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Samuel Baldwin

Taylor, Samuel T.
Place Made:
Prince Edward County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
oil on canvas
HOA: 38″; WOA: 31″
Accession Number:
SITTER: Samuel Baldwin (1766-1844) married Mary Ann Womack (1775-1850) in Prince Edward County, Virginia, on 16 September 1799. As a young man, Baldwin fought in the American Revolution. By 1840, he was a trustee of the Briery Presbyterian Church and a planter who owned 30 slaves. The 1840 census notes that his household included 13 people engaged in agriculture and 6 in manufacture and trades.

ARTIST: Samuel T. Taylor (1800-1846) was a vernacular artist who worked in the central piedmont of Virginia during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. He lived in Buckingham County but traveled throughout the surrounding area of Appamatox, Campbell, Henrico, Louisa, and Prince Edward counties, painting many of the region’s successful planters and merchants.

RELATED OBJECTS: The MESDA Collection is also home to the companion portrait by Taylor of Baldwin’s wife, Mary Ann Womack (MESDA acc. 5888.2).

FRAME: Original yellow pine frame with black paint.

DESCRIPTION: portrait of a man sitting and turned slightly to the left; gray colored hair; cravat with bow; high-collared shirt; yellow waistcoat; dark coat; left elbow resting on the back of an upholstered sofa with brass nails; left hand holding a book labled “HOLY BIBLE” with thumb between pages; right hand partially tucked into waistcoat; green drapery with gold tassels and fringe, column, and window in the background.

HISTORY: In 1842, the Baldwins commissioned two pairs of portraits by the artist Samuel T. Taylor which descended in different braches of the family. This pair belonged originally to their son Albert Baldwin (1808-1869), a successful merchant-planter in neighboring Buckingham County who completed a large brick house, Cacerta, the same year, 1842. The other pair was recorded in Prince Edward County, Virginia, during MESDA field research for the Object Database (Photo Numbers S-7573, 7574).
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Sue E. Baldwin