Portrait of a Dark-haired Man Reading the "Genesee Farmer"
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Asahel Lynde Powers
(Springfield, VT, 1813 - 1843, Olney, IL)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Virginia Jeffrey Smith Fund
Location: Not currently on view
Until the invention of photography, portraits were the primary means of recording human likeness. Asahel Powers, like many self-taught artists, traveled the countryside in search of portrait commissions. Many of these paintings were passed down through families. Over time, however, the names of the sitters were often lost.
The Genesee Farmer, first published in western New York in January 1831, was written and edited by Luther Tucker. The newspaper was a well-known local and international resource for farmers. Given the newspaper’s stature, the “dark-haired” man of this portrait could be one of the newspaper’s owners or editors, perhaps even Luther Tucker himself.
[Forman Gallery, Summer 2015]