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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Unidentified Artist
William Stoughton (1631-1701)
William Stoughton (1631-1701)
Work Type
c. 1700
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
127 x 106 cm (50 x 41 3/4 in.)
framed: 147.3 x 127.6 x 6 cm (58 x 50 1/4 x 2 3/8 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Presumably commissioned by William Stoughton or his family; descended to the Cooper family through the marriage of Stoughton's niece, Mehitable Minot (1668-1738), daughter of Stoughton's sister, Hannah Stoughton Minot (c. 1637-1670); to Thomas Cooper (c. 1660-1705); descended through the Cooper family to General John Cooper (1765-1845) of Cooper, Maine; his gift to Harvard College, 1810.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of John Cooper to Harvard College, 1810
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Samuel G. Drake, The History and Antiquities of Boston (Boston, MA, 1856), p. 524
  • Josiah Quincy, The History of Harvard University, Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Co. (Boston, MA, 1860), pp. 180, 194
  • Justin Winsor, The Memorial History of Boston, James R. Osgood & Co. (Boston, MA, 1881), vol. II, 166
  • Frederick Tuckerman, "Thomas Cooper of Boston and his Descendants", The New-England Historical & Geneaological Register (1890), vol. XLIV, pp. 53-61
  • William Garrott Brown, A List of Portraits in the Various Buildings of Harvard University, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, 1898), p. 39
  • Alice Morse Earle, Two Centuries of Costume in America, The Macmillan Company (New York, NY, 1903), Vol. I, pp. 209, 258, ill. opp. p. 260
  • Louisa Dresser, XVIIth Century Painting in New England, exh. cat., Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA, 1935), pp. 25, 97, 143-147, 176, ill. p. 145
  • Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 130
  • Alan Burroughs, Limners and Likenesses: Three Centuries of American Painting, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 25, fig. 19
  • 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. 393, cat. 2075
  • Virgil Barker, American Painting: History and Interpretation, The Macmillan Company (New York, 1950), p. 30
  • American Processional, 1492-1900, exh. cat., The National Capital Sesquicentennial Commission and Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC, 1950), p. 234, cat. 13, ill. p. 40
  • Index of American Cultures, Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum (Winterthur, DE, 1957)
  • Annals of America, Encyclopaedia Britannica (Chicago, IL, 1968 - 1969), vol. I
  • Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 2, ill.
  • John Wilmerding, ed., The Genius of American Painting, William Morrow & Company (New York, 1973), ill. p. 31
  • John Wilmerding, American Art, Penguin Books (New York, 1976), p. 20, pl. 14
  • Bernard Bailyn, The Great Republic : A History of the American People, D. C. Heath and Co. (Lexington, MA, 1980), p. 117, ill.
  • Michael Quick, American Portraiture in the Grand Manner: 1720-1920, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1981), p. 13, fig. 8
  • Sandra Grindlay, "Harvard's Portraits: An American Treasure", Harvard University Art Museums Review (Fall 1992), vol. II, no. 1, pp. 6-7, p.6, ill.
  • Biography of William Stoughton, Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society (Boston, MA, 1992), p.
  • James Stoughton, My Savage Ancestor, EPS Printing (South Windsor, CT, 2000?), repr. on p. 23
  • John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, and Robert Shenton, Harvard A to Z, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 277
  • Richard Francis, Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience, Harper Collins (US) (New York, NY, 2005), ill. p. 107
  • 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. 21, 30, 498-500, cat. 463, ill.
  • Stacy Schiff, The Witches: Salem, 1692, Little, Brown & Company (New York, 2015), repr.
  • Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Inventing Boston: Design, Production, and Consumption, 1680-1720, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Yale University Press (New Haven and London, 2019), p. 14, repr. as fig. 9

Exhibition History

  • XVIIth Century Painting in New England, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, 07/01/1934 - 08/31/1934
  • American Processional: 1492-1900, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 01/01/1950 - 12/31/1950
  • Samuel Sewall and His Contemporaries, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 04/17/1959 - 05/21/1959
  • Four Centuries of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 11/27/1963 - 01/19/1964
  • American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972
  • Marks of Achievement: Four Centuries of American Presentation Silver, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 09/18/1987 - 01/03/1988; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 08/03/1988 - 10/30/1988
  • The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/29/1995 - 05/13/2001

Related Works

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