Image from Live Auctioneers
“The Yale University Art Gallery is pleased to announce the acquisition of Robert Field’s portrait miniature, George Washington. What makes this miniature rare is its personal meaning to the president’s family. It was commissioned by Martha Washington in late 1800 to commemorate her husband’s life and to ease her family’s grief. The watercolor-on-ivory portrait is housed in its original locket; inset on the reverse over a woven lock of Washington’s hair is a rose-gold ‘GW’ cipher. Hair, which survives time and decay, was often incorporated into keepsakes of love and loss. Martha Washington gave this miniature to her step-granddaughter, Sarah ‘Sally’ Stuart, and it has been passed down through the family since its completion in 1801.”
Yale University Art Gallery Acquires Rare Portrait of George Washington Art Daily 11.25.08
“The Yale University Art Gallery has also been shopping at auction recently, although it was not exactly snapping up bargains. This month it purchased a rare miniature of George Washington by the British-born painter Robert Field at Skinner in Boston for $303,000, more than 10 times its high estimate of $30,000.
“Robin Jaffee Frank, a curator in the department of American paintings and sculpture at the Yale museum, said that while she could not discuss the price, ‘I can say that this work was invaluable to us.’”
CAROL VOGEL, Auction Slump Has Silver Lining for MoMA November 20, 2008 New York Times
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