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Identification and Creation

Object Number
John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
Thomas Hollis III (1659 - 1731)
Frame by Unidentified American Framemaker
Thomas Hollis III (1659-1731)
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
238.1 x 147.3 cm (93 3/4 x 58 in.)
framed: 279.7 × 181.6 × 13.3 cm (110 1/8 × 71 1/2 × 5 1/4 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Commissioned by the Harvard Corporation, 1765

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Commissioned by the Harvard Corporation, 1765
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Guernsey Jones, "The Hollis Portraits" (unpublished manuscript, Harvard Art Museums, n.d.).
  • Benjamin Peirce, A History of Harvard University, From its Foundation, in the Year 1636 to the Period of the American Revolution, Brown, Shattuck and Company (Cambridge, MA, 1833), p. 157, appendix p. 109
  • Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists: American Artist Life, Comprising Biographical and Critical Sketches of American Artists, Preceded by an Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of Art in America, Putnam (New York, NY, 1867), p. 72
  • Augustus Thorndyke Perkins, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, J. R. Osgood & Company (Boston, MA, 1873), pp. 72-73
  • William Garrott Brown, A List of Portraits in the Various Buildings of Harvard University, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, 1898), p. 23
  • Letters and Papers of John Singleton Copley and Henry Pelham, Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (New York, 1914 reprint), p. 75
  • Frank William Bayley, The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley: Founded on the Work of Augustus Thorndike Perkins, The Taylor Press (Boston, MA, 1915), p. 144
  • Cuthbert Lee, Early American Portrait Painters: The Fourteen Principal Earliest Native-born Painters, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1929), p. 74
  • Theodore Bolton and Henry Lorin Binsse, "John Singleton Copley", The Antiquarian (New York, NY, December 1930), pp. 116-118., p. 116
  • Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 75
  • Barbara N. Parker and Anne Bolling Wheeler, John Singleton Copley: American Portraits in Oil, Pastel and Miniature, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1938), pp. 104-105, pl. 72
  • Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, American Portraits, 1620-1825, found in Massachusetts, Volumes 1 and 2, Historical Records Survey (Boston, MA, 1939), p. 200, cat. 1056
  • Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 43-45, 218, pl. 158
  • Louise Todd Ambler, Early Science at Harvard: Innovators and Their Instruments, 1765 - 1865, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, December 1969-January 1970), pp. 1, 7,4 cat. 1, ill. opp. p. 1
  • Alison Shepherd Lewis, "John Singleton Copley and American Full-Length Portraits: The Project of Harvard Hall" (1969), Unpublished, pp. 7-12, 17
  • Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Annual Report, 1969-1970 (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 10, ill. p. 11
  • Christopher Reed, "New England Education's First Maecenas", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, October 1973), pp. 30-32, pp. 31-32, ill. p. 30.
  • Linda Ayres, Harvard Divided, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1976), pp. 151-152, cat. 86, ill.
  • Ellen G. Miles, "Portraits of the Heroes of Louisbourg, 1745-1751", American Art Journal (Winter 1983), vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 48-66, p. 50
  • Carol Troyen, "John Singleton Copley and the Grand Manner: 'Colonial Nathaniel Sparhawk'", Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (New York, NY, 1989), vol. 1, pp. 96-103, p. 101, fig. 4
  • Sandra Grindlay, "Harvard's Portraits: An American Treasure", Harvard University Art Museums Review (Fall 1992), vol. II, no. 1, pp. 6-7, p. 6
  • Morrison Heckscher and Leslie Greene Bowman, American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1992), p. 138
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, "Furniture as Social History: Gender, Property and Memory in the Decorative Arts", American Furniture, Chipstone Foundation (Milwaukee, WI, 1995), pp. 39-68, pp. 45-46, fig. 7
  • Carrie Rebora and Paul J. Staiti, John Singleton Copley in America, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1995), pp. 56, 82, 93, 156, ill. p. 5, fig. 2
  • John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, and Robert Shenton, Harvard A to Z, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 276
  • Kimberly Orcutt, Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 12
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press (U.S.) and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 20, 22, 24, 135-137, 426, cat. 84, ill.
  • Jonathan Shaw and Jennifer Carling, "The Lost Museum: Teachings of the Philosophy Chamber, Recreated", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 42-49, p. 42
  • Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 70, Plate 6; pp. 17-19, p. 23 Fig. 14, p. 35 Fig. 25 in Ethan W. Lasser's "Harvard's Teaching Cabinet"; p. 57 in María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui's "A Repository of Gifts"; pp. 181-183 in Aleksandr Bierig's "Transposition"; pp. 231-234, Figs. 11-12, 14-15 in Teri Hensick and Kate Smith's "Copley's Working Practice"; p. 259 in Andrew Gelfand's "Chronology"

Exhibition History

Related Works

Verification Level

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