Portrait of Joseph Scott

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Portrait of Joseph Scott

United States, circa 1765
Paintings
Oil on canvas
49 13/16 x 39 in. (126.52 x 99.06 cm)
Gift of Sandra, Jacob, Michael, and Rachel Terner (AC1992.317.1)
Not currently on public view

About The Era

Although the thirteen colonies that would constitute the United States of America were founded by several different nations, by 1763 (the end of the French and Indian Wars), the British controlled mos...
Although the thirteen colonies that would constitute the United States of America were founded by several different nations, by 1763 (the end of the French and Indian Wars), the British controlled most of North America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. In many respects the American colonies functioned like an English province. Culturally they were largely British; from interior design and dress to painted portraits, wealthy colonists emulated the London fashions of the period. However, there was often a time lag, as examples of the finest British furniture, household goods, and decorative items such as paintings had to be transported across the ocean.

At first the only trained artists and artisans in the colonies were emigrants from London who thought fame would be easier to achieve in the less competitive atmosphere of Boston or Philadelphia. By the end of the eighteenth century, this traffic had reversed somewhat, as American artists went to London for their training. Portraits were the most popular genre, since British citizens everywhere wanted visual records of their families and heroes. Historical and literary subjects, such as those by Benjamin West, were usually only painted in London; their appreciation required a more educated audience than was the case with many colonists. The pervasive influence of Britain would continue to affect the development of culture in the United States long after the Revolutionary War had severed the Crown’s political authority.
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Bibliography

  • About the Era. LACMA collections online. Retrieved on 12/30/2009 from http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mweb/aa/abouttheera/early_american_paintings_abouttheera.asp
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1992,  vol. 29-30, no. 12-1 (December, 1991-January, 1993).
  • About the Era. LACMA collections online. Retrieved on 12/30/2009 from http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mweb/aa/abouttheera/early_american_paintings_abouttheera.asp
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1992,  vol. 29-30, no. 12-1 (December, 1991-January, 1993).
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art Members' Calendar 1993,  vol. 31, no. 1-11 (January-November, 1993).
  • Blanco F., José and Mary D. Doering, eds. Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe, vol. 1, Pre-Colonial Times Through the American Revolution. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2016.
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