Musée No:656.006Regular price £25.00
Portrait of Mr Blodgett
Artist: Allen Smith Jr
Date: ca. 1840
Allen Smith, Jr. (1810 - 1890) was an American portrait painter. He also created some landscapes and genre scenes. He grew up in Massachusetts. Later, he went to New York, where he studied with the miniaturist, William Daniel Parisen (1800-1849), while attending antique classes at the American Academy of the Fine Arts. Settling in Cleveland sometime around 1842, he soon established himself as a popular portrait painter. As a father of eight children, he would often find it necessary to supplement his income by touching up and colourizing photographs for local studios. Following the Panic of 1857, he took a permanent position at the firm of James Fitzallen Ryder, and produced the "best oil painted photographs in Ohio. He also painted genre scenes, and submitted several to the National Academy and the American Art Union throughout the 1840s and 50s. He retired to Lake County in 1882 and devoted his time to painting landscapes in Big Creek Valley.
The sitter : William Tilden Blodgett (1823 – 1875) was a New York City art collector who was instrumental in founding the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was active in the American Civil War and organized the NYC Union League Club and the Sanitary Fair to raise funds for the wounded. He founded the newspaper The Nation and was a leader in establishing the American Museum of Natural History. He was a founding member of the committee to form the Met in 1869 and was its first chairman. He had been on the selection committee for the American works to be presented at the French exhibition of 1867 and thus felt he knew enough to purchase pictures for the museum while abroad in 1870.