Polly Ouldfield of Winyah

Media - 1969.130 - SAAM-1969.130_2 - 136244
Copied Jeremiah Theus, Polly Ouldfield of Winyah, ca. 1761, oil on canvas, 30 1825 18 in. (76.563.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, 1969.130
Free to use

Artwork Details

Polly Ouldfield of Winyah
ca. 1761
30 1825 18 in. (76.563.8 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of International Business Machines Corporation
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait
  • Portrait female — Ouldfield, Polly — child
Object Number

Artwork Description

Polly Ouldfield was born into a life of privilege. Her father was a member of the Commons House of Assembly in London, and records indicate that he owned land in Georgetown in 1752. Polly's husband was a landowner from Charleston, South Carolina, who served as Commissary of Militia in the Georgetown District during the Revolutionary War. (Middleton, Jeremiah Theüs: Colonial Artist of Charles Town, 1953) In this portrait the landscape beyond the window suggests the Ouldfields' significant landholdings, and Polly's luminous, lace-trimmed silk dress embellished with decorative pearls also conveys the richness of planter society. Jeremiah Theüs often showed his subjects lit from above, as in this portrait.