Eustis Estate

Clementina Beach (1774–1855)

Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)
Boston, 1820–25
Oil on canvas
35 ½ x 30 ¾ in.
Museum purchase

In the early years of the nineteenth century when there were few opportunities for genteel women to earn a living, Clementina Beach and Judith Saunders ran one of New England’s elite schools for girls, located in Dorchester, Massachusetts. We do not know whether grateful students commissioned this portrait or Beach commissioned it herself. In either case it is an unusually early portrait of a woman who was painted not because of who her family was but for what she herself had achieved.

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