Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I am honored at this request; my great grandmother Carrie and her similarity to my Samuel Meeker portrait. My answer? Yes, of course.

I received an interesting email, see below.  Carrie [Martin] Cory, my great-grandmother, brought the Samuel Meeker portrait to California from New Jersey.  The portrait was passed to her through her father (Thomas Mulford Martin), both direct descendents of Phoebe Meeker (twin of Samuel who received the portrait as a gift on their 40ieth birthday.)  For more on Carrie's story and provenance of the painting, click here.   My great-grandfather Lewis Cory and wife Carrie Cory are of course in the history of provenance of the Meeker painting, as I am, now.
Does Carrie have an incredible resemblance to Samuel Meeker?  I say, yes!  It is simply astonishing.
After marrying Lewis, Carrie left New Jersey, to live in Fresno California.  Lewis was one of the first practicing attorneys there having received his law degree from Columbia.  She received the portrait because there was no male sibling, and her two sisters remained childless.
Phoebe Meeker was Carrie's great-grandmother.  Carrie is my great-grandmother.

Good morning,

Just looking through your blog again for a Gilbert Stuart boost for my day, observing his use of color on foreheads, cheeks, and eyes, which I think is the most obvious characteristic that we notice first when looking at a possible Stuart. 

The photo of Carrie Martin in your post from June 24, 2014 struck me as being lit and composed very much as Stuart would have set up a sitter for having a portrait done. The main difference I think is that her head is not turned quite as much as Stuart would have done, so her eyes are then turned more to look directly at the photographer. 

Which brings me to a question that you will probably think is odd. What would you say to the idea of a painting of Carrie in Stuart's style? I am an (amateur) artist - you can check out a few of my pieces on facebook - and doing a painting in Stuart's technique would be tremendous fun and great practice for me. I am not suggesting that you commission a work. It is just an idea that intrigues me, but I would not use your photograph for such a purpose without your permission.

If you are OK with the idea, I'll go ahead, though at a somewhat smaller size than Stuart would have done. Would you be able to tell me what color Carrie's hair and eyes probably were? In the photo, her hair looks light brown or auburn and her eyes look possibly light blue. 

Please let me know what you think.

Jeanne Grimsby


Yes Carrie's hair would have been auburn, and quite possibly her eyes were blue.  Her son (my grandfather Benjamin Hyde Cory) had blue eyes, as does my mother Carolyn [Cory] Ahrens. Ben and his daughter (my mom) are also in the provenance of the painting; another amazing story!  Although Ben could have inherited his blue eyes from Lewis.

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