Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Brushes with Fame

Thomas Sully painted at least 13 portraits of Fanny Kemble, an English actress who first appeared on the American stage in 1832. After marrying Pierce Butler of Philadelphia, she retired from the stage, returning in 1847, shortly before their divorce. The DAR Museum’s 1832 painting is one of Sully’s earliest of Kemble.

Born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1783, Sully and his family immigrated to Richmond, Va., in 1792. He became a professional painter at age 18, studying under Gilbert Stuart and Benjamin West before becoming a famous portrait artist in his own right. His subjects included John Quincy Adams, Marquis de Lafayette, Queen Victoria, Thomas Jefferson and other famous Americans of the time. He died in Philadelphia in 1872. His book, Hints to Young Painters, was published posthumously.

American Spirit, Volume 141, Number 4, July/August 2007, Page 11
Photo by Mark Gulezian/QuickSilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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