(1707 - 1765)

Joseph Badger (ca.1707–1765) was a portrait artist in Boston, Massachusetts in the 18th-century. He painted some 80 portraits of merchants, businessmen, clergy, and other notables, and their wives and children.


Badger was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to tailor Stephen Badger and Mercy Kettell. In 1731 he married Katharine Felch; they moved to Boston around 1733. He was a member of the Brattle Street Church.[1]

He "began his career as a house-painter and glazier, and ... throughout his life continued this work, besides painting signs, hatchments and other heraldic devices, in order to eke out a livelihood when orders for portraits slackened."[2]

Portrait subjects included:

·           James Bowdoin (1676-1747), father of Massachusetts governor James Bowdoin[3]

·           Elizabeth Campbell, wife of William Foye

·           William Cooper (1716-1743), pastor of the Brattle St. Church, Boston

·           Andrew Croswell (1709-1785), pastor of King's Chapel, Boston

·           Thomas Cushing (1696-1746), speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and father of Thomas Cushing

·           Thomas Dawes

·           Jonathan Edwards[4]

·           William Foye

·           Esther Orne Gardner (ca.1714-1755)[5]

·           Ellis Gray (1715-1753), pastor of Old North Church, Boston

·           John Haskins (1729-1814), grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson

·           John Homans (1753-1800), doctor

·           Joseph Jackson (1707-1790)

·           John Larrabee (1686-1792), commanding officer of Castle William, Massachusetts[6][7]

·           Rev. Dudley Leavitt (1720–1762)[8]

·           Mrs. Dudley Leavitt (née Mary Pickering) (1733–1805), sister of Timothy Pickering

·           Elizabeth Marion (1721-1746), wife of William Story, and grandmother of Joseph Story

·           John Marston (1715-1786), proprietor of Boston's Bunch-of-Grapes tavern during the revolution

·           Lois Orne, wife of William Paine (physician)[9]

·           Rebecca Orne[10]

·           Thomas Prince

·           William Scott, shoemaker, Boston[11]

·           Elizabeth Storer, wife of Boston merchant-shipowner Isaac Smith (1719-1787)[12][13]

·           William Tyler (1688-1758), business partner of Thomas Hancock

·           Cornelius Waldo (1684-1753)[14]

·           George Whitefield[15]

Badger died in Boston in May, 1765, when "taken with an apoplectic fit as he was walking in his garden, and expired in a few minutes after."[16]

Works by Joseph Badger are in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Historic New England's Phillips House, Salem, Mass.


1.    ^ Park. 1918; p.4.

2.    ^ Park. 1918; p.5

3.    ^ Park. 1918.

4.    ^ http://www.yale.edu/opa/arc-ybc/v32.n5/story14.html

5.    ^ http://collections.si.edu

6.    ^ Park. 1918.

7.    ^ http://www.worcesterart.org/Collection/Early_American/

8.    ^ Joseph Badger and His Work, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 51, Massachusetts HIstorical Society, Published by the Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 1918

9.    ^ Park. 1918.

10.  ^ In the portrait of Rebecca Orne as a child in the Worcester Art Museum, the sitter holds a squirrel. Badger incorporated an emblematic squirrel into some of his portraits; he "would seem to have the claim to primacy" of what later became a hot trend in colonial portraiture, common in the work of his contemporary John Singleton Copley. Cf. Roland E. Fleischer. Emblems and Colonial American Painting. American Art Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3 (1988); p.26

11.  ^ Susan Rather. Carpenter, Tailor, Shoemaker, Artist: Copley and Portrait Painting around 1770. Art Bulletin, v.79, No. 2, June 1997; p.288

12.  ^ Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

13.  ^ http://www.masshist.org/findingaids/doc.cfm?fa=fa0257

14.  ^ Park. 1918.

15.  ^ Portrait of Whitefield, ca.1750, attributed to Joseph Badger. Harvard University Portrait Collection.

16.  ^ Boston Evening Post, 05-13-1765; p.3.

External links

§  WorldCat

§  Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts. Joseph Badger (1707/8–1765).

§  Smithsonian American Art Museum. Inventory of works by Badger.

§  Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. Joseph Badger.

§  Cleveland Museum of Art. Portrait of Jeremiah Belknap, ca.1758.


Source: Wikipedia
Contributed by Anonymous
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