Harper, Marian Dunlap - portrait of a lady

This miniature is signed Marian D Harper for
Marian Dunlap Harper (1885-?) who was born in Iowa, Feb 1885, as Marian L Dunlap, the younger daughter of Charles Carroll Dunlap (2 Feb 1855-?) and Nettie Howell. Charles was a broker, presumably on the Chicago Exchange, and was successful, as in 1910 both daughters, Elizabeth 30 and Marian 25 lived at home and had no paid occupations.

In turn, Charles Dunlap was the son of William H Dunlap and Maryann Elliott Fish. William, born in Ohio, was a wealthy merchant, disclosing assets of $30,000 in 1860 at age 25 and living in Eddyville, Iowa. It seems possible that William was related to the noted American miniaturist William Dunlap (1766-1839), but so far, no relationship has been found.

Marian Dunlap married Fay R Harper (1876-?) and they had a daughter Jeane Harper born in 1915. Fay was an artist and illustrator with his own practice. He must have been quite successful, as in 1920 they lived in New Trier, Il and had a maid. They appear to have survived the Great Depression, as in 1930 they still had a maid and disclosed assets of $24,000. However, Fay now described himself as a portrait painter and Marian described herself as a miniature artist.

Unfortunately, this sitter is unknown. 1225

P.S. As I say, no link has yet been proved, but for those wishing to know more about William Dunlap the miniaturist, from the World Book Encyclopedia; "The First notable American dramatist was William Dunlap [1766-1839], who was also a manager, painter, and historian of the theater. In his autobiography, published in the "Rise of the Arts of Design" (1, 1969 ed., 267), William Dunlap wrote the following about his early life in New York: "I sought assiduously to gain knowledge, but unfortunately could not be content without exposing my ignorance by writing and publishing... I was likewise drawn into some societies called convivial; and as I had been a member of Buck's lodge in London, so at home I became a Black Friar and a Mason; but happily I was withdrawn from this course by marriage with Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Benjamin Woolsey, deceased, and Anne his second wife, the daughter of Doctor Muirson." It was probably about the time of his marriage to her daughter that the artist painted the miniature of Anne (Muirson) Woolsey.)


Mary said...

William H. Dunlap's grandparents were Robert Dunlap and Rebecca Jones who were married in 1787. They lived in Winchester, VA, and moved to Chillicothe, Ohio about 1814, where Robert died in 1834. Robert's son, William H. Dunlap Sr.(1793-1865) married Jane Long. I do not see how the "noted American miniaturist William Dunlap (1766-1839)" would fit into this family. Where did he live?

Don Shelton said...

Blattel records that William Dunlap was born in Perth, Amboy, NJ in 1766. He also worked in London and Montreal, and died in NYC in 1839. Apart from his painting, he was the author of "Dunlap's History of the Arts of Design in the United States".