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Mary (Young) Bulloch

Allston, Mary
Place Made:
Georgetown South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
watercolor on ivory –silver –glass
HOA: 3; WOA: 2 5/16
Accession Number:
SITTER: Based on the provenance stated in an inscription on the frame, this miniature depicts Mary Allston’s sister-in-law, Mary Young (b. 1787), who was born to Benjamin (1737-1788) and Martha (Allston) Young of Georgetown, South Carolina. In 1807, she married William Bellinger Bulloch (1777-1852) of Savannah, Georgia, who served as an alderman and mayor of the city and as a United States Senator from the State of Georgia. They had four children. In 1860, Mrs. M. Y. Bulloch was listed in the U.S. census for Savannah as a 73 year-old “Lady of Leisure” born in Georgetown, South Carolina, living with her two unmarried children, William J. (b. 1818) and Anna L. Bulloch (b. 1810).

FRAME: The miniature is houses in a later silver-plated frame with a crown on the top and a ribbon below and inscribed on the back, “By/ Mary Allston/ sister of/ Washington Allston/ and wife of/ Thomas Young/ (our uncle)/ Youngville/ Waccamon/ South Carolina.”

ARTIST: Mary Allston (1778-1841) was the daughter of William and Rachel (Moore) Allston of Brookgreen Plantation on the Waccamaw River, near Georgetown, South Carolina. In 1800, she married her cousin, Thomas Young (d. 1804) of Youngville Plantation, and after his death married another cousin William Algernon Alston (1782-1860) of Rose Hill. Mary’s artistic efforts were undoubtedly influenced by her brother, the artist Washington Allston, and his circle of friends that included well-known miniaturist painters Edward Greene Malbone and Charles Fraser.

RELATED WORKS: MESDA owns a painting by Mary Allston’s brother Washington Allston (MESDA 2098) and a portrait by Henry Benbridge of their mother, Rachel (Moore) Allston (MESDA 2023.11)

DESCRIPTION: Miniature, tempera on ivory, of unknown young woman with curly hair. A band runs through her hair. She looks at the viewer from a three fourths angle facing her left. She looks directly at the viewer. She has a wistful look about her. She has blue eyes, rosy cheeks, wears a dress cut at the bust, with white and green.

Based on the provenance stated in the inscription, the miniature descended in the family of Thomas Young’s only sibling with surviving adult children, Mary (Young) Bulloch of Savannah, Georgia. Therefore, it depicts the artist’s sister-in-law and was probably painted at Youngville Plantation around the time of Mary Allston’s marriage to Thomas Young in 1800 and before Mary Young’s marriage to William Bellinger Bulloch in 1807.
Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund