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Charles Smith Gilmor
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Charles Smith Gilmor

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Waist-length portrait of Charles Smith Gilmor (1817-1866) of Baltimore, with brown hair and close-cropped beard, blue eyes, wearing a black coat with black velvet collar, dark green vest showing slightly, and a white shirt with a brown and white bow tie. Charles Smith Gilmor was the eighth son of William Gilmor. He was likely closely related to Robert Gilmor, the prominent Baltimore merchant and art collector. Charles also seems to have had an art collection, which included Old Masters and at least one contemporary work by William Sidney Mount, transferred to him by Robert. A Charles Gilmor is listed in the 1860 Baltimore city directory as Baltimore County's coal agent. Charles appears to have married twice, secondly to Charlotte Patterson (Christened 1820 in Baltimore) in 1839. Her parents are listed as Charlotte Nichols and Joseph Patterson, a wealthy iron merchant and importer who was elected president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1837. She appears to have moved in the same social circles as the Gilmor's. A portrait of her dated to ca. 1840-45 can be found in the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT (1976.12.3). It is approximately the same size as this miniature, and a section of the background is a very similar color. In addition the paint in some sections of both miniature has become translucent. The Yale miniature is likely in its original travaling case, whereas the Walters' portrait has been reworked for hanging. Husband and wife look in opposite directions, and therefore when the portraits were placed together with the husband on the left and the wife on the right would have looked towards one another. George Lethbridge Saunders was born in Bristol, England. The facts of his life are sparse. He exhibited in London between 1829 and 1839 and subsequently in 1851 and 1853. Evidence suggests Saunders spent the decade of the 1840s in the United States, where he exhibited works at the Apollo Art Association and at the Artists' Fund Society in Philadelphia. He is also known to have worked in Baltimore, Savannah and Charleston. After his return to England, little is known of his life or career. He died in Bristol in 1863. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York own several works by Saunders, including one with an inscription giving the location as Baltimore and the date as 1841, it is therefore possible that both the Walters and Yale portraits date from around that time, which was close to Charles Smith Gilmor's marriage to Charlotte Patterson in 1839.
Date Description Narrative
  • Four Centuries of Miniature Painting from the Collections of the A. Jay Fink Foundation, Inc. and A.J. Fink, Personally. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1958-1959.
Provenance Acquired by Abraham Jay Fink, Baltimore; by bequest to A. J. Fink Foundation, Inc., Baltimore, 1963; given to Walters Art Museum, 1963.
Credit Gift of the A. Jay Fink Foundation, Inc., Baltimore, in memory of Abraham Jay Fink, 1963

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watercolor on ivory
Accession Number
H excluding frame: 4 3/8 x W: 3 1/4 in. (11.11 x 8.26 cm); H with frame: 6 1/4 x W: 5 in. (15.88 x 12.7 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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