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)
- 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.)
- Juli and David Grainger Fund