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Important Portrait Miniature by Rufus Porter Likely Portraying a Young Native American.....SOLD
Watercolor and pencil on paper in red-painted period frame, ca 1830. THE ARTIST: Rufus Porter (1792-1884) a celebrated artist, musician, teacher, inventor, and founder of Scientific American magazine. Painstakingly and crisply rendered in a manner for which Porter is acclaimed. THE SUBJECT (summary of research by the previous owner): Depicting a Native American man in the garb of an educated, socially established white man, extremely rare for a non-white in this period. The possible/plausible identity of the sitter is thus reduced to a very few. Two of the most likely candidates are Elias Boudinot and John Ridge, young leaders of the Cherokee Nation. Both were of mixed-race, raised among the Cherokees in Georgia, and educated at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall CT. Both were fully literate and prominent in their Nation. In the 1830s they traveled widely throughout the United States, advocating in favor of the Cherokees and against the idea of "Indian removal". In the course of these travels they became well and widely known. Boudinot's founding of The Cherokee Phoenix, the first Indian newspaper published anywhere, added to his fame. (Both men eventually acceded to the US government's removal project, and for that were assassinated by tribal opponents, in Oklahoma.). Frame of about 6 1/4 inches x 5 1/4. Pictured page 34 "A LOVING LIKENESS, AMERICAN PORTRAITS OF THE 19TH CENTURY", The Gallery at Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Provenance: Ray Egan, private collection. .
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