Silhouette of an Unidentified Man

Martha Ann Honeywell, American, 1786 - 1856



Cut black paper mounted on buff paper

Sheet: 4 1/4 × 4 1/2 in. (10.8 × 11.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Carolyn Kelley Evans, Class of 1978



Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Inscribed, in brown ink, across lower margin: Cut by M, Honeywell with the Mouth –


Martha Honeywell traveled the world earning a living through selling paper cuttings and silhouettes. Silhouettes were a popular art form in the 18th and 19th centuries, and many itinerant artists created them. Honeywell’s skillfully cut silhouettes are both accompanied by an inscription in brown ink that reads, "Cut by M, Honeywell with the Mouth."

Born without hands and feet, Honeywell devised a technique to hold cutting implements in her mouth. In newspaper ads about her work, Honeywell frequently advertised both her skill as a fine artist and her unique method. As a child, she had performed everyday tasks in front of crowds to make money for her family. How might Honeywell’s experiences performing as a child have affected how she advertised her artistic work?

From the 2021 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 103, Images of Disability, curated by Maeve McBride '20, Conroy Intern

Course History

Theater 10.34, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 66.25, Disability Arts & Activism, Julia Havard, Spring 2023

Exhibition History

Oak Terrace Museum, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (dates unknown).

A Space for Dialogue, Images of Disability, Maeve McBride, Dartmouth Class of 2020, Conroy Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 9–December 19, 2021.


The artist; sold to [subjects]; by descent to Janette L. S. (1874–1967) and Frederick G. (1874–1971) Murray, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; to Winifred Murray Kelley, 1918–2017; to Carolyn Kelley Evans, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; given to present collection, 2019.

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