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Portrait of Mary Pennell Corbit

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Portrait of Mary Pennell Corbit

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

probably c. 1847

Probably Robert Street (1796–1865)

27 1/8 in x 21 7/8 in Oil on canvas

Gift of Helen H. Hallock in memory of A. Burtis Hallock


The painting has been relined and is housed in a new frame.

The portrait descended from Mary Pennell Corbit Naudain to Clara Jones Naudain Duer (1838–1880) to Helen Duer Councill (b. 1868); her daughter Helen Duer Councill (1903–1951) married Arthur Burtis  Hallock Jr., parents of the donor.

This portrait of Mary Pennell Corbit (1812–1875), daughter of Pennell and Mary Clark Corbit, shows her as a somber but assured woman.  In 1833, she married Andrew Snow Naudain (1813–1898) of a prominent Delaware family.  Mary's mother and father had each died by the time she was 8 years old, and she was raised by her uncle Daniel Corbit.  Circumstances of the family's history suggest that the portrait was executed about 1847, when Daniel married his second wife, Mary Corbit Wilson.  Portraits of Mary's sister Sarah (acc. no. 2004.20), her father Daniel (1998.3), and her mother Mary (acc. no. 1971.1035) were also done about the same time. 

Gloria Seaman Allen and Cynthia Shank Steinhoff, Delaware Discoveries: Girlhood Embroidery, 1750–1850 (Baltimore, Md.: Chesapeake Book Co. for the Biggs Museum of American Art, 2019), 289.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 183, 185-188.