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Lot 0570
Pair of oil on canvas portraits attributed to Tennessee artist James Hart (1812-1870) of subjects Colonel and Mrs. George M. Pattison of Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Pattison is depicted with gray hair and spectacles, wearing a black jacket and tie with white shirt, while the dark-haired Mrs. Pattison is depicted seated in a red upholstered chair, wearing a grey shawl over a black dress or jacket with white lace blouse and collar; a hair brooch and red ribbon at her neck. Each housed in a whitewashed molded frame. Sight - 30" x 25". Framed - 34 1/2" x 29 1/4". Provenance: The estate of Peter Fyfe, Nashville, TN. Biography: James C. Kelly writes in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly Vol. XLVI, "Portrait Painting in Tennessee," that James Hart was listed in the city directories for Memphis in 1855-56 and 1860 as a portrait painter. It is unknown exactly where in Tennessee he was born or where he learned to paint. Hart also appears to have lived in Nashville, Huntsville, and New Orleans. His portraits are in several private Tennessee collections and in the Tennessee State Museum. Note: George M. Pattison was born circa 1800 in Pennsylvania. His wife, Sarah Trabue Pattison, was born in Adair County, Kentucky, the daughter of Robert Trabue and Lucy Waggener. She and Col. Pattison married on June 21, 1831, near Clarksville TN. They moved to Memphis in 1844. She was a pioneer in the Presbyterian Church at Memphis and a founder of the Memphis Orphan Asylum. The couple had several childen, including one who was killed in the Battle of Shiloh, and another in a terrible fireworks accident. She died in 1859, shortly after this painting was likely painted, of dyspepsia. Period newspaper accounts of Sarah Pattison's passing, and the deaths of her husband and several of her children, are online at http://deadmemphistalking.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-pattison-family-of-memphis-1800-1932.html . (Additional high-resolution photos are available at www.caseantiques.com)


Paintings were conserved in 2014 by Cumberland Art Conservation Center. (Refer to scan of treatment report). At that time, the conservator noted the paintings had been previously lined and Col. Pattison's portrait had a repair over a damaged 2" x 2" area in the upper right quadrant.

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Attr. J. Hart, Portraits of Memphis Couple

Estimate $800 - $1,200Aug 5, 2017
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
United States
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