on reverse, hidden by lining: Dr. Holbrook of / S.Carolina / 1856 or 7
The artist, New York; his estate, in 1908. (sale, Anderson Galleries, New York, 26 November 1920, no. 90); Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York; his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1947 to NGA.
- Memorial Exhibition of Works by the Late Daniel Huntington, N.A., Century Association, New York, 1908, no. 28.
- Exhibition of Portraits by Early American Portrait Painters, The Union League Club, New York, 1923, no. 14.
- A Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Early American Portrait Painters, The Century Association, New York, 1928, no. 9.
- 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, as John Edwards Holbrook.
- Loan for display with permanent collection, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1967-1981.
- 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.
- Mansueti, Romeo. "Father of American Herpetology." Nature Magazine 43 (January 1950): repro. 19.
- Rutledge and Lane 1952, 124.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 70, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 179, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 208, 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: 337-339, repro.
The support is a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric that has been lined. Stenciled on the reverse of the original fabric is "Williams, Stevens, Williams & Co." The off-white ground is thin and smooth. The brushwork is predominately wet-into-wet, with fairly free strokes and a low impasto visible in the lighter areas. Paint loss is minimal, and there are only scattered areas of inpainting on the face and at lower right. A small tear has been mended at upper left. In 1962, the painting was lined and restored, and discolored varnish was removed.
 The inscription and partial stencil mark, recorded by a photograph in the NGA conservation files, are now concealed by the lining.