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    Sam Houston: Fabulous Life-Size Pastel Portrait by Harriet Anderson Stubbs Murphy. Riveting 18" x 22" pastel of the notable Texan, one of the great "unsung heroes" of our country. It is signed in the upper left corner "W. D. Murphy 1898". We believe it is pastel on paper, mounted on a wooden stretcher, housed in the original frame with fiber-board backing and the original glass. It is the work of Harriet Anderson Stubbs Murphy (1853-1935) who often signed her work using her husband's name, William D. Murphy. She was a self-taught artist who started painting at the tender age of twelve. When her husband, also an artist, discovered that his wife's work was better than his own, he abandoned his own art work and became her business agent. Harriet painted more than 1000 portraits, including Presidents Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. She also painted Speaker of the House Joe Cannon and Admiral George Dewey. Her commissions commanded as much as $4,000, a very sizeable sum for the period. There is only one auction record for the artist, as most of her works are ensconced in museums and institutions. Her Joseph Cannon and Woodrow Wilson works are part of the National Portrait Gallery. Her standing portrait of William McKinley is in the White House Collection. Her portraits of Admiral Dewey and Governor William Dillingham are part of the Vermont State Archives.

    It is easy to see why Harriet's works were so sought-after. It is hard to take one's eyes off her portrait of Houston. You can walk right up to it and "gaze upon greatness". We Texans might be partial to this hero of the Texan War for Independence, but who can blame us? When Texas seceded from the Union, Houston refused to sign an oath of allegiance and left his post as Governor, staying true to the Union.

    The portrait is in excellent condition, having been left untouched since its completion in 1898. An ornate, outer Victorian frame has been removed for optimum visual appeal.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,778

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