SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn More

American Paintings and Sculpture
PrevNext1 of 2
Photo Credit: Christopher Gardner
Photo credit: Christopher Gardner
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Unknown
Subject: Dolley Payne Madison, American, 1772–1849

Dolley Payne Madison (née Dolley Payne, formerly Dolley Payne Todd, 1772–1849)

ca. 1805–10

Watercolor on ivory

2 3/8 × 1 7/8 in. (6 × 4.8 cm)
Lelia A. and John Hill Morgan, B.A. 1893, LL.B. 1896, M.A. (Hon.) 1929, Collection

Married to James Madison, fourth president of the United States, Dolley Madison was the first lady from 1809 to 1817. Prior to this, James Madison served as secretary of state during Thomas Jefferson’s administration (1800–1808), at which time Dolley often acted as unofficial first lady to the widower Jefferson, helping to furnish the new White House and occasionally participating in ceremonial functions. Here Dolley is depicted wearing a fashionable turban and a white empire dress.

Made in United States
Not on view
19th century
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.