Fine Art: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Sculpture
The collection’s more than 2,200 works of fine art include paintings, drawings, and prints executed by significant early American architects, artists, and engravers. William Thornton, Joseph Wright, Edward Savage, Walter Robertson, and William Russell Birch are all represented. Notable works include Robertson’s portrait miniature of George Washington, painted in Philadelphia in 1794 for Martha Peter; Edward Savage's General Henry L. Knox, published in London in 1791; and Joseph Wright’s 1785 portraits, Charles Thomson and Hannah Harrison Thomson. The collection also includes 10 oil paintings from the 1830s and ‘40s by artist and topographical engineer William G. Williams, a son-in-law of Tudor Place’s founders.
Important works from the 20th century include the watercolor La Chiminée by Walter Gay and a 1920 portrait of Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter painted by Cecilia Beaux. Armistead Peter, Jr., and Armistead Peter 3rd avidly collected contemporary engravings by Anders Zorn, Joseph Pennell, and Frank Weston Benson, now held in the collection. Examples of prominent sculpture include Bessie Potter Vonnoh’s terracotta Goodnight, ca. 1910, and the 1916 bronze miniature, Briseis, by Paul Howard Manship.
In prints, Tudor Place’s collection includes Thomas Cheesman’s 1796 engraving, George Washington at the Battle of Trenton, which once adorned the central passage at Mount Vernon and was bequeathed to Martha Peter. The Peters re-acquired several additional engravings known to have hung at Mount Vernon, including The Washington Family by Edward Savage (1798) and prints after John Trumball’s Death of General Montgomery in the Attack of Quebec and The Battle of Bunker Hill, to replace holdings dispersed within the family during the early 20th century. Highlights from the map collection include one of the earliest maps of Virginia, Nova Virginia Tabula, published in 1650, and William Bussard’s Map of Georgetown in the District of Columbia in 1830.
The fine art collection contains over 100 works by American sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865 – 1925), inherited by Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter, his stepdaughter and the wife of Armistead Peter 3rd. Among them are several small bronzes designed by Bartlett and cast by Caroline’s mother, Suzanne Earle Ogden-Jones Bartlett. These include General Washington at Valley Forge (modeled in 1892; cast in 1927) and Poisson (1926); the original Poisson, cast in 1895, was exhibited at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The Bartletts encouraged the artistic tutelage of their son-in-law, Armistead Peter 3rd, whose prolific body of work in the collection includes over 1,500 pen and ink drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings.