The Parmly Sisters

Media - 1986.77 - SAAM-1986.77_1 - 62730
Copied Thomas P. Rossiter, The Parmly Sisters, ca. 1857, oil on canvas, 44 1856 18 in. (112.0142.5 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Mary Montagu Walke, 1986.77
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Parmly Sisters
ca. 1857
44 1856 18 in. (112.0142.5 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Mary Montagu Walke
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Group
  • Portrait female — unidentified
  • Portrait group — family — siblings
  • Architecture Interior — domestic
  • Object — musical instrument — piano
Object Number

Artwork Description

The Parmly sisters were the daughters of Dr. Eleazar Parmly, a prominent dentist in New York who was known as the “father of modern dentistry.” In this portrait, Louisa, on the left, holds a book of Beethoven’s music, and Julia, on the right, sits at the piano leafing through sheet music. Their sister Mary is in the center. In 1851, Thomas P. Rossiter married Anna Parmly, elder sister of these girls. Anna does not appear in this image because she had died shortly before it was made.