The sitter [1791-1872]; by descent to her granddaughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Hoadley [1858-1946], Chicago. (C.W. Lyon, New York); sold 26 January 1917 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York; (sale, American Art Association, New York, 7 January 1919, no. 24); E. T. Heckscher. Again Thomas B. Clarke by December 1921; his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection on 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1947 to NGA.
- Exhibition of Paintings by Early American Portrait Painters, The Union League Club, New York, December 1921, no. 12.
- A Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Early American Portrait Painters, The Century Association, New York, 1928, no. 16.
- Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-1931, unnumbered and unpaginated catalogue.
- Loan for display with permanent collection, Berkshire Athenaeum Public Library, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1971-1983.
- Cary, Elisabeth L. "Americans of the Past." The New York Times, 25 May 1928.
- Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928, unnumbered.
- Bolton, Theodore and Irwin F. Cortelyou. Ezra Ames of Albany: Portrait Painter, Craftsman, Royal Arch Mason, Banker, 1768-1836. New York, 1955: 255, no. 211.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 10, repro.
- Gilman, William H. Melville's Early Life and Redburn. New York, 1972: 10-11.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 20, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 21 repro.
- Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 7-9, color repro.
The panel, 0.9-1.1 cm thick and most likely of poplar, has a vertical grain and was tangentially cut. The reverse of the panel is stained with dark red paint. The off-white ground was scored to resemble a fine twill fabric, with subsequent paint applied in multiple layers, both wet-over-dry and wet-into-wet. Paint application is thin, with the exception of the raised areas of jewelry and lace. The varnish has yellowed considerably.