b. late 1830s, Canada - d. 1927, Saratoga, NY; Nelson Cook's daughter. The original work suffered water damage from a leaky parlor roof, and his efforts to restore it are noted in a letter to Ransom from Rome, NY (14 Sep 1879). The photo was taken (date unknown) as the portrait hung in the home of a Cook descendant. An undated (c. 1885) newspaper article noted that two portraits of Marion were in Cook's Saratoga Springs studio, but it is unclear if this was one of them. See Biography for more information on Marion.
Courtesy of H.A. Eastman
b. 20 May 1792, Guilford, CT - d. 31 Aug 1862, Saratoga Springs, NY; graduated from Vermont's Middlebury College in 1813, and while matriculating lived with his aunt, Emma Hart Willard, who in 1814 founded what is today the Emma Willard School for girls in Troy, NY so that young women would have the same educational opportunities as her nephew, John; studied law and admitted to the New York State Bar in 1817; first practiced law in Washington County, NY, where for many years he was a common pleas judge and surrogate; in 1829 married Eliza Smith, who in 1830 bore one daughter, Sarah Elizabeth [Fowler]; became circuit judge and vice-chancellor of the Fourth Judicial district in 1836 when Esek Cowen was elevated to the NY Supreme Court; while serving in this capacity in 1842 heard a libel case James Fennimore Cooper brought against Horace Greely - Copper was awarded $200 and six cents costs, well short of the $10,000 he was seeking; in 1846 he himself was appointed to the NY Supreme Court, where he served until his retirement in 1854 [including two years with Reuben Walworth], after which he wrote several well-respected legal treatises; in 1856 asked by President Franklin Pierce to examine the validity of California's Spanish and Mexican land grants; also in 1856 elected to the first Board of Directors of the Commercial Bank of Saratoga Springs; sat on the Board of Directors for the Saratoga and Whitehall Railroad in 1859/1860; elected to the NY state senate as an unopposed Democrat in 1861. The oval portrait of Judge Willard is signed on reverse in the artist's typical elaborate hand: "Painted by Nelson Cook. Saratoga Springs, N.Y." The painting displays especially skilled brushstrokes in the sitter's face and hair, which serve to convey a man of great distinction and strong character. And in classic Cook form, the artist has added two of his trademark features to the painting: a red seat and architectural column --- see Thomas Jefferson Marvin  and Rev James Bradford . In 1978 the portrait was relined and restored to repair a tear and to remove grime, ink spatters, and drip marks. The painting was donated to the SSHM by Milford Lester, a relative of Judge Willard.
Courtesy of The Saratoga Springs History Museum
b. 12 Feb 1817 in Pittsford, VT- d. 20 Jan 1901 in Saratoga Springs, NY; buried in Greenridge Cemetery, Saratoga Springs, NY; son of Luther and Tamar [Rand] Hulbert; in 1848 married Mrs. Sarah Cross (1822 - 1863) with whom he had one daughter (Jennie Hulbert) and one adopted daughter (Sarah Jane Clark) and married again in 1866 to [Katherine] Amanda Benedict (1836 - ca 1920s) with whom he had another daughter (Mary Vernon Hulbert, known as Mamie); initially trained as a printer and apprenticed at the Ball Spa Gazette and then studied law with Thomas Jefferson Marvin and others; admitted to the Bar of Common Pleas in 1836 and of the NY Supreme Court in 1839; served as Saratoga County Surrogate Court Judge from 1847 to 1856; practiced law in at least two of his own firms: Ellsworth and Hulbert (1844) and Hulbert and Henning (1878); as a NY State Elector in 1856, he voted for Republican John C. Fremont for President; served three terms as County Judge from 1863 to1871; member of the Saratoga Board of Education from 1871 to 1875 and served as President during his final year; trustee of Union Savings Bank (1873) and Temple Grove Seminary [now Skidmore College] (1878); delegate to NY Republican State Convention in 1874 and 1876.
