Gilbert Stuart
Born North Kingston, R.I., December 3, 1755.
Died Boston, Mass., July 9, 1828.

Francis Welch, about 18151
Oil on mahogany panel2
26 x 21 9/16 x 1/4 in. (66.1 x 54.7 x .7 cm)
Gift of Francis C. and E. Sohier Welch, 1997.152

Probably Francis Welch to his son Charles Alfred Welch (1815–1908); to his son Charles A. Welch, Jr. (1847–1926); to his nephew E. Sohier Welch, Esq. (1888–1948); to his second wife, Margaret Welch; to her stepson, Holmes Hinkley Welch (1921–1981); to his children, including Barbara Orlovsky; purchased in the early nineties by their uncles, Francis C. and E. Sohier Welch, great-great-grandsons of the sitter, who gave the portrait to the Worcester Art Museum.3

Boston Athenaeum 1828, 4, cat. no. 104.

Mason 1879, 276.

Welch 1907, 71.

Park 1926, II, 797–98, cat. no. 891; IV, 560.

American Portraits 1939, 450, cat. no. 2389.

Mount 1964, 377.

Perkins and Gavin 1980, 134.

"Stuart Portraits," Worcester Calendar, June–August 1998, 9.

Exhibition of Portraits, Painted by the Late Gilbert Stuart, Esq., Boston Athenaeum, Boston, August 4–September 1, 1828, cat. no. 104.

1. This portrait was previously published as Francis Welch, Esq. in Boston Athenaeum 1828, 4, cat. no. 104, and Mr. Francis Welch in Mason 1879, 276.

2. Wood identification is based on scientific analysis of the cell structure by dendrologist R. Bruce Hoadley, January 5, 2000.

3. Sohier Welch to Laura Mills, February 17, 2000, Worcester Art Museum curatorial files (hereafter cited as WAM files), Worcester, Mass.; Mason 1879, 276; and Park 1926, II, 798. Francis Welch and Margaret Crease Stackpole Welch (Mrs. Francis Welch) were on loan from Holmes Hinkley Welch to the Worcester Art Museum from January 6, 1972, to November 22, 1975. From April 1988 until they entered the collection of the Worcester Art Museum, the portraits were on long-term loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, from Barbara Orlovsky. Stephen Fisher, Registrar, Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, to Laura Mills, December 11, 1998, WAM files.