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The collection’s more than 2,200 works include paintings, drawings and prints executed by significant early American architects, artists and engravers. William Thornton, Joseph Wright, Edward Savage, Walter Robertson and William Russell Birch are all represented.
Notable works include Robertson’s portrait miniature of George Washington, painted in Philadelphia in 1794 for Martha Peter; Edward Savage’s General Henry L. Knox, published in London in 1791; and Joseph Wright’s 1785 portraits, Charles Thomson and Hannah Harrison Thomson.
The collection also includes 10 oil paintings from the 1830s and 1840s by artist and topographical engineer William G. Williams, a son-in-law of Tudor Place’s founders, Thomas and Martha Peter.
Important works from the 20th century include the watercolor La Chiminée by Walter Gay and a 1920 portrait of Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter painted by Cecilia Beaux. Armistead Peter Jr. and Armistead Peter 3rd avidly collected contemporary engravings by Anders Zorn, Joseph Pennell and Frank Weston Benson, now held in the collection. Examples of prominent sculpture include Bessie Potter Vonnoh’s Goodnight, ca. 1910; the 1916 bronze miniature, Briseis, by Paul Howard Manship; and Sundown, by Alexander Phimister Procter.
Tudor Place’s collection includes Thomas Cheesman’s 1796 engraving, George Washington at the Battle of Trenton, which once adorned the central passage at Mount Vernon and was bequeathed to Martha Peter in 1802. Later generations of the family reacquired several additional engravings known to have hung at Mount Vernon, including The Washington Family by Edward Savage (1798) and prints after John Trumbull’s Death of General Montgomery in the Attack of Quebec and The Battle of Bunker Hill, to replace holdings dispersed within the family following Britannia Kennon’s death in 1911.
Highlights from the map collection include one of the earliest maps of Virginia, Nova Virginia Tabula, published in 1650; and Thomas Peter’s dissected copy of the 1792 Plan of the City of Washington by Thackara and Vallance.
The fine art collection contains over 100 works by American sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925), inherited by Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter, his stepdaughter and the wife of Armistead Peter 3rd. Among these works are several small bronzes designed by Bartlett and cast by Caroline’s mother, Suzanne Earle Ogden-Jones Bartlett; these include General Washington at Valley Forge (modeled in 1892; cast in 1927) and Poisson (1926); the original Poisson, cast in 1895, was exhibited at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The Bartletts encouraged the artistic tutelage of their son-in-law, Armistead Peter 3rd, whose prolific body of work in the collection includes over 1,500 pen and ink drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, and miniatures produced over a 60-year career.