Portrait of George Burnham

Cecilia Beaux, American, 1855 - 1942

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

47 3/4 x 41 3/8 inches (121.3 x 105.1 cm) Framed: 53 x 46 1/2 inches (134.6 x 118.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 116, American Art, first floor (McCausland Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. George Burnham III, 1986

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The two sides of George Burnham (1817-1912) are expressed in this simultaneously dignified and informal portrait. An engineer who became the chief financial officer of Philadelphia's world-famous Baldwin Locomotive Works, Burnham was also a dedicated member of the First Swedenborgian Church.

Cecilia Beaux, the favored portrait painter of Philadelphia's elite, depicts Burnham in a somber business suit, but sitting in a stylishly rustic chair on the porch of his summer house at Lake George, New York. Against a backdrop of pines that hints at his spiritual connection to nature, he holds a book that may be one of the many church publications he sponsored.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.