Photo: Cornell University Library
31.1 U.S. Portraits, Men
When Johnson returned to the United States, he not only painted genre paintings but he also continued to paint portraits, which gave him a steady income. After 1880 Johnson turned to portraiture almost exclusively. During the 1880s and 1890s he painted businessmen, lawyers, university presidents, and three U.S. presidents from life. At times he also painted their wives and children.
He was also commissioned to paint posthumous portraits, often from photographs. These portraits by and large do not have the sparkle and active brushwork of those done from life. It seems that the demand for portraits of business and civic leaders (and members of exclusive men’s clubs) was so high that portrait painters would often make copies of each other’s paintings to satisfy the market for such images. In many instances, it has been difficult to render opinions for such paintings. —PH
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Hills no. 31.1.143
Justin Smith Morrill
Alternate title: Honorable Justin S. Morrill
51 7/8 x 39 1/2 in. (131.8 x 100.3 cm)
Signed and dated lower left: [not visible] 883 [As in other Johnson paintings of the 1880s and 1890s, the "8"s have a flat top]
Memorial plate on original frame: JUSTIN S. MORRILL/SENATOR OF THE UNITED STATES FROM VERMONT,/AUTHOR OF THE/“Morrill Bill of 1862,”/WHICH, IN THE MIDST OF A WAR FOR THE NATIONAL/EXISTENCE, MADE PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC,/LITERARY, INDUSTRIAL AND MILITARY/EDUCATION IN EVERY STATE/OF THE UNION./THIS PORTRAIT IS PAINTED BY ORDER OF THE TRUS-/TEES OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY AS A TRIBUTE/OF GRATITUDE AND RESPECT TO/A NATIONAL BENEFACTOR.
Catalogue of an Exhibition of Charcoal Drawings by Eastman Johnson. New York
: Kennedy Galleries
. Exhibition catalogue (1920 Kennedy Galleries)
, p. 11, addendum "Paintings by Eastman Johnson" [possibly, as Justin Smith Morrill
Wells, Elizabeth Baker. Contributions to Cornell History: Portraits, Memorabilia, Plaques and Artists Rev. ed. Ithaca, NY
: Cornell University
, pp. 46, 109-110.
Sitter: Morrill, Justin Smith
Justin Smith Morrill (1810–1898). Politician. Served in the U.S. House of Representatives, elected 1854; U.S. Senate, elected 1867. Strong economic protectionist who also sponsored educational and cultural projects, such as a National Statuary Hall of state portrait sculptures and promotion of the construction of the Library of Congress, among other endeavors. Known for introducing the Morrill Land Grant College Act Bill of 1862 [Senate.gov].
White, Terry James. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1967–.
- Portrait pose:
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Record last updated December 8, 2022. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "Justin Smith Morrill, 1883 (Hills no. 31.1.143)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?id=1147 (accessed on May 29, 2023).