Portrait of George Burnham

Cecilia Beaux, American, 1855 - 1942

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

47 3/4 x 41 3/8 inches (121.3 x 105.1 cm) Framed: 53 x 46 1/2 inches (134.6 x 118.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. George Burnham III, 1986

Social Tags [?]

philadelphia artist [x]  

[Add Your Own Tags]


The two sides of George Burnham (1817-1912) are expressed in this simultaneously dignified and informal portrait. An engineer who became the chief financial officer of Philadelphia's world-famous Baldwin Locomotive Works, Burnham was also a dedicated member of the First Swedenborgian Church.

Cecilia Beaux, the favored portrait painter of Philadelphia's elite, depicts Burnham in a somber business suit, but sitting in a stylishly rustic chair on the porch of his summer house at Lake George, New York. Against a backdrop of pines that hints at his spiritual connection to nature, he holds a book that may be one of the many church publications he sponsored.