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

Capturing Cherubs

This 1851 portrait commemorates angelic young brothers John Daniel Parsons, Stephen Albert Parsons and Nathaniel H. Parsons. The children are dressed in the height of mid-19th-century finery, with four-year-old John Daniel (left) in a brown jacket trimmed with a black, pleated ruffle collar and cuffs. The youngest, two-year-old Stephen Albert (center), wears a long-sleeved turquoise dress fastened down the front with white buttons and topped with a narrow, lace-edged collar. On the right, three-year-old Nathaniel dons a dark green jacket with a white collar visible above its black collar.

Harriet Robinson Parsons, the boys’ mother, died three days after the birth of her youngest son, and the boys’ aunt and uncle, John and Apphia Parsons, took custody of the children. Aunt Apphia commissioned the painting of the fair-haired, rosy-cheeked, chubby children for their father. According to her account book, Apphia paid artist John Hillman $18 for his work. The painting was donated to the DAR Museum by the great-granddaughter of Stephen Albert Parsons, Karen Reese.

American Spirit, Volume 141, Number 6, November/December 2007, Page 17
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

Rock-a-Bye

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

Clockwork

Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

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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