In December 2016, our fourth floor will be transformed into a new destination for historical education and innovation. During the current renovation, objects from our permanent collection are on view throughout the Museum.
Portrait of an Unidentified Woman
Oil on canvas
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Overall: 22 x 11 1/4 x 7 7/8 in. ( 55.9 x 28.6 x 20 cm )
signed: proper left side of base: "J. E. Fraser"
A distinguished American diplomat and financier, Gallatin was born and educated in Switzerland but came to the Colonies during the struggle for independence. After the war he acquired a large tract of land in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and became one of the prominent citizens of the area, serving in the state legislature (1790-92). He was elected to Congress in 1792 but was declared ineligible after serving for a year; he was re-elected later and served from 1795-1801, achieving a reputation as an astute political leader and financier. Under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison he was secretary of the treasury for twelve years, and thereafter served as United States minister to France (1816-23) and England (1826-27). In the late 1830s Gallatin was president of the National (later Gallatin) Bank. His wide interests are further demonstrated by his founding of the Ethnological Society in 1842 and his service as president of The New-York Historical Society from 1843 to 1849. His Reminiscences were published in 1841.
This is a small version of the large statue Fraser executed for the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington. The Society also owns a number of portraits of members of the Gallatin family who neither came to America nor were painted by American artists.
Gift of Mr. Rolaz Horace Gallatin
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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