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Bust of Henry Inman


See the illustration of the bust of Henry Inman by Robert Ball Hughes online in Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, Volume I, 1826-1925 by David B. Dearinger, New York, NY: Hudson Hills Press, (National Academy of Design), 2004, p. 288.


Partial entry from the Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalog on SIRIS:

Title: Henry Inman 

Date: 1837

Dimensions: 21 x 14 ½ x 11 ¼ in.
Inscription: (On back:) Henry Inman, Esqr. N.A. by Ball Hughes, Sculpt (On back of base:)
Description: Portrait bust of Henry Inman, his head turned to the right. New York Jan. 4th 1837 / original model / taken from life signed.
Owner: National Academy of Design
Exhibitions: National Academy of Design Sixteenth Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York, 1841, (no. 338).
Partial description of the bust of Henry Inman from the National Academy eMuseum entry for Robert Ball Hughes:
Hughes modeled this bust in New York when he was at the peak of his career and producing his finest portrait work. In the previous decade Henry Inman had established himself as New York's leading painter of portraits, a position enhanced early in 1829 when he won the commission to produce a likeness of Governor Martin Van Buren for City Hall. Hughes surely knew of Inman from his first days in New York, having arrived there the year of the Van Buren commission, a much-publicized event. 

Henry Inman & Ball Hughes

    Henry Inman (1801-1846) was the leading portrait painter of his time according to AskART - The Artists’ Bluebook. Inman was active in the New York where he established a studio and was one of the founders of the National Academy of Design in 1825–26.
    The Ball Hugheses were living in New York from 1829 to 1838, at the same time as Inman. See New York: 1829-1838 on this site for more information about the Ball Hugheses in New York at that time.
    According to David B. Dearinger in "Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, Volume I, 1826-1925," New York, NY: Hudson Hills Press, (National Academy of Design), 2004. pp. 288-289, Ball Hughes became an Honorary Member of the NAD in 1833. In the same year, Ball Hughes was elected a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Fine Arts, a rival to the NAD, that was founded by Ball Hughes’s benefactor, Col. John Trumbull
    According to Dearinger, p. 289: “It is not known whether the two artist’s were friends, but the intelligence and beneficence evident in Hughes’s bust of Inman would suggest that they at least respected one another professionally.”
    The discovery of a Portrait of Augusta Ball Hughes by Henry Inman leads me to believe that the two men were very close, like John Trumbull and Ball Hughes were, and Auguste Edouart in the 1840's. In both of these cases the artists did works of each other and Ball Hughes's family members. The portrait may have been done in exchange for Ball Hughes’s bust of Henry Inman or as a courtesy.
last update 3/26/2013
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