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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Attributed to J. Whitfield, American (active 1828-1829)
Previously attributed to Bass Otis, American (Bridgewater, MA 1784 - 1861 Philadelphia, PA)
Thomas Nuttall (1786 - 1859)
Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859)
Work Type
c. 1828
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
74 x 61 cm (29 1/8 x 24 in.)
framed: 84.8 x 72.1 x 6.4 cm (33 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: on verso: I have an original oil painting of Mr. Nuttall painted for Mrs. Craigie and secured by me at her sale, which I shall be happy to contribute whenever a place shall occur for it." (letter of Edward Tuckerman, May 6, 1865)


Recorded Ownership History
Mrs. Craigie (probably Elizabeth Shaw Craigie, Cambridge, MA); purchased by Edward Tuckerman, Amherst, MA, c. 1841; his gift to Asa Gray for the Herbarium, Harvard College, 1865

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Professor Edward Tuckerman to Asa Gray for the University, 1865
Object Number
European and American Art

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Thomas Nuttall was the first professor of botany at Harvard.

Publication History

  • William Garrott Brown, A List of Portraits in the Various Buildings of Harvard University, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, 1898), p. 32
  • Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 102
  • Bil Gilbert, "A Somewhat Peculiar Fellow", Audubon (September 1979), p. 110
  • 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), p. 521, fn.3, p. 522, cat. 489, ill.
  • Carol Kuhn, Naturalists in the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Era: "They are a Perfect Nuisance", The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Jouranl, Museum of the Mountain Man: Sublette County Historical Society (2016), Vol. 10, pp. 72-93, p. 74, repr.
  • Jim Hardee, Hope Maintains Her Throne: The Western Expeditions of Nathaniel Wyeth, Volume II: 1834-1836, Museum of the Mountain Man: Sublette County Historical Society (Pinedale, Wyoming, 2018), p. 25, repr.
  • Andre A. Naranjo, "Honoring Sabin Berthelot: Nomenclature and Botanical History of Berthelotia DC. (Asteraceae, Inuleae)", WEBBIA: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography (2022), Vol. 77, no. 2-2022, pp. 207-229, p. 208, repr. as fig. C
  • William E. Davis, Jr., David M. Larson, David B. Donsker, and Dana R. Duxbury-Fox, The Nuttall Ornithological Club, 2016-2023, Nuttall Ornithological Club (Cambridge, MA, 2023), repr.

Verification Level

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