Published: June 24, 2008
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has received a major private collection of rare American folk art and other antique objects through the generosity of Juli Grainger of Winnetka, Ill. The objects, created in various parts of the United States during the Nineteenth Century and conservatively valued at $1.7 million, include 11 portraits and a townscape, painted signs, a fraktur, two tall case clocks, a small blanket chest and a rocking chair.
“We are honored that Juli Grainger has chosen to place her extraordinary collection of American folk art at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum where these splendid objects will provide immense enjoyment in that wonderful setting, and educate and inspire visitors for generations to come,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and chief executive officer of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Three of the paintings dating from about 1845 are being installed in current exhibitions at The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Sheldon Peck’s “Double Portrait of Mr and Mrs Vaughan” and Sturtevant Hamblin’s “Girl in Rocking Chair” will join the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum exhibition, “We The People: Three Centuries of American Folk Portraits,” now on view. The third portrait, “Girl With Cat” by William Matthew Prior, will be on view in the Introductory Gallery to The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
“Juli Grainger’s gift represents an important addition to the folk art collection,” said Ronald Hurst, Carlisle H. Humelsine curator and vice president of museums and collections for Colonial Williamsburg. “Previously, we had none of Sheldon Peck’s folk art. Now, we have one of his best works.”
The Grainger Foundation and David and Juli Grainger have a long history of philanthropy in support of Colonial Williamsburg.
Other portraits in the Grainger gift include a second portrait by Sheldon Peck, “Portrait of a Man,” circa 1845, two portraits by Joseph Davis, two by J. Evans, two by J.A. (probably Jane Anthony) Davis and a portrait by Justus Da Lee, “Pair of Unidentified Sitters,” circa 1844.
Also being gifted are two Awards of Merit presented to Julia Ann Wilmore Fowler in 1848, artist or artists unidentified, a townscape painting by Joseph Shoemaker Russell, “View of Union or Main Street in 1812,” circa 1850; a circa 1815 fraktur, “Four Tradesmen,” artist unknown, and an early Eighteenth Century band sampler by an unknown artist.
Furniture offerings include a rocking chair, circa 1815‱830, maker unknown; a small blanket chest, circa 1820‱830, maker unknown; a tall case clock by Riley Whiting, circa 1810‱825; and a Seth Thomas tall case clock, circa 1809‱813.
Rounding out the list are an eagle signboard, circa 1841, artist unknown, a “G. Maxwell Farrier’s Sign,” circa 1890‱900, unknown maker, a hat box, circa 1830‱840, and a painted box, circa 1810‱825.
For information, 757-229-1000 or www.history.org .
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