The Menemon Sanford

James Bard, American, 1815 - 1897


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Oil on canvas

Overall: 29 1/2 × 50 in. (74.9 × 127 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Florence and Lansing Porter Moore 1937 Fund



Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, dated, and inscribed, lower right: PICURE [sic] DRAWN & PAINED BY JAMES BARD / 162 PERRY St NY. 1855; dated and inscribed, lower left: Built by John Englis: foot of 10th ST EAST RIVER NY 1855; frame inscribed: Spanierman Gallery [Hudson River Museum exhibition label aslo on reverse of frame].


James Bard was America’s foremost painter of inland and coastal steamboats during the mid-19th century, when such vessels provided a vital means of transportation and symbolized technological prowess in the popular imagination. In this characteristic work the Menemon Sanford, built in 1854 by John Englis of New York, gleams as it heads toward its destination, flags unfurling and water spraying in its wake. Curious figures sporting top hats and frock coats populate the deck and add a convivial note to the composition. In typical fashion, Bard has built up elements of the boat’s rigging in slight relief in order to heighten the work’s realism and decorative appeal. Originally built for E. H. Sanford’s New York and Philadelphia coastal line, the handsome Menemon Sanford endured a brief, arduous life. After running aground in the northern waters on two occasions, she met her final demise off the Florida Keys in 1862, while chartered by the US War Department.

From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art

Course History

COLT 73, 101, Spectacle and Exhibitionism, Michelle Warren, Winter 2012

Exhibition History

American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 9-December 9, 2007.

American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-September 12, 2021.

American Folk Art at the Hood Museum of Art (a thematic partial permanent gallery installation); Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, July 16, 2015.

J. & J Bard: Picture Painters, The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, June 5-September 11, 1977.

Lobby, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 2006-November 7, 2006.

Publication History

Barbara J. MacAdam, James Bard's Painting Menemon Sanford Joins Its Original Drawing at the Hood, Hood Museum of Art Quarterly, No. 16, Summer 2006, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, p. 12.

Barbara J. MacAdam, American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Muesum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 44-5, no. 24.

Harold S. Sniffen and Alexander Crosby Brown, James and John Bard: Painters of Steamboat Portraits, Newport News, Virginia: The Mariners' Museum, 1949, no. 28 (listed as in the collection of John Englis, New York City)

The Mariners' Museum in collaboration with Anthony J. Peluso, Jr., The Bard Brothers: Painting America Under Steam and Sail, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, in association with The Mariners' Museum, 1997, 40, 168.

A. J. Peluso, J & J Bards: Picture Painters, New York, New York: Hudson River Press, 1977, 28, illus.

Barbar J. MacAdam, Marks of Distinction: Two Hundred Years of American Drawings and Watercolors from the Hood Museum of Art (Manchester, Vt: Hudson-Hill Press), 2005, p.82, illus.

Barbara J. MacAdam, Building on Dartmouth's Historic American Collections: Hood Museum of Art Acquisitions since 1985, The Magazine Antiques, November 2007, New York: Brant Publications, color ill. p. 151.


Most likely painted for John Englis, builder of the Menmon Sanford; descended in his family to John Englis, New York City (as of 1949; deceased by 1973); Graham Gallery (together with Spanierman Galleries), New York, New York by 1973; sold to Mr. Everett F. Britz, Jr. (by 1974); Sotheby's, New York, New York, Important Americana.., Jan. 20, 21, & 23, 2005, lot 909 (failed to sell at auction); sold to present collection, 2005.

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