Description

    John Adams: A fine 1805-dated Oil on Canvas Portrait Attributed to William Dunlap. Depicting a mature Adams as he would have looked when President (1797-1801). On back is vintage inscription "John Adams Dunlap 1805." 27.5" x 33" as framed in original gilt gesso and wood frame.

    Although well known as an artist, Dunlap (1766-1839) is also remembered as a pioneer of the American theater. He operated two of New York's earliest and most prominent theaters, the John Street Theatre (1796-98) and Park Theatre (1798-1805).

    In 1783, Dunlap painted a portrait of George Washington now in the collection of the U.S. Senate. His career as an artist evolved when he studied under the illustrious Benjamin West in London. Upon his return to America in 1787 he was involved mainly with the theater until 1805, when he began painting actively, apparently out of economic necessity as his career in theater no longer supported him. In 1825 Dunlap was one of the founders of the National Academy of Design, where he also taught. He is best known for his three-volume work History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States (published 1834). As an interesting aside, Dunlap was a successful artist despite having lost an eye in childhood.


    Provenance of this Adams portrait:

    The Art Institute of Chicago
    The Fenimore Art Museum
    Rex Stark

    Exhibition history:
    Princeton, A Capital Place, 1783, Morvea Museum & Garden, Princeton, NJ, 2008.
    Revolution: Faces of Change, Fenimore Museum, 2005.

    The following condition report is provided by our in-house Heritage Auctions conservator:

    Very small, faint and scattered areas of surface irregularities indicate this painting has had previous attention to light cleaning and mild restoration. The back of the board remains in its original condition with overall handling scuffs and light surface grime. The original date and signature are intact. Original gold leaf frame measures 33 x 27 inches, has slight separations from the upper left, and lower right corners. This painting is in very fine condition.


    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - without Glass, Large (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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