Sally Holmes, Alfred, 1820

Contributed by Parsons Memorial Library


Sarah Brooks Holmes (1773-1835), known as Sally, lived in Alfred with her husband, John Holmes who was instrumental in Maine's separation from Massachusetts and was one of Maine's first senators after statehood.

Trained as a lawyer, Ethan Allen Greenwood turned to painting portraits in 1801. By 1813, he was painting full time, establishing a studio near the State House in Boston—likely where Senator John Holmes of Alfred, Maine met him and how Greenwood came to paint Sally Holmes's portrait. Greenwood was a meticulous bookkeeper, and recorded painting both John Holmes and Sally Holmes's portraits in 1820 on June 27 and 28, respectively, in Boston.

Greenwood was one of the first museum proprietors in America, opening the New England Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts in Boston in 1818, with satellites in Portland in 1823 and Providence Rhode Island in 1824. His collection later became the basis of many Massachusetts museums like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Peabody Museum at Harvard.

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About This Item

  • Title: Sally Holmes, Alfred, 1820
  • Creator: Greenwood, Ethan Allen
  • Creation Date: 1820-06-28
  • Subject Date: 1820-06-28
  • Town: Alfred
  • County: York
  • State: ME
  • Media: Oil on board
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Parsons Memorial Library
27 Saco Road, Alfred, ME 04002
(207) 324-2001

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