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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
603.646.2808
hood.museum@dartmouth.edu

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Recent Acquisitions 17

Joseph Blackburn, British, active 1752-1778, active in North America, 1754-1762
Jonathan Simpson (1711-1795), 1758
Oil on canvas
50 1/2 x 40 3/8 in.
Purchased through gifts from the Lathrop Fellows, a gift from W. David Dance, Class of 1940 in memory of Jane Dance, and through the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W'18 Fund, the Florence and Lansing Porter Moore 1937 Fund, the Katharine T. and Merrill G. Beede 1929 Fund, the Class of 1935 Memorial Fund, the Julia L. Whittier Fund, and the Phyllis and Bertram Geller 1937 Memorial Fund; 2007.83

British painter Joseph Blackburn provided a pivotally important example of the British rococo to Colonial America, where he worked from 1754 to 1762. Little is known of Blackburn's origins, but his poses and his skill in painting lace and other clothing details point to a familiarity with high-style British portraiture. He was among just a handful of portrait painters active in New England before the ascent of native-born John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), who matured as an artist in the late 1750s under Blackburn's influence. Copley's emergence as a serious competitor likely persuaded Blackburn to move to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by 1760 and back to England in 1763.

Blackburn's portrait of Jonathan Simpson (1711/12-1795) is one of the artist's boldest and most compelling male portraits. Simpson succeeded his father as a prominent Boston merchant and in 1754 married Margaret Lechmere (1719-1776) (their pendant portraits, also by Blackburn, are in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston). A loyalist, Jonathan Simpson left Boston in 1775 and, after spending a year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, settled in Bristol, England, where he remained until his death.

In contrast to some of Blackburn's earlier work in the Colonies, this portrait retains only vestiges of the decorative rococo style. Blackburn presents Simpson in a more natural stance and within a composition that includes little adornment beyond the sumptuous fabric of Simpson's beautifully tailored satin suit-the most obvious marker of his wealth. With his direct gaze and slight smile, Simpson conveys a stately yet pleasant aura of confidence and ease. As much as Blackburn had powerfully influenced the maturing Copley, this portrait suggests that by 1758 the tables had begun to turn. Blackburn's Simpson is a flesh-and-blood figure rendered in a polished manner associated with Copley's evolving style.

This portrait retains its original frame, which was probably imported from London. The painting descended by way of Simpson's niece (he had no children) in the Osgood family of Salem and Boston, Massachusetts, until 2007. It is the earliest American painting in the Hood's collections.

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Martha Graham-El Penitente (Trio-Graham-Cunningham-Hawkins), 1940; print about 1946
Gelatin silver print
13 1/4 x 10 1/4 in.; 20 x 16 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.1

In 1994, the Hood Museum of Art presented an exhibition of the photographs of Barbara Morgan (1900-1992) in conjunction with the residency of the Martha Graham Dance Company at Dartmouth. Morgan photographed Graham and her company from the mid-1930s until the mid-1940s and in the process became one of the most esteemed dance photographers of the twentieth century. The Hood recently received a generous gift of twenty-one photographs by Morgan from her grandson and daughter-in-law, Nils and Kara Morgan, including vintage photographs of Graham and dancers in her company including Merce Cunningham and Pearl Lang (2007.84.9, below), portrait studies, a botanical study, and two of her surrealism-inspired compositions.

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Martha Graham-El Penitente (Eric Hawkins-El Flagellante), 1940; print about 1980
Gelatin silver print
13 1/4 x 10 1/4 in.; 20 x 16 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.2

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Pearl Primus-Speak to Me of Rivers, 1944; print about 1980
Gelatin silver print
9 1/4 x 13 in; 11 x 14 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.3

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Charles Weidman, Lynchtown (Humphry-Weidman Group), 1938; print about 1980s
Gelatin silver print, 1938; print about 1980s
13 x 18 in.; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.4

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Martha Graham-American Provincials
Gelatin silver print, 1935; print 2002
13 x 18 in; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.5

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Martha Graham-Ekstasis
Gelatin silver print, 1940; print about 1980
13 1/4 x 10 in; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.6

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Merce Cunningham in El Penitente-Martha Graham Chorography, 1944
Gelatin silver print
12 x 10 1/4 in; 12 3/4 x 11 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.7

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Merce Cunningham-Leap, 1942
Gelatin silver print
9 3/4 x 7 1/4 in; 10 1/4 x 9 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.8

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Merce Cunningham and Pearl Lang, 1944
Gelatin silver print
6 1/4 x 9 1/2 in; 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.9

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Pearl Primus-Speak to Me of Rivers, 1944
Gelatin silver print
7 1/4 x 9 in; 8 3/4 x 10 1/2 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.10

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Jose Limon-Chaconne, 1944
Gelatin silver print
9 3/4 x 7 in; 11 1/4 x 9 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.11

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Merce Cunningham (Leap 7898), 1942
Gelatin silver print
4 x 4 3/4 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.12

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Merce Cunningham (Leap 7903), 1942
Gelatin silver print
3 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.13

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Corbusier, Architect, 1940's
Gelatin silver print
8 x 9 1/2 in; 8 x 10 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.14

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Gerald Heard, 1954
Gelatin silver print
9 1/2 x 7 1/4 in; 11 1/4 x 9 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.15

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Dr. Daizetz Teitaro Suzuki, Zen Scholar, 1950
Gelatin silver print
6 1/2 x 8 3/4 in; 11 1/2 x 13 1/5 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.16

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Hearst Over the People, 1939; print about 1982
Gelatin silver print [photomontage]
13 1/4 x 16 1/2 in; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.17

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Spring on Madison Square, 1939; print about 1980's; 2002
Gelatin silver print [photomontage]
11 1/4 x 14 in; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.18

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Space-Watcher Light Drawing, 1940; print about 1980's
Gelatin silver print
13 1/4 x 10 3/4 in; 14 x 11 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.19

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Pure Energy and Neurotic Man, 1960's; print about 1980's
Gelatin silver print on Agfa watermarked paper
13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in; 14 x 11 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.20

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Resurrection in the Junkyard, from the Junkyard Series, 1947; print about 1970
Gelatin silver print
10 1/4 x 13 in; 16 x 20 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.21

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Lloyd's Head, 1944
Gelatin silver print
16 1/2 x 12 in; 20 x 16 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.22

Barbara Morgan, American, 1900-1992
Amaryllis Bud, 1943; print late 1950's-early 1960's
Gelatin silver print
10 x 5 in; 14 x 11 in.
Gift of Nils and Kara Morgan; 2007.84.23

Last Updated: 10/15/08