Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self-Portrait c 1825Miniaturitst Sarah Goodridge (or sometimes Goodrich, 1788-1853) was born the 6th of 9 children in Massachusetts in 1788. It is said that as a child, she came across a book on drawing & painting & taught herself to draw. Growing up on a farm, with little money to buy paper, she drew her earliest pictures on the sanded kitchen floor with a stick or on sheets of peeled birch bark with a pin. Sarah's younger sister Eliza Goodridge (1798-1882) also painted miniatures.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self Portrait 1830After the death of their father, Sarah moved to Boston, to live with her sister Eliza. There Sarah was able to expand her birch-bark-beginning by taking a few lessons from a miniaturist & by visiting portraitist Gilbert Stuart for advice. She soon began earning a living by painting miniature portraits. By 1830, Sarah Goodridge was a leading miniaturist in Boston, completing up to 3 portraits a week; supporting her sick mother & her orphaned niece; & maintianing a studio there. The Boston Athenaeum held 5 exhibitions of her work between 1827 & 1835. She never married, but she had an intimate, influential friend.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Daniel Webster 1825
She developed an ongoing love relationship with Boston lawyer & politician Daniel Webster (1782-1852), who was married with 3 children, when she painted his 1st portrait. He returned to sit for 12 more portraits over the next 25 years. Their friendship is documented in 44 letters that Webster wrote to Goodridge between 1827 & 1851. She carefully preserved his letters to her; he destroyed her letters to him. His first wife, Grace, died in January, 1828; & he married Caroline LeRoy in December, 1829. In 1850, due to failing eyesight, Sarah Goodridge retired to a house she bought in Reading, Massachusetts. Three years later she died of a stroke at the age of 65. Her sister Eliza lived until 1882.
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Self Portrait Painting a Miniature 1845
Sarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Girl Called Persis,
Child of Mrs Solomon SargentSarah Goodridge Goodrich (American miniaturist, 1788-1853) Sarah Appleton with Cat
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Julia Porter Dwight 1832
Eliza Goodridge (American miniaturist, 1798-1882) Sophia Dwight Foster Burnside (1787-1871) c 1830