b. 16 May 1803, Fort Edward, NY - d. 21 Jun 1873, Washington County, NY; buried Rogers family plot, Moreau, NY-- grave marker reads: "A perfect woman, nobly planned; to warm, to comfort, and command"; daughter of James and Betsey Berry Rogers Cowen and niece of Judge Halsey Rogers; married Col. Abram/Abraham J. Fort (1799-1864), for whom the Old Fort House was named. Cook was involved with two portraits of Abby, one as a younger woman (above) and then some years later as an older woman (below). The rendition of Abby as an older woman represents the only known Cook portrait that the artist didn't initiate. As stated in Cook's hand on the reverse: "This picture, commenced by B. F. Eddy, and wholly remodelled [sic] and finished by Nelson Cook, Saratoga Springs." Perhaps Cook also added his signature red seat to Eddy's original composition to underscore his role in the portrait's completion. A color photograph of the painting was donated to the Fort Edward Historical Association in 1988 by Edward Henry Bennett in memory of his grandmother, Abby Rogers Clark, who was a niece of Abby Rogers Fort. The original portrait was still part of the Rogers Family collection until it was auctioned on February 22, 2014 for $960.
b. 1809 in Bainbridge, Ross County, OH - d. 12 Jun 1881 in Cincinnati, OH; buried Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH; son of Joseph Taylor and Jane Irwin Taylor; in 1826 began study with Dr. John Harris of Bainbridge to be a medical doctor, but after one year when Dr. Harris switched to the practice of dentistry, Taylor followed suit with his studies, and the two formed a dental partnership; in 1830 entered Transylvania University in Lexington, KY where he earned his M.D. degree and then set up practice back in Bainbridge; soon after, in 1834, began devoting full time to dentistry and then moved to Crawfordsville, IN and became a charter member of the American Society of Dental Surgeons in 1839; moved to Cincinnati in 1842 and established a permanent dental practice; in 1843 the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery granted him the honorary degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery; obtained a charter for the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1845 and became the school's dean, where he taught until retiring in 1863 and during which time he was involved in the leadership of many dental societies and published many articles in dental journals; married three times: R. Maria Applegate (1838), Belle P. McMaster (1859), and Susan Abby Rogers (1876), who was a great niece of Halsey Rogers, a niece of Abby Rogers Fort, and also kin of Harper Rogers. This portrait is unsigned and undated, but has been attributed to Cook by the Old Fort Museum based on its style and Susan Abby Rogers's direct family connection to three of the artist's known sitters.
b. 14 Nov 1832, Coleraine, Ireland - d. 8 Nov 1885, Philadelphia, PA; American actor who immigrated to US in 1849; supported Edwin Forrest and Edwin Booth in a number of secondary Shakespearean roles; suffered from general paresis and committed to NYC's Bloomingdale Asylum in 1884 and later moved to a Philadelphia asylum where he died; another "urban legend" account claims McCullough was murdered at Washington, D.C.'s National Theater by an acting acquaintance, with his body buried by the cast and crew in the theater's basement beneath the stage, and whose ghost still haunts the premises. An undated (c. 1885) newspaper article stated Cook had painted McCullough as Cincinnatus in 1833, but given the actor's birth year, this was obviously misreported.
b. ? - d. ?; a short piece in the June 1, 1884 Utica (NY) Sunday Tribune Newspaper mentioned that Cook's portrait of Mrs. J.C. Smith was on display at the James & Armstrong Bookstore in Rome, NY. Mr. Smith was the owner of a Rome dry goods store from at least 1870 - 1885 and perhaps later.
