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Gad Hitchcock with Masonic and Independent Order of Odd Fellow Symbols
1840-1850
Unidentified
USA: New York, New York City
Oil on canvas
frame: 41-3/4"h x 34-5/8"w x 3-1/2"d; stretcher: 34 in x 26 1/2 in
Special Acquisitions Fund
84.11

Portrait shows a man [Gad Hitchcock], seated on an Empire-style sofa. He wears a black jacket and stock with a white shirt. On his shirt is an Odd Fellows pin with design of square and compasses, all-seeing eye, and three entwined links. Plain background in tones of brown; well-modeled face painted in tones of pinks and grays. Stamped on back of canvas, "Prepared / By / Edwd Dechaux / New York."


Gad Hitchcock (1802-1853), this painting's subject, grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, but spent much of his life away from home, running a restaurant in New York. His niece recalled that he commissioned this painting for his mother. When he lived far away, Gad held a place in his relatives' thoughts through his gifts of oysters. When they received the shellfish, his family would throw a feast in his honor.