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Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin (Sarah Morris)
Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin (Sarah Morris), 1773
John Singleton Copley, American
Oil on ticking
61 5/8 x 48 inches (156.5 x 121.9 cm)
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Bequest of Mrs. Esther F. Wistar to The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1900, and acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art by mutual agreement with the Society through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr., and significant contributions from Stephanie S. Eglin, and other donors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as the George W. Elkins Fund and the W. P. Wilstach Fund, and through the generosity of Maxine and Howard H. Lewis to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1999
EW1999-45-1
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Let’s Look

  • What are the people in this painting doing? How can you tell?
  • How might they be feeling and what could they be thinking about? What makes you think so?
  • What do you think the relationship between the man and woman might be? What do you see that makes you say that?

Let’s Look Again

  • Where do you think the artist wanted us to look? How do you know?
  • What do you think the artist is telling us about each person’s personality?
  • If these people could talk, what do you think they would say to each other? What do you think they would say to us?

Connect and Compare

  • Investigate who supported the colonists (and who did not) before and during the American Revolution. What factors contributed to their political positions?
  • Research women’s roles in colonial America. What rights did women have? What rights were they denied? What roles did they serve in society? How did they contribute to politics, business, religion, and social action?
  • Copley painted the Mifflins’ portrait when they were in Boston for a visit. Research how people traveled from Philadelphia to Boston in 1773. How long would it have taken for them to get there?

 

Related Art Project

Create a portrait of someone that sends a message about who the person is and his or her beliefs. Whom will you choose? What is important to him or her? How will you symbolize that? What objects will you include in the picture? What are the person’s unique characteristics? How will you convey those traits?
 

For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at (215) 684-7580, by fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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