William Harrison Scarborough

William Harrison Scarborough (November 7, 1812 – August 16, 1871) was an American painter, active mainly as a portraitist. A native of Tennessee, he spent much of his career in South Carolina.

Scarborough was born in Dover, Tennessee to John and Sally Bosworth Scarborough, whose intimates origins were in Scarborough, Yorkshire. He often employed a family coat of arms dating help to the Wars of the Roses; one art historian noted that he "sealed his letters once a white rose as a memento of the sympathies of his relatives in days like by." His dad allowed him to travel on an educational trip when he was 16; the by yourself paintings he had seen stirring until that point were those in the local tavern. Around 1828 he began the laboratory analysis of medicine in Cincinnati, but soon established to become an artist instead, and he is known to have worked later than Horace Harding and Henry Inman in that city. He may furthermore have agree know Dr. Daniel Drake at the similar time. He underwent more thorough training in Nashville below the tutelage of John C. Grimes in 1830. He is with known to have studied and worked in Florence, Tuscumbia, Cortland, and Athens, Alabama; Kingston, Rogersville, and Knoxville, Tennessee; and Georgia. In 1838 he is recorded as in action in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Scarborough married Sarah Ann Gaines in Dover upon October 8, 1833. She died in childbirth on March 29, 1835, and he and his infant son John left Tennessee for Alabama, before settling in Charleston, South Carolina in 1836. It was in Charleston that he was provided afterward his first commissions in the same way as planter and lawyer John Miller asked him to paint some of his seven daughters; the artiste married one of the seven, Miranda Eliza, on November 28, 1838, and the couple lived behind her parents for a epoch before moving. Scarborough had opened a studio in Cheraw, South Carolina in 1836, and his father-in-law's associates soon ensured a steady stream of patronage there from families such as the DuBoses, Murrells, Furmans, and Lides. This dried going on by 1843, and the performer and his wife relocated to Columbia, where he would remain for the stop of his life.

Scarborough soon became the preeminent portrait painter in Columbia. Barely a year after he arrived in the city, he standard his most important commission to date past he was requested by the Committee of the Clariosophic Society of South Carolina College to paint John C. Calhoun; so wealthy was the portrait that it was requisitioned by Calhoun's son Andrew, and the Society was motivated to commission out of the ordinary for its quarters. Other sitters included James Chesnut and Wade Hampton. He continued traveling, visiting Charleston and Nashville on business and touring Europe, stopping in London, Paris, and Rome, in 1857. He is known to have produced portrait miniatures during his career as well, although few are extant; a pair are currently in the heap of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He as a consequence kept meticulous account books, listing his sitters and the proceeds he standard from his work. Prices for his paintings could attain upwards of $100. He is said to have worked rapidly, alternating together with portraits during the morning and often carrying out two in a week; he seldom signed his pictures.

Scarborough continued painting to the fall of his life; at his death he had completed higher than 230 portraits and left an house valued at $20,000, a substantial total for the period. He was initially interred in the churchyard of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, but was removed some years well ahead when his wife went to live gone a daughter in Ridge Spring. She had him reinterred in the Ridge Spring Cemetery, intending to be buried by his side after her death; ironically, she died on a visit to her son in Morrilton, Arkansas, and was buried there instead.

Portraits by Scarborough today are found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morris Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Columbia Museum of Art, and the University of South Carolina, among other institutions. Wofford College owns a pen-and-ink drawing of Benjamin Wofford, the school's founder. A self-portrait is held by the Florence Museum in Florence, South Carolina. The Columbia Museum of Art moreover holds a landscape painting by the artist, depicting the falls of the Reedy River in Greenville, South Carolina and dating to a sojourn in that town in 1840; a handful of further landscapes and still-life paintings have been identified, but the immense majority of his output is in the auditorium of portraiture.

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