American Primitive Art: Ammi Phillips (1788-1865)

Figure 1.--Ammi Phillips was for many years basically lost in American art history. He is now one of the most highly regarded of the naive American artists. Part of this is due to what can becalled his master piece--which is now known as 'Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog', believd to have been painted around 1830-35. The child is unamed, but we know she is a girl beause of the center hair part and coral necklace. We see boys wearing the same dress style in the 1830s. Click on the image for a boy wearing the same style of dress.

Ammi Phillips was born in Colebrook, Connecticut (1788). He was an untrained American itinerant portrait painter who worked in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York for some 50 years. His first known efforts began (1809). As a result he has left us onderful collection of portrit including children during the early-20th century before the advent of photography. After his death as Americans relyed increasingly on photography and trained American artists emerged, Phillips was largely forgotten. This was the general trend with American naive art. He and others were forgotten for decades. This began to change in the 20th century as interest began to build in early American art. Barbara and Larry Holdridge, collectors and students of American folk art, plyed an important role and were especially interestd in Phillips. There was a problem in styudying Phillips as with other other naive artists in that almost all of his works were unsigned. Thus it was a major effort just to attribute his works. Art historian Mary Black joined in this effort. Perhaps his best known work is 'Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog' (1830-35). The titles of these naive works are created by art historians, not the artist himself. The names of the individuals are not known. At the time boys could have been dressed similarly. Here we know it ws a girl because of a center hir part and coral necklace. Another excellent portrait of an unidentified boy is 'Blond Boy with Primer, Peach, and Dog' painted about 1836. The boy in this case seems to be wearing what might be called a tunic suit.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Artist pages:
[Return to the Anonymous American primitive artist ]
[Return to the Main American primitive artist page]
[Return to the Main style page]
[Return to the Main American artist page]
[Blake] [Johnson] [Stock] [Waters] [Chronology] [Countries] [Individuals]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main dress page]
[Return to the Main bow page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Cloth and textiles] [Garments] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 10:04 PM 2/23/2012
Last updated: 10:04 PM 2/23/2012