Electronic Cataloging Project Entry #17

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Electronic Cataloging Project Entry #17


March 5, 2011

I have recently been working on records of a couple of our portraits, namely Gilbert Stuart's painting ofMrs. Harrison Gray Otis (Sally Foster) and Joseph Blackburn's painting ofElizabeth Browne Rogers. In doing so, I have come across some entertaining tidbits related to their acquisitions.

Reynolda House purchased the Stuart portrait in early July 1967 from the Vose Galleries of Boston. Until that time the painting had been kept in the family of the sitter. Around the same time, the Blackburn portrait went up for sale. The Vose Galleries of Boston acted as an intermediary and represented Reynolda House at the auction. They purchased the work for the Museum (making a commission of course) and had it shipped down to Winston-Salem, NC.

In a letter regarding the Blackburn's Elizabeth Browne Rogers dated July 19th, 1967 to the Museum's Founding Director Barbara Millhouse, Robert C. Vose Jr. of the Vose Galleries added this post-script about the Stuart painting:

 

'P.S.  A Philadelphia lady just phoned broken hearted that Mrs. Otis was sold. Asked buyer and price, on both counts I took the fifth amendment.'

 



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