Exhibitions/ Art Object

William Duguid (born 1747?)

Prince Demah Barnes
Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 20 3/4 × 15 3/4 × 1 1/8 in. (52.7 × 40 × 2.9 cm)
Framed: 22 1/2 × 17 1/2 × 1 1/2 in. (57.2 × 44.5 × 3.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Friends of the American Wing Fund, 2010
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 747
In February 1773 Prince Demah Barnes painted this portrait of William Duguid, a Scottish immigrant textile importer living in Boston. Part of the painting's appeal comes from the floral pattern on Duguid's softly draped chintz banyan. The textile appears to be printed cotton of either Indian or European manufacture. Newspaper advertisements record Duguid as active in the Boston textile trade at least between 1769 and 1772 and suggest that he specialized in importing fine woolen goods from London and Glasgow.
Inscription: inscribed in ink on the wood: WD AEtatis sui 26 1773/ Prince Demah Barnes Sculpt--- (crossed out) Pinxit Febry (sic) 1773
The seller of the painting, Gerald E. Roy, purchased it in 1998 from Foster Smith Boothby. A copy of that bill of sale was sent with the painting. The painting descended in the Duguid/Smith/Boothby family to Foster Smith Boothby as follows: William Duguid (1747-?) the sitter to his daughter Mary Duguid (Smith) (1772-1855) to her son Edward T. Smith (1807-1885) to his son Edward H. F. Smith (1844-ca. 1910) to his daughter Ethyl H. Smith (Boothby) (1881-1959) to her son Foster Smith Boothby (1916-2004). William Duguid was born in Scotland, possibly Aberdeen. He was in Boston, MA by 1770, when advertisements for his imported goods business appear in Boston newspapers. His daughter Mary was born in Boston in 1772; she married Col. John Tyng Smith in Boston in 1798, and they moved to Gorham, Maine, where the family continued to live (and the painting remained) until Foster Smith Boothby moved to Boyleston, MA in the 1950s.
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