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Portrait of a Man

William Matthew Prior, American, 1806 - 1873

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

26 3/8 x 22 1/16 inches (67 x 56 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the estate of Edgar W. and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1980

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Born in Bath, Maine, William Matthew Prior may have apprenticed with an all-purpose "fancy" painter who decorated furniture and painted signs, landscapes, portraits, and marines. After working in Portland, he moved to Boston in 1839, where he set up a similar business with his wife's two brothers. From his base in Boston, he peddled his paintings into the countryside and was able to find patrons without exhibiting his work with artists' clubs or institutions.