Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sarah Goodridge


Born this day in 1788: Sarah Goodridge (1788–1853), famous miniaturist who was able to support herself, her family, and friends on earnings from her art.

Massachusetts native Sarah Goodridge was a self-taught painter and a prolific miniaturist. She had a great natural ability and received little in the way of formal training. She chose ivory miniatures as her medium, for few other options were open to women artists of her day. From her humble beginnings scratching out pictures on birch bark with a pin to winning the admiration of such contemporaries as Gilbert Stuart, Goodridge supported several family members on earnings from her paintings. She painted such notables (in addition to Stuart) as Daniel Webster, Henry Lee, Isaiah Thomas, Henry Knox, and Theophilus Parsons. Her work was exhibited five times at the Boston Athenæum between 1827 and 1835. Her work can readily be found in museums and private collections around the nation. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has more than a dozen you can view on line.

Goodridge painted this self-portrait for Daniel Webster.

Gilbert Stuart proclaimed this miniature to be the only true likeness of himself.

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