectangle
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Bequest of Eugene A. Rumsey and Brothers
- Mediums Description
- oil on wood
- Portrait male – Rumsey, James – bust
- Occupation – industry – engineering
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI