Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
Dorothy Murray (1743-1811)
Work Type
c. 1759-1761
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
92.1 x 71.4 cm (36 1/4 x 28 1/8 in.)
framed: 106.1 x 85.7 cm (41 3/4 x 33 3/4 in.)
Elizabeth Murray Robbins, the sitter’s sister; to James Murray Robbins, her son; to Sarah Forbes Hughes, 1915; to Dorothea Hughes (Mrs. David) Simmons, 1929; her gift to the Fogg Art Museum, 1929.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mrs. David Simmons
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

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. 55-56

Susan I. Leslie, Recollections of my Mother, Ellis (Boston, MA, 1886), pp. 69-70

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), pp. 107-108

Theodore Bolton and Henry Lorin Binsse, "John Singleton Copley", The Antiquarian (New York, NY, December 1930), pp. 116-118., p. 118

Loan Exhibition of One Hundred Colonial Portraits, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1930), p. 58 (correct caption), ill. p. 38 (with incorrect caption)

"Complete List of Works in Chicago Century of Progress Exhibition, part two", Art News (June 3, 1933), vol. XXXI, no. 36, pp. 6-7, p. 6

[Unidentified article], Art Digest (May 15, 1933), vol. VII, no. 16, p. 34

Daniel Catton Rich, Catalogue of a Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture Lent from American Collections, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL, 1933), p. 57, no. 412, pl. LXXX

A Survey of American Painting, exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD, 1934), no. 1, p. 9

Fogg Art Museum Handbook, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1936), ill. p. 106

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. 137-138, pl. 36

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. 281, cat. 1502

James Thomas Flexner, American Painting: First Flowers of Our Wilderness, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, MA, 1947), ill. p. 242

Fogg Art Museum and Benjamin Rowland, Jr., Real and Ideal in American Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, Summer 1948), cat. 1

William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture from American College and University Collections: Inaugural Exhibition, exh. cat. (Chapel Hill, NC, 1958), no. 49

Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1966), vol. 1, p. 34, 100, 224, pl. 96

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1967), cat. 3

Alfred V. Frankenstein, The World of Copley: 1738-1815, Time-Life Books (New York, NY, 1970), p. 32, ill.

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. 6, ill.

Carol Troyen, The Boston Tradition: American Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, exh. cat., American Federation of Arts (New York, NY, 1980), p. 60

William J. Shank, "John Singleton Copley's Portraits: A Technical Study of Three Representative Examples" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, July 1983), Unpublished, pp. 1-45 passim

William J. Shank, "John Singleton Copley's Portraits: A Technical Study of Three Representative Examples", Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (Washington, D.C., 1984), vol. 23, pp. 130-152, p. 152

John Caldwell, Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, and Dale T. Johnson, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born by 1815, ed. Kathleen Luhrs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University Press (New York, NY and Princeton, NJ, 1994), p. 53

Paul J. Staiti, "Character and Class", John Singleton Copley in America, ed. Carrie Rebora Barratt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1995-1996), p. 60

Pamela Parmal, Women's Work: Embroidery in Colonial Boston, MFA Publications (Boston, MA, 2012), pp. 110-111, 165, fig. 69

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. 126-127, cat. 78, ill.

Exhibition History

Loan Exhibition of One Hundred Colonial Portraits: Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/19/1930 - 09/21/1930

A Century of Progress Art Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 06/01/1933 - 11/01/1933

A Survey of American Painting, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 01/10/1934 - 02/28/1934

Real and Ideal in American Art, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1948 - 09/01/1948

Inaugural Exhibition, William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Chapel Hill, 09/20/1958 - 10/20/1958

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 05/08/1967 - 06/11/1967

American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at