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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Unknown
Artist, formerly attributed to: Joseph Wood, American, 1778–1830


ca. 1830

Watercolor on ivory

2 3/8 × 2 in. (6 × 5.1 cm)
Mrs. Francis P. Garvan

This miniature may portray the Philadelphia naturalist and pioneering entomologist Thomas Say (1787–1834). A self-taught naturalist, Say identified around 1,400 species of insects and was one of the founders of Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences. A close friend and colleague of the Peale family of artists and naturalists, Say traveled extensively in pursuit of knowledge and specimens and was the resident zoologist on the government-sponsored 1819–20 James Long expedition to the Rocky Mountains, where he was assisted by Titan Ramsay Peale. Say compiled the fruits of much of his life’s labor into two massive studies of American insects and shellfish, American Entomology (1824–28) and American Conchology (1830–34).

Made in United States
Not on view
19th century
Miniatures - Jewelry
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.