Mrs. John Jones Schermerhorn (ca. 1810-1840)
Overall: 26 x 16 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. ( 66 x 41.9 x 24.1 cm )
inscribed: back of dress: "J. Crawford, Fect/Rome 1837"
Mary S. Hone was the daughter of the Hon. Philip Hone and Catharine (Dunscomb) Hone of New York. She was married to John Jones Schermerhorn (1806-1876) at Trinity Church on November 28, 1832. Her father had recorded, upon her engagement several months earlier: "Schermerhorn is a young man of most amiable disposition, good morals, agreeable deportment, and a gentleman, of a family with whom I shall consider it an honour to be allied." (The Diary of Philip Hone, 1928-1851, 1910, part 1, p. 60). On November 16, 1840, he wrote: "My heart sinks within me whenever my thoughts are concentrated upon the greatest grief which has ever oppressed it. . . . My dear, beloved Mary left this world of trouble and affliction, and, as I firmly and confidently believe, joined her sister angels in heaven, on Friday morning." (Ibid., part 2, p. 52). There were no children. Thomas Crawford had gone to Rome in 1835, the first American sculptor to take up permanent residence there. It was not until 1839 that he established his reputation as a sculptor with his statue of Orpheus (now owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). In the meantime, although he had been accepted as a student by the great neo-classicist Bertel Thorwaldsen, he produced portrait busts such as that of Mrs. Schermerhorn to help meet the expenses of his studio. After about 1840 Crawford did relatively few portrait busts, for his time was generally occupied with "ideal pieces" or full-length portrait statues.
Gift of Mrs. Mary Schermerhorn Fuller and Mr. Robert G. Hone
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.