National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee
















Portrait
1927

Subject/Title:
Portrait of a Memphis Lady
Artist: Garrett, J.W.B.
Date Created: 1853
Owner/Location:Private Collection
Frame Dimensions:28 1/2 x 23 1/2
Image Dimensions:25 1/2 x 21 1/2
Materials/Media: Oil on Canvas
Date Documented:12 December 2017
Condition: Good

Description: Bust-length portrait of a woman with dark hair parted down the middle. She is wearing a black dress with a lace collar adorned with a hair brooch, possibly in remembrance of a departed family member. A blue shawl is wrapped around her shoulders.
History of Work:The reverse is signed in period cursive with the following: Painted by J.W.B. Garrett, 1853. This portrait was purchased in Memphis at an estate sale. No further history is known to the owner.
Notes: Not much is known about J.W.B. Garrett, portrait painter in Memphis, Tennessee. He is listed in W.H. Rainey and Co.'s Memphis City Directory, 1855-56 as a portrait painter.

According to James C. Kelly, who authored Portrait Painting in Tennessee, published in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly Vol. 46, No. 4 (Winter 1987), p196-207, "According to city directories [of Memphis] there were many other portrait painters, including A. Hieke, J.W.B. Garrett, P.C. Wyeth, John Inman, and N.B. Wilcox, but no identified works by these men have come to light."

This might be the first work directly attributable to J.W.B. Garrett to be published.


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