National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee

How you can Participate in the Project

The Tennessee Portrait Project is a state-wide effort to collect portrait images and portrait history. This site initially represented the portion of the project sponsored by the Nashville Town Committee of the Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee; however, statewide expansion has now begun in earnest. The subjects may or may not be directly related to the Tennessee area. A portion of the site will also be devoted to significant portraits tied to Tennessee, either by subject or artist, and now held in other states.

We encourage individuals and institutions
(libraries, historic houses, universities, businesses) to submit digital photographs and documentation about their portraits. There are currently over 2600 entries in our database, and we know that there are many more in Tennessee that have not been discovered and documented as yet.

Submission Forms for Data and Instructions for Image Submission

This website has forms for submission of the documentation on each portrait. The images can be sent in digital form to or by mail on CD (often the best option) to Tennessee Portrait Project, 10325 Trellis Crossing Lane, Richmond, VA 23238.

The quality of the photograph can vary widely and still be most welcome. Naturally, we hope for the highest quality possible, but we realize that flash reflections, awkward angles, and degree of natural light can all be problematic and will accept photographs that are less than perfect in order to get as complete a listing as is possible.

If you want further information before filling out forms or taking your own photographs, please contact us at, and we will respond individually either by return e-mail or by telephone if you prefer that contact. Please indicate preferred method of return communication in your e-mail to us.

The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress are both interested in this type of data, and the Smithsonian has already listed many of the images in the original study sponsored by the Dames and including portraits created prior to 1866. (See Tennessee State Library and Archives section of this website or consult The Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, a current service of the Smithsonian.)

We very much appreciate your interest in and support of our project.