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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Alvan Fisher, American (Needham, MA 1792 - 1863 Dedham, MA)
Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776 - 1832)
Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832)
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
91.6 x 66.6 cm (36 1/16 x 26 1/4 in.)
framed: 120.7 x 103.5 x 9.5 cm (47 1/2 x 40 3/4 x 3 3/4 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Dr. J. Mason Warren, purchase, 1863; Dr. John Collins Warren; his gift (through Dr. Harvey Cushing) to the Warren Museum, Harvard Medical School, 1927.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Dr. John Collins Warren through Dr. Harvey Cushing to the Warren Museum, Harvard Medical School, 1927
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Probably Boston Athenaeum. Fine Arts Department, exh. cat. (1833), cat. 12
  • 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. 67
  • Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), pp. 128-129
  • Alan Burroughs, Limners and Likenesses: Three Centuries of American Painting, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 127
  • Anthony A. Walsh, "The American Tour of Dr. Spurzheim.", Journal of the History of Medicine (November 1972), vol. XXVII, p. 198n.
  • William H. Gerdts, The Art of Healing: Medicine and Science in American Art, exh. cat., Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL, 1981), p. 40, ill. p. 41
  • Andrew Oliver, Ann Millspaugh Huff, and Edward W. Hanson, Portraits in the Massachusetts Historical Society: An Illustrated Catalogue with Descriptive Matter, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, MA, 1988), p. 97
  • Stefan Schatzki, "Medicine in American Art: Johann Caspar Spurzheim", American Journal of Roentgenology (November 1998), vol. 171, p. 1296, ill. p. 1296
  • Charles Colbert, A Measure of Perfection: Phrenology and the Fine Arts in America (Chapel Hill, NC, 2009), p. 16-17, ill.
  • 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. 205-207, cat. 156, ill.

Exhibition History

  • Probably Boston Athenaeum, Boston Athenaeum, Boston

Verification Level

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