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Celebrity's Picture: Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Portraits to Observe Historic Changes

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Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1862

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Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1862 / Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Bowdoin College received the fine, austere portrait that G. P. A. Healy created for Longfellow's publisher, James T. Fields, as a bequest from Mrs. Annie Louise Cary Raymond after her own patient thirty-year wait to acquire it.

George Healy knew the poet for many years, painting him at least three times and portraying Mrs. Longfellow and her sister as well.

The vigorous but stoic image of a rapidly aging gray-beard was dated May 19, 1862, only nine months after his wife's tragic death.

A match onto Fanny Longfellow's gauzy, hoop-skirted summer dress severely burned her torso and lower body, though not her face. She died calmly in own bed the next morning, July 10, 1861, leaving five children aged five to seventeen in the care of their famous father.

See slide 6
<a href="http://www.hwlongfellow.org/pdf/Whitmore_lessonplan2.pdf">Now-and-Then Portrait Lesson Plan</a>


Item 30 of 35