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Nehemiah Partridge

American, 1683 - c. 1737

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In 1980 Mary Black proposed that Nehemiah Partridge may be the anonymous artist recognized variously by the appellations "Schuyler Limner" and "Aetatis Suae Limner".

Nehemiah Partridge, one of four members of his family known to have borne this name, was one of five children of Col. William Partridge (c. 1652-1728) and Mary Brown, who were married in Newbury, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1680. Their children were all born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Nehemiah on March 9, 1683. As attested by a writ for nonpayment for twenty gallons of linseed oil sold to Dr. Lancelot Lake in October 1712, Nehemiah was in Boston by that time, working as a japanner, with a shop on the Mill Bridge. His advertisements specified wholesale and retail sales of all sorts of paints and oils, and japanning and painting to be done at reasonable rates. He worked in Boston at least into 1714, and was made a freeman in New York City in 1718, giving his profession as limner. He is also recorded that same year in New York as the former master of an apprentice, James Smith. Sometime before 1732, Nehemiah married Mary Halsey, the granddaughter of the Boston mathematician James Halsey. He was almost certainly still living when his father died in 1729, but his mother's will of 1737 leaves pieces of silver to the children of her "late son Nehemiah", establishing that he left descendants and that his career was cut short by death at an early age.

Artist Bibliography

Black, Mary C. "Contributions Toward A History of Early Eighteenth-Century New York Portraiture: The Identification of the Aetatis Suae and Wendell Limners." The American Art Journal 12 (Autumn 1980): 4-31.
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 334-335.

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