The portrait of Charles Prescott by Edmund Tarbell in original Walfred Thulin frame
The recent acquisition of a portrait of Portsmouth native Charles Prescott proved to be a ‘two-for-one’. Not only did we receive this portrait by Edmund Tarbell, an important Boston artist and a part-time New Castle resident, but we also have the black and gilded, hand-carved frame by Walfred Thulin, which is signed and dated 1935.
Tarbell (1862-1938) was recognized as an important American Impressionist painter and was renowned for his refined New England interiors as well as the vibrant paintings of his family, many of them produced in New Castle. He, along with Childe Hassam and Frank Weston Benson, was a member of the Ten American Painters of Boston and New York.
Thulin lived and worked in the Boston area, producing striking frames for artists and art collectors. His frames have become highly sought-after collectors’ items in their own right and are usually identified along with their paintings in descriptions and auction catalogs.
Charles Prescott (1853-1932) grew up in Portsmouth and made his fortune as a partner in Trask & Prescott, a retail business in Erie, Pennsylvania, founded in the late nineteenth century. After his death his fortune came to his sisters in Portsmouth, who dedicated the money to the foundation of Prescott Park, a park on the riverbank which is an attraction for Portsmouth families and visitors alike. The painting was a gift of the Barondes family and hangs in the Research Library at the Athenaeum.