Celebrating 17 years


The portraits in our library reflect a wide range of personalities that shaped the life and times of early America. Luminaries from George Washington to Pocahontas to Patrick Henry.

By the mid-1700's the portrait was virtually the only art form in use by America's painters. Portraiture was in great demand in the colonies and was sufficient to support a small number of artists.

The two leading portrait artists were Gilbert Stuart and John Singleton Copley.

Copley painted both the young and the aged but emphasized setting to convey the desired mood. His style was straightforward and realistic, creating portraits of great strength. Among his many 'subjects' were portraits of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams and countless lords and ladies of the era.

George Washington personally posed for three portraits with Gilbert Stuart.

Gilbert's third painting of Washington was commissioned by Martha Washington. It became the most famous of the three, the standard, the accepted and true likeness of Washington. Stuart himself called this painting his hundred-dollar bill.....whenever he needed money he made a copy and always found a ready buyer. Toward the end of his life he could copy at least two of these portraits a day.

Abigail Adams
John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Samuel Adams
John Andre
Benedict Arnold
Joel Barlow

Daniel Boone
Edmund Burke
James Fenimore Cooper
John Dickinson
Phillip Freneau
Robert Fulton

Ben Franklin

George III
Nathanael Greene
Alexander Hamilton
Elizabeth Hamilton
John Hancock
Patrick Henry
John Jay
Thomas Jefferson

Henry Knox
Charles Lee
Dolly Madison
James Madison
Increase Mather
Gen. Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox)
John Marshall
Elizabeth Monroe

James Monroe
Daniel Morgan
Robert Morris
Thomas Paine
William Penn
Sir Walter Raleigh

Martha Randolph
Samuel Rutledge
Capt. John Smith
Arthur St. Clair
Baron Von Steuben
Peter Stuyvesant

George Washington

Martha Washington
Mary Ball Washington (GW's mother)
Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne
Daniel Webster
Noah Webster

Phillis Wheatley
John Winthrop (Gov of Conn)
John Winthrop (Gov of Mass)