- Low Estimate: $300.00
- High Estimate: $350.00
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Painted plaster portrait bust by or after Shobal Vail Clevenger (American, 1812-1843), depicting Amos Lawrence (1786-1852), the prominent Boston textile merchant, philanthropist, and father of Amos A. Lawrence (who founded the University of Kansas). Lawrence is depicted as a balding man in later age, with draped shoulders, atop a circular base. Unsigned. 27″H x 17″W x 13″D. 20th century. Note: a larger version of this bust by Clevenger, also in plaster, is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Biography (from the Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists): “A farm boy who received little schooling, as a teenager Shobal Clevenger began working as a mason. In the late 1820s he moved to Cincinnati, where he worked with a stonecutter and met Hiram Powers. He had some instruction from Frederick Eckstein, and in 1836-37 he studied anatomy at the Ohio Medical College. He had achieved considerable skill by the time Henry Clay sat for him in Lexington, Kentucky, late in 1837. In the late 1830s Clevenger traveled several times to the East Coast. In Washington, New York, Boston, and other cities, many eminent persons numbered among his patrons. By the time he departed for Italy in 1840, no other American portrait sculptor was more highly esteemed. He settled in Florence, began translating his portrait busts into marble, and embarked on ideal figures. These included a life-size Indian Chief (lost; 1842), then a novel subject and probably the earliest sculpture to treat a distinctly American theme. Suffering from tuberculosis, just three years after his arrival he sailed for home but died at sea. In Florence, Powers arranged for Clevenger’s remaining portrait busts and an ideal head to be posthumously carved in marble.”
PROVENANCE: Private Tennessee collection; acquired from a Nashville estate about four years ago.
CONDITION: Scattered small losses to paint, abrasions, and tiny scuffs. Worn area under chin. 3/4″ area of repainting to paint loss on nose.