🎂 Happy Birthday, Judith! John Singleton Copley’s oil portrait of early American women’s rights advocate and Gloucester native, Judith Sargent Murray, circa 1770-72, captures the 18 year old Judith in an alluring Turquerie costume, which is believed to belong to the artist. In spite of the sensuous, fluid garments, there is no mistaking Judith’s steely and determined gaze. This is a woman of power!
To celebrate Judith’s birthday, another young Gloucester woman recreates Copley’s original portrait, capturing both the sensual and determined spirit of the original subject. Please celebrate with us by sharing your own interpretation of this stunning portrait on social media and using #JudithSargentOnCanvas!
Learn more about Judith and her life in Gloucester at www.sargenthouse.org.
Thanks to model Natalie Zaffiro and photographer Nick Zaffiro!
GLOUCESTER, MA –The Sargent House Museum is currently hosting eighteenth-century inspired fashion. Created for The Folklore Theatre Company’s 2015 production of “The Medium, or Virtue Triumphant” the four outfits on exhibit at the historic home are based on patterns for dresses and suits popular between 1780-1805.
Judith Sargent Murray lived in the Sargent House between 1782-1793. She wrote plays including “The Medium, or Virtue Triumphant,” one novel, and a breadth of essays, poems, and letters. She was the first American playwright to have her work produced in Boston. A leading advocate of women’s rights, Sargent Murray deeply valued education, representation in government, and the right to work. Her pieces often focused on these issues. She enjoyed a celebrated reputation as a notable author, devoted Universalist, and friend of prominent figures such as John and Abigail Adams. The Sargent House Museum hosts remarkable examples of early American furnishings, artifacts owned by the Sargent family, and an incredible art collection including pieces by Fitz Henry Lane and John Singer Sargent. The costumes on display range from an everyday dress, to an evening gown and a wealthy man’s formal suit. These costumes were designed by Christine Curtis, Costume Designer. Through extensive research and amazing attention to detail, Curtis created these outfits worn by the actors in Henry Allen’s 2015 production. Representative of the fashions Sargent Murray would have encountered, the dresses and suit on loan from The Folklore Theatre Company will be on display this summer.
Tour the Sargent House Museum to learn more about Judith Sargent Murray’s enduring legacy and see these incredible pieces. The museum is located at 49 Middle Street in Gloucester and open to the public every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are offered on the hour. While you’re there browse the free exhibit “’Forever Endeared:’ 100 Years at the Sargent House Museum.” Visit sargenthouse.org to learn more.