Dolley Madison

National Portrait Gallery

Dolley Madison

Artist
William S. Elwell, 1810 - 12 Aug 1881
Sitter
Dolley Dandridge Payne Todd Madison, 20 May 1768 - 12 Jul 1849
Exhibition Label
Born near Guilford, North Carolina
Dolley Madison served as White House hostess during the administrations of the widowed Thomas Jefferson and her own husband, James Madison. Her effervescence doubtless accounted, in part at least, for the popularity of Madison's presidency in its last several years. After the end of Madison's term in 1817, Dolley helped her husband put his papers in order, selling a portion of them to Congress after his death.
William Elwell painted Dolley Madison's portrait in February 1848 and later sold it to her longtime friend William Winston Seaton, editor and co-owner of the Washington, D.C. newspaper The National Intelligencer. The portrait offers a glimpse of the aging Mrs. Madison, described by the artist in his diary as "a very Estimable lady-kind & obliging-one of the Old School."
Provenance
Belle Morse Johnson, Washington, D.C.; purchased 1974 NPG
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
1848
Object number
NPG.74.6
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 76.8 x 64.1 x 3.2cm (30 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 1 1/4")
Frame: 90.8 x 77.5 x 8.9cm (35 3/4 x 30 1/2 x 3 1/2")
Exhibition
Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States
On View
NPG, West Gallery 240
National Portrait Gallery
Topic
Costume\Jewelry\Earring
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Dolley Dandridge Payne Todd Madison: Female
Dolley Dandridge Payne Todd Madison: Politics and Government\First Lady\First Lady of US
Dolley Dandridge Payne Todd Madison: Society and Social Change\Socialite
Portrait
Record ID
npg_NPG.74.6
GUID (Link to Original Record)
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm47b384206-1281-42c0-933f-3afd1d38026b