Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Southwest View of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine



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Southwest View of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
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1961.82
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Artist

John G. Brown (possibly)

Title

Southwest View of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Creation Date

ca. 1822

Medium & Support

oil on canvas

Dimensions

30 1/8 in. x 37 1/8 in. (76.52 cm x 94.3 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Harold L. Berry, Class of 1901

Accession Number

1961.82

Copyright

Public Domain

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Bowdoin College was in its third decade when Boston artist John G. Brown visited in the 1820s to view its art collection, established by James Bowdoin III’s 1813 bequest. From sketches made about 1822, Brown created the earliest known oil painting of the campus. From left to right, he depicted the college’s first buildings: Massachusetts Hall (1799–1802), Winthrop Hall (1822), the Chapel (1805), and Maine Hall (1808/1822). Frederic Trench, known locally as “Uncle Trench,” appears in the foreground pushing his wheelbarrow loaded with plain and sugared gingerbread and root beer to sell to the students. Remembered as a “quiet, painstaking old man,” Nathaniel Hawthorne used him as the model for his character Uncle Venner in The House of the Seven Gables (1851).
 


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