Saturday, October 9, 2021

American Folk Art - Quirky Portraits of Early 19C American Women

Almira Wheaton (American, 1804-1881)  Lady in a Straw Hat 1824-1825

Several New England artists shared a unique painting style during the 1820s-30s. Women depicted by these artists exhibit several similar characteristics - pale, sculptural faces; prominent thin, delicately arched eyebrows; small bowed mouths; & elaborate classical Greek hairstyles of tight curls intertwined with jewelry, flowers, & other adornments.  The paintings are usually watercolors.  The artists paint strong features, sharply defined, with arched, curved eyebrows.  The watercolors are similar to fashion plates appearing in magazines such as Ackerman’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions & Politics, published in London in 1809 through 1829.
Almira Wheaton (American artist, 1804-1881)  The first with label on reverse inscribed "Painted or drawn/ by Almira Wheaton Saben/ my great grandmother."

I can only find 2 paintings by Almira Wheaton Saben, who appears in the 1860 US census, she was then living in Winchester, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. She was born September 9, 1804 in Vermont. Her father was Reuben Wheaton. She married Mowry Saben (1801-1880) on February 5, 1835, in Winchester, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. She died there on May 11, 1881. She had 6 children between 1835 and 1844. All of them died by 1845. After that she had 2 children, Levi born in 1844-1912, and Mary born in 1847-1926. Son Levi married Mary A Tolman on January 1, 1869. They had a son Alfred Levi Saben in December of 1869-1930, a son Delano Mowry Saben in 1879-1947, & a daughter Laura Emma in 1882-1964.