Object Record

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Collection Museum of Fine Arts
Title Portrait of Mary Abba Woodworth
Object ID MFA-35.07
Object Name Painting
Description Joseph Whiting Stock was among the most prominent of itinerant artists in the 19th century. Many artists, like Stock and Erastus Salisbury Field, on view in this gallery, traveled from town to town painting portraits for commission. At first glance, it looks like Stock had technical deficiencies in his work. However, Stock, like many other artists, was familiar with the rules of fine art, but chose to paint in a more folk and abstract manner.

In this portrait, the artist's keen interest in pattern and shape is evident in the brightly colored floor cloth or rug and the boldly painted empire style sofa next to the young girl. The objects found in this portrait are similar to props used in the artist's other paintings of young girls. Mary holds a rose in one hand and in the other a basket of flowers. At her side is a small foot stool with an open book. Leaning against the foot stool is a small doll and a cat plays with a string. It is probable that these items were among Mary's favorite personal possessions.
Artist STOCK, Joseph Whiting
Country AMERICAN
Date 1837
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions H-48.25 W-33.25 inches
Credit line GIFT OF DR. WILLIAM BARRI KIRKHAM
On Exhibit Yes, Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts