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Elle Shushan

Portrait of Laura Maria Wolcott by Anson Dickinson, Litchfield, CT, 1831

Portrait of Laura Maria Wolcott of Litchfield, Connecticut by Anson Dickinson, 1831


     Laura Maria Wolcott (1811-1827) was the great-granddaughter of Roger Wolcott, colonial governor of Connecticut, her grandfather, Oliver Wolcott was a signer of the Declaration and Governor of Connecticut, her uncle Oliver was also Governor. Laura’s father was Judge Frederick Wolcott. The youngest of six children, Laura attended the Litchfield Female Academy (Miss Pierce’s School). In 1827 she met Robert Gosman Rankin of New York, a student at the Litchfield Law School, whom she married in 1831. The couple, who lived in New York City, would have twelve children. Laura’s journals are in the Wolcott Collection in the Litchfield Historical Society. Her wedding gown is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

    Anson Dickinson, a native of Milton, Connecticut, only five miles from Litchfield, painted several members of the Wolcott family; Frederick Wolcott in 1829, and his three daughters on December 15, 16, and 17, 1831. 

     Set in the original leather case, the lid now missing. 

     Sight: 3 9/16 inches high.

     During the first half of the 19th century, Anson Dickinson (1779-1852) was one of the most important miniaturists in America. A native of Milton, Connecticut, Dickinson was established as a miniaturist in Hartford by 1802 and in New York City by 1804.  Itinerant by choice, between 1810 and 1846, Dickinson worked in New York, Albany, Charleston, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, New Haven, Litchfield, Buffalo and Montreal.  His account book covers 48 years, documenting over 1500 miniatures.  Dickinson’s distinguished clientele included Edward Livingston (Metropolitan Museum of Art), General Jacob Brown, Washington Irving, General P. B. Porter, Sam Houston and Gilbert Stuart (New York Historical Society).