Robin Jaffee Frank
Frank, Robin Jaffee
Frank, Robin Jaffee
United States of America
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Description: Becoming America: Highlights from the Jonathan and Karin Fielding Collection of Folk...
~Portraiture, the dominant form of painting in nineteenth-century America, offered a sense of not only how the subjects actually looked but also how they wanted to be seen by their peers and remembered by posterity. Affluent sitters, and increasingly members of the middling classes, commissioned portraits as an expression of social position and material aspirations....
PublisherYale University Press
Related print edition pages: pp.171-207
Description: Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures
Portrait miniatures, small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, are unique among works of art for their highly personal associations. At the height of their American popularity, from 1760 to about 1840, these cherished portraits were frequently commissioned as a way to hold on to absent loved ones. This beautifully illustrated book reproduces and discusses some one hundred portrait and mourning miniatures. Robin Jaffee Frank examines the miniatures in detail, offering new insights into their role in American art and social history. Through painstaking detective work, she uncovers the stories of the people who sat for them and the people who treasured them, restoring to these intimate tokens their power to move us.

Portrait miniatures were most often painted in watercolor on thin disks of ivory. They were sometimes worn as jewelry, sometimes framed to be viewed privately. Many were painted by specialists, although renowned easel artists—including Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, and Charles Willson Peale—also created them to commemorate births, engagements, marriages, deaths, and other joinings or separations. The book traces the development of this exquisite art form, revealing the close ties between the history of the miniature and the history of American private life.
Print publication date September 2000 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300087246
EISBN 9780300250978
Illustrations 146
Print Status out of print