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Rochester & Western New York Views

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Portrait of a Dark-haired Man Reading the "Genesee Farmer"

ca. 1839
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)

Asahel Lynde Powers Powers
American (Springfield, VT, 1813 - 1843, Olney, IL)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Virginia Jeffrey Smith Fund
Accession Number: 2001.1
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

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]

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Seeing America Inservice Materials from a teacher in-service presentation Spring 2008
Seeing America Chapter on Asahel Lynde Powers' Portrait of a Dark-haired Man Reading the “Genesee Farmer,” written by Jessica Marten.
Engraving of first Reynolds Arcade Engraving of first Reynolds Arcade, showing sign for the Genesee Farmer Office. From the Rochester Images Project, direct url =
James Vick, seedsman. Portrait of James Vick, Publisher of the Genesee Farmer, from the Rochester Images Project, direct url =

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