The masts of ships docked on the Hudson River can be seen through the window of John Q. Aymar's home on Greenwich Street in New York, marking his success as an importer of rum and coffee from the West Indies. More to the point, his mercantile prowess is displayed in his richly furnished parlor, replete with fine carpets, draperies, and furniture in the latest fashion: a marble-top center table adorned with fruit and a paisley shawl, a pier table with a gilded mirror, and a sideboard. Aymar's wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, complete the scene of domestic harmony. Long attributed by the Aymar family to Samuel F. B. Morse, the painting has been reassigned to George Twibill, who was a student of Morse at the National Academy of Design. Twibill's rare works are unfailingly meticulous and charming, and here the expression of warmth is redoubled by the accuracy of the interior.
The Aymar family presented this painting to the Museum along with most of the furniture that is shown in it. It is thus not only a lovely portrait but also an extraordinary document of life in New York in the 1830s.
The painting has descended in the Aymar family to the present owners, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Grima Johnson.
The Johnsons have offered us the furniture that appears in the painting. We are investigating this offer. Further research on the family and their home will be undertaken.