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Phebe Russell Swain Welch

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


c. 1837


Sheldon Peck
American, 1797–1868

About this artwork

Sheldon Peck rendered the distinctive likenesses of his two sitters, William and Phebe Welch, using hard-edged lines and modeled forms (see William W. Welch, 1990.100.1). Amid a dark setting, the couple’s intense gazes hold our attention. Their names and dates of birth are inscribed in golden yellow paint, emphasizing their identities. The Welches were among the white settler-colonialists who established homesteads in Illinois in the early 19th century. Beginning in 1834, they lived near Elgin along the Fox River.

Peck likewise has a local history. Born in Vermont, he lived in New York before moving to Babcock’s Grove (today Lombard, Illinois), where he worked as a farmer, portraitist, and social reformer.


On View, Gallery 160


Arts of the Americas


Sheldon Peck


Phebe Russell Swain Welch


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1837


Oil on canvas


Signed, middle left: "Phebe Welch / Born AD 1793"


65.4 × 55.3 cm (25 3/4 × 21 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Juli and David Grainger Fund

Reference Number


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