Boston Art Commission

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  • Gilbert Stuart Plaque, Cairns copy

Gilbert Stuart Tablet

Artist:

H. Cairns

Location:

Central Burying Ground  

Location

Central Burying Ground
Boston Common
Boston, MA
United States
42° 21' 10.3068" N, 71° 3' 53.8128" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Plaque

Year:

1897

Medium:

Granite

Collection:

Funders:

Description:

 

The prolific portrait painter Gilbert Charles Stuart (1777-1828) is best known for the so-called “unfinished portrait” of George Washington, the face of which is reproduced on the dollar bill. Stuart mainly painted portraits of his wealthy clients, including the first six presidents of the United States, but due to his mismanagement of his business, Stuart died in poverty and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Old South Burying Ground on Boston Common. The grave cannot now be located, but this granite tablet commemorates Stuart’s life and work. The tablet depicts a painter’s palette in bas-relief with a quill pen thrust through the thumbhole.

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