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Re: Portraits of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Cutts, ca.1796-1801, Saco, Maine
Posted by: David Petrie (ID *****5498) Date: August 21, 2010 at 10:31:06
In Reply to: Portraits of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Cutts, ca.1796-1801, Saco, Maine by William Pease of 430

Bill,

Thank you for the thoughtful offer. Please send me a scan of the pictures at the email address below. I have an extensive collection of Cutts family genealogy, photos and paintings. If anyone would like to exchange information, please also contact me at the email address below.

I believe these are probably the portraits currently at the York Institute in Saco, Maine. They are attributed to John Brewster Jr.,(1800-1801) - Oil on canvas H each 74 5/8 (189.5); W each 30 1/8 (76.5) York Institute Museum; Gift of George Addison Emery, 1867. With his gift of these portraits, great-grandson George Addison Emery commenced the "art gallery" at the York Institute Museum where they "are now and always have been a prominent attraction to all visitors to the museum." [Agreeable Situations: Society, Commerce, and Art in Southern Maine, 1780-1830 by Laura Fecych Sprague, The Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, Maine (1987), p.94-95]

These full-length portraits of Colonel Thomas Cutts and his wife, Elizabeth Scamman (or Scammon) Cutts, are significant in that they are the only examples known of adults in a standing pose attributed to John Brewster Jr., the most prolific painter of Maine personalities during the federal period. A deaf-mute from birth, Brewster was the son of a respected and cultured Hampton, Connecticut, doctor and was encouraged to learn to read and write. By the early 1790, his talent for painting had been developed under the direction of the Reverend Joseph Steward (1753-1822), a portraitist, and Brewster's early work reflected the styles of artists such as Steward and Ralph Earl (1751-1801).

David Petrie
dapwyn@aol.com


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