Today, we are taking you on a tour of portrait paintings in the Colonial and Early Republican Art Gallery situated on the first floor of the NBMAA.
In 1607, religious and political unrest brought the first English settlers to Jamestown, Virginia. Europeans would continue to seek religious freedom and economic opportunity in the New World, as exemplified by the Puritans who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. North America demanded a new way of life.
Unaccustomed to the land and its resources, the settlers had to learn to cultivate crops and survive in the wilderness. Only later, as cities grew, did commerce develop. The demands of everyday life delayed the introduction of art into American culture for generations. Thus, the earliest painting in the Museum’s collection dates to 1739. (more…)