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Anne Mumford Palmer

24 x 19 1/2 in. (61 x 49.5 cm)

Abbott Handerson Thayer
United States (Boston, MA, 1849 - 1921, Dublin, NH)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Emily and James Sibley Watson
Accession Number: 1951.37
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Location: Not currently on view

A vision of fresh beauty in her portrait, Anne Mumford Palmer lived a life that was hardly placid. Born to a Rochester lawyer and his wife, Palmer moved to New York City after her father became the treasurer of Western Union. She was a good friend of the distinguished American writer Henry Adams and his wife, Clover.

An adventurous marriage to Englishman E. Nelson Fell included draining swamps in Florida to build a British colony called Fellsmere. Four years were spent with their three children on the Siberian steppes where Nelson Fell supervised a mining operation.

When Anne Mumford Palmer, age 22, was painted by Abbott Thayer, newly returned from studying in France, her life lay ahead of her like a limitless ocean. When she sold the painting to MAG founder Emily Sibley Watson in 1930, she was nearing the end of her remarkable journey, and would die seven years later. More remains to be learned about an interesting life.

[Gallery label text, 2009]

Artist's signature, upper right: A.H. Thayer

Inscription, verso: Anne Mumford Palmer Aetat 24/born 1857/Married E. Nelson Fell 1885/Painted by Abbott Thayer

O.H. Palmer; Anne Palmer Fell; purchased from her by Mrs. James Sibley Watson, Rochester, NY in 1930; gift of her estate to the Gallery in 1951

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