* artists illustrating boys fashions: J. W. Stock






Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Joseph Whiting Stock (United States, 1815-55)


Figure 1.--J.W. Stock probably painted this boy inthe 1840s, presumably in Massachusetts. Notice the frilly dress and elaborate pantalettes. We have been unable to fnd a better image.

This American primitive/naive artist painted many New England portraits, providing valuable information on individual fashion in a period in which photography was just beginning to provide images. Joseph Whiting Stock was born in Springfield, Massachusetts (1815). When he was 11 years old, an oxcart fell on him. As aresult, he was seriously injured, becoming a paraplegic. As a result of his accident, Jopseph began to study painting on the advice of his physician, something he was capable of physivally. He studied under Franklin White, a pupil of the painter Chester Harding, and was commissioned to do a series of anatomical drawings by Dr. James Swan (1834). Dr. Swan constructed a wheelchair which enabled Stock to paint large canvasses and be lifted on trains so as to travel to complete commissions. Stock accepted commissions for portraits throughput New England, working in Warren and Bristol, Rhode Island, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Middletown, Goshen, and Port Jervis, New York. His studios were located in his hometown of Springfield. He was known for his portraits, miniatures, and landscape paintings, most of which were commissions. He died of tuberculosis in Springfield, only 40 years old. Hus paintings are sometimes confused with those of Clarissa Peters Russell, a miniaturist, as her style was similar, but her work is usually unsigned.

Biography

We have little information on Joseph Whiting Stock, other than he was a American primitive artist from Massachusetts who painted from about 1835-55. This American primitive/naive artist painted many New England portraits, providing valuable information on individual fashion in a period in which photography was just beginning to provide images. Joseph Whiting Stock was born in Springfield, Massachusetts (1815). When he was 11 years old, an oxcart fell on him. As aresult, he was seriously injured, becoming a paraplegic. As a result of his accident, Jopseph began to study painting on the advice of his physician, something he was capable of physically. He died of tuberculosis in Springfield, only 40 years old. Hus paintings are sometimes confused with those of Clarissa Peters Russell, a miniaturist, as her style was similar, but her work is usually unsigned.

Body of Work

He studied under Franklin White, a pupil of the painter Chester Harding, and was commissioned to do a series of anatomical drawings by Dr. James Swan (1834). Dr. Swan constructed a wheelchair which enabled Stock to paint large canvasses and be lifted on trains so as to travel to complete commissions. Stock accepted commissions for portraits throughput New England, working in Warren and Bristol, Rhode Island, New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Middletown, Goshen, and Port Jervis, New York. His studios were located in his hometown of Springfield. He was known for his portraits, miniatures, and landscape paintings, most of which were commissions.


Figure 2.--This is full-length portrait of an unidentified boy wearing a blue belted tunic. Hr looks to beabout 3 yeras old. There is an ooen neck and small frill. He also wears pamtalettes, white siockin=gs and strap shoes. he holds a whip, basically like those use to move on horses, He has a toy pull eaggon. notice the plain wall, but elaborate carpet. Iy]t is unsigned, but attributed to Joseph Whiting Stock. -

Portraits


Orange dress


This portrait is attributed to Stock, but it is often difficult to determine with certainty who the various American primitive artists are. HBC has no information on who the boy is or his age. The portrait was owned by the family of Massachusettes Senator Murray Crane, so it may have been a member of his family. The very fancy dress and pantalettes suggest that the boy came from a well to do family. Clearly this boy's mother had the time and money to devote considerable attention to his attire. Also notice the boy's distinctive red hair. The boy wears a dress as was common for young boys at the time. It is difficult to estimate the boy's age, but we would guess he is about 5 years old. The dress has short sleeves with frilled ruffles at the elbow and ribbions decorating the shoulders. Notice the elaborate frills on both the dress and pantalettes which cover the boy down to his ankles. Not all boys, or girls for that matter, wore such elaborately frilled pantalettes. See for example another American primitive artist: E.W. Blake. We re not sure when the portrait was painted, but we believe the 1830s. Also notice the pendant he is wearing and the book and rose he is holding.

Blue tunic

This is full-length portrait of an unidentified boy wearing a blue belted tunic. He looks to be about 3 years old. There is an open neck and small frill. He also wears pamtalettes, white siockings and strap shoes. he holds a whip, basically like the pnes used to move on horses, He has a toy pull waggon. Notice the plain wall, but elaborate carpet. The portrait is unsigned, but attributed to Joseph Whiting Stock.

Sources










HBC








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Created: June 23, 1999
Last updated: 11:31 PM 12/10/2020