Anna Fenn Parker (Mrs. John Van Schaick Lansing) Pruyn
Charlotte Burt Kirkham (1856-1933)
Watercolor on ivory in gold frame with pearls
Signed and dated, lower left: Charlotte Kirkham 1897
Gift of Huybertje Lansing Pruyn (Mrs. Charles S.) Hamlin
Invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 meant that painted miniatures were headed for extinction. More and more people let cameras capture their likeness, but there was a resurgence of interest in painted miniature portraits in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For patrons familiar with family miniatures from earlier periods, continuing a tradition was an important element in bringing about the revival of painted miniatures one last time before photography triumphed. The sitter was eulogized as a leader of Albany society, a "representative through more than half a century of all that was best by choice and tradition in American social life."