Do you know who this is a painting of or why it is significant?
Peter Buettner correctly identified this painting as Sarah Avery Olds, painted by Jeptha Homer Wade. It's in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. It's one of a pair - and you're much more likely to have seen the other half of the pair, also in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The couple were painted in 1837. Nathaniel wears the glasses, for which his portrait is so well known, to protect his eyes from the extremely bright light of whale oil lamps, which was thought to be harmful.
The artist, Jeptha Homer Wade, would give up painting and go on to found the Western Union Telegraph Company.
Be the first to identify it in the comments here or on our Facebook page and win your choice of the following books:
- Covering History: Revisiting Federal Art in Cleveland, 1933-43, a beautiful, 72 page joint publication of the Cleveland Artists Foundation and the Cleveland Public Library. It picks up where Karal Ann Marling's work (Federal Art in Cleveland) left off, and is highly recommended.
- Any of the other publications of the Cleveland Artists Foundation that are still in print. The CAF is the organization publishing works on the history of art in greater Cleveland.
- Shaker Heights Fences by Patricia J. Forgac (1984, 16 pages)
- Shaker Heights: the Van Sweringen Influence by Claudia R. Boatwright (1983, 56 pages)