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Dr. Lorenzo Dow Wood

Place Made:
Randolph County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
oil on canvas
__30″ __ __24 1/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Portrait of a man, bust length, 3/4 turn toward the sitter with eyes and head forward, dark hair graying at the temples and center of forehead, brown eyes and bright, rosy complexion, wearing a black coat, black waitcoat, white shirt with black stock, and a black overcoat. The background is gray with a brownish-red swath extending from the sitter’s proper left shoulder upward to the edge of the canvas.

SITTER: Lorenzo Dow Wood (1807-1854) was born in Randolph County to John (1780-1851) and Eleanor (Walker) Wood (1775-1834). In 1831, at age 24, he matriculated to Translyvania Medical College in Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated in 1835. He returned to North Carolina, and on December 27, 1836, he married Rebecca J. Kennedy in Davidson County. Rebecca was the daughter of William Kennedy, Sheriff of Davidson County at the time. The couple, one child, and three enslaved individuals were listed in the 1840 Davidson County Census. Their marriage was not a happy one, however, and according to an 1845 divorce petition, Rebecca left Lorenzo in October of 1840 to live with her parents in Davidson County. The couple’s divorce was granted in 1845. In the 1850 Randolph County Census, Lorenzo was identified as a practicing physician living alone. He died on March 15, 1854, and his death was announced in the newspaper, North Carolinian, where his place of death was identified as Cedar Falls, Randolph County. He was buried in Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery where other family members were also buried. His estate inventory included “portrait of himself,” which was purchased by his younger sister Mary Wood (1812-1879), who never married. The portrait then descended in the family of their sister, Martitia (Wood) Coe.

Descended in the Wood family of Randolph County, North Carolina, along with two quilts made by his sisters Jane and Martitia Wood and a heavily-inlaid table with the initials “JW” for Jane Wood (MESDA Acc. # 5939.2,6,7).
Credit Line:
Gift of Dawn Cook in honor of the Wood, Coe, McCulloch, and Coble families.