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History Conversations REWIND: James Alexander Simpson, An Example of Early Artists in America

July 15 - July 21

with James Johnston|
True artists were rare in the Mid-Atlantic in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Tobacco planters might pay for a portrait, but this was a luxury for the rich. Good, European-trained artists did not want to make the perilous ocean crossing for uncertain reward. This is why “primitive” or self-taught artists, like Georgetown’s James Alexander Simpson, are so important to our understanding of the colonial period. Through their portraits and landscapes, we can see how America and Americans looked before photographs were invented.
Originally aired April 2023
Available July 15 – July 21.


July 15
July 21


Montgomery History
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