African-American artist Charleston Wilson (dates unknown) worked as a street artist, executing portraits for two to three dollars apiece. Painter Joseph Delaney (1904-1981) depicted Wilson in a 1952 work sketching portraits at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit. Unidentified photographs at the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center show him working in that venue and record his home address as 555 Edgecomb Avenue and his studio at 404 6th Avenue.
The subject of the painting, grandfather of the donor, graduated from Columbia Law School and served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. He wrote articles on naval history for the Naval Institute Proceedings and authored two books on naval subjects. At the time the portrait was made, Moran lived at 2 East 10th Street, near Washington Square.
Gift of Charles Moran III
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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New-York Historical Society
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