Sold at auction for $1-2K in September 2001
This charming 35.5"x30" portrait still retains its vibrant colors. The red upholstered chair on which the girl sits is similar to many of Cook's other portraits. But unlike many of Cook's other paintings, which are characterized by sitters with "tubular" arms and fingers, Cook has made a concerted attempt here to model the girl's right arm with three-dimensional shading. While Cook inscribed most of his known paintings on reverse, the artist signed this portrait on the front just to the left of the sitter's right elbow. Following the artist's signature is the word "pinxit" (Latin for "he painted this") which Cook also used on at least one other painting, Rev James Bradford (1847). The site caretakers are aware of only two other portraits that Cook signed on the front: Susan Bellows Sowles (1871) and Unidentified Gentleman (1867). Although undated, Patricia Moss of Fine Art Investigations has estimated "Portrait of a Girl" was executed by Cook in 1857 or 1858. Patricia is an art historian who specializes in art identification of 19th century American portraitists. In addition to identifying a painting's unknown artist, Patricia also provides date estimates based on the sitter's dress and hair styling, as she has done in this instance. The portrait has some condition issues. There are a few minor unpatched chips in the paint, and crazing is evident throughout the portrait. Also, when the painting is viewed under a blacklight in the unopened frame, 25/30% of the surface has been overpainted, mostly in the background areas. The portrait's stretchers are original to the piece, or are of the same period as the painting. The same is true of the frame, which in some areas has been gilt painted over old damage. Sold at auction in March 2007 for $732.
b. ? - d. ?; attributed to Cook by the state of New York, which acquired the painting in 2004 as part of the Bailey-Deyo Family Collection; General Samuel Baily (without the "e") of Greenfield, NY (5 miles from Saratoga Springs) served with Washington during the Revolutionary War; although unidentified, the sitter may be one of the daughters of Samuel Bailey (the general's son, who spelled his name with the "e") and Charity ("Cherry") Bailey: Harriett (Hattie) E. Bailey (13 Jan 1845 - 15 Feb 1890) or Marion Cook Bailey Easton (May 1849 - Jun 1921), who seems to have been named after the Cooks only child, Marion. Nelson and his wife were friends of the Bailey family and the Cooks are each known to have communicated by letter with Hattie within a few years of her death in the late 1880s. This undated portrait evokes a slightly more primitive style than is evident with the other children painted by Cook in the mid to late 1850s (see Charles Miller Williams/Boy with Hobby Horse/"Hobby Gray" and the Walworth Children), suggesting this charming portrait dates from a somewhat earlier time in the artist's career. Since Charity Bailey's portrait is known to have been done by Cook in 1848, this painting may have been commissioned at about the same time, which would point to the child's identity as three-year-old Hattie Bailey. But it is also possible this portrait was not painted until 1852-1853 when Marion Bailey would have been 3-4 years of age. While the portrait is only attributed to Cook, the painting seems to hold a clue to the artist's identity. Couldn't the red play table setting to the rear of the child's left elbow be an appropriate substitute for the red upholstered seat found in many of Cook's adult portraits?
b. 16 Jun 1786 at Newmarket, New Hampshire - d. 6 Dec 1856; buried Greenridge Cemetery, Saratoga Springs, NY; youngest child of Joseph Doe and Martha Weeks (many references have the Judge born in NYC, but there is no evidence that Martha ever traveled there – perhaps Newmarket, NH misread as New York, NY); married Gertrude C. Farmer 12 Sep 1836 and produced 1 child, William Henry Doe; little is known of Doe’s education other than he graduated Phillips Exeter Academy in the class of 1803/04; studied law, passed the New York Bar, and practiced in Saratoga County, NY; in 1825 served in the New York State Assembly representing Saratoga County; briefly held a seat in the U.S House of Representatives from 7 Dec 1840 to 3 Mar 1841 as a Whig by filling the vacancy left upon Anson Brown’s untimely death; trustee of Waterford, NY in 1841; continued to practice law in Saratoga County until his death. The portrait found its way to the Wisconsin museum compliments of the Judge’s Whitehall, NY great niece, Margaret “Maggie” Travis, who married perfume entrepreneur William Henry Tallman in 1861.
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