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

Boston Uncommon

The acclaimed artist John Singleton Copley (1738–1815) was a teenager when he painted this portrait of Colonel Thomas Marshall of Boston around 1755. Copley was the portraitist of choice for Boston’s wealthy merchant society until his departure for England in 1774. In London, he continued to paint and exhibit both portraiture and historical paintings, and he became a member of the Royal Academy. He never returned to America and died in 1815 in London.

This image of Col. Marshall (1719–1800) seems spare when compared with Copley’s later dazzling portraiture. Yet the young artist succeeded in portraying the status and taste of Marshall. Seated in a fashionable chair, Marshall’s brown velvet suit and snowy shirt ruffles denote a gentleman of substance. Marshall was a tailor, but as a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts since 1761, he was named a colonel before the Revolutionary War. As a prominent Boston citizen, he was active in civic and government affairs, and served as a selectman from 1772–1776. Copley also painted the portrait of Marshall’s second wife, Lucy Allen Marshall, daughter of a wealthy Gloucester merchant.

The painting is a gift of Mrs. Franklin E. Campbell.

Volume 144, Number 1, January/February 2010, Page 17
Photography 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

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

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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