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Memorial Picture
about 1810
Subject:Memorial for Uriