Signed, lower left, on base of pilaster: J. Steward. Pinxt.
A major benefactor of Dartmouth College and the founder of Phillips Exeter Academy, John Phillips (1719–1795) served as a Dartmouth trustee from 1773 to 1793, and was instrumental in developing what was to become the College’s early museum collection. To honor Phillips’s retirement as a Dartmouth trustee in 1793, his fellow board members voted to commission Joseph Steward, Class of 1880, to create a full-length portrait of Phillips. Steward’s lack of artistic training is evident here in the misunderstood proportions of the figure and the idiosyncratic interpretation of linear perspective. Yet he convincingly models Phillips’s features and meticulously renders such colorful interior details as the stenciled floor cloth and walls, the tasseled drapery, and the green-paneled woodwork. By placing the wealthy Phillips in a cheerful, informal setting (probably based on the artist’s own home in Hampton, Connecticut), Steward provides us with an approachable portrait of the distinguished trustee and adds a lively, decorative dimension to the composition.
From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art
"Collecting and Sharing: Trevor Fairbrother, John T. Kirk, and the Hood Museum of Art", Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 22-December 6, 2015.
American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Churchill P. Lathrop Gallery, 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-July 21, 2019.
American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, November 1, 2019-September 12, 2021.
An Exhibition of American Painting, Silver and Architecture from 1650 to the War of 1812, Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois, April 21-June 19, 1949.
Commemoration of Phillips Exeter Acamdemy's Bicentennial, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, September 23, 1980-June 15, 1981.
Exeter, New Hampshire 1638-1988; 350 Years of History; An Exhibition, Lamont Gallery, Exeter, New Hampshire, July 4-August 1, 1988.
Hail, Holy Land: The Idea of America, Strauss and Barrows Galleries, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 27-September 7, 1980.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 24, 1989-June 1, 1993.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 2, 2009-present.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 26, 1996-June 22, 1997.
Joseph Steward, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut, November 1, 1981-Janaury 30, 1982.
Paintings by New England Provincial Artists 1775-1800, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, July 20-October 17, 1976.
The Dartmouth Collection:19th & 20th Century Paintings, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 17-November 6, 1982.
John Sweetman, The Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution: 1700-1850, London: Addison Wesley Longman Limited, 1998, ill. p. 50
Debra Muller, Specs: for building and restoration, Colonial Homes, Volume 21, No. 1, February 1995, New York: The Hearst Corporation, 1994, p. 102
Mathew Clarkson, Floorcloths, Americana Magazine, New York, New York: Americana Magazine, Inc., September/October 1991, Vol 19, No. 4, pp. 32-35, ill. p. 33.
Endowed Faculty Chairs, Development Publications, Dartmouth College, Spring 1992. (a fund-raising brochure for Dartmouth's Campaign to Excel)
C. Saumarez Smith, The Room 1700-1800, London: Weidenfeld G. Nicolson, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992.
Robert Selim, editor, The Script and Design for the Exhibition New & Different: Home Interiors in Eighteenth-Century America; August 1986 September 1987, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.; Anne Golovin and Rodris Roth, Curators; Dru Colbert, Designer.
William H. Gerdts, Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting, New York: Abbeville Pres, Publishers, 1900, vol. p. 103.
Various Contributors, The State That Made Us A Nation: New Hampshire's Celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution, Publisher Petter E. Randell for the Bicentennial Commission, 1989.
Exeter, New Hampshire 1638-1988; 350 Years of History; An Exhibition; 1988, p. 15 and 24.
Elizabeth Wilhide, Laura Ashley Book of Windows, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1988.
Elizabeth Garrett, At Home: The American Family , 1987?
Catalogue of Portraits, and other works of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover: Dartmouth College, 1932, p. 31, no. 125.
George Hill Evans, Catalogue of Portraits and other works of art in the gallery of Dartmouth College, Hanover: Dartmouth College, 1901, p. 12, no. 12.
Jerald E. Brown, The Years of the Life of Samuel Lane, 1718-1806: A New Hampshire Man and His World, Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2000, ill. p. 47.
Tommy Hilfiger, New England: Icons and Inspirations, New York City: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2004, ill. p. 95.
Barbara J. MacAdam, American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Muesum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 24, no. 4.
Collecting and Sharing: Trevor Fairbrother, John T. Kirk, and the Hood Museum of Art, with contributions by Katherine Hart, Michael R. Taylor, John O'Reilly and James Tellin, Trevor Fairbrother and John T. Kirk, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2015, p. 11. Fig. 1.1.
Commissioned by the Trustees of Dartmouth College, 1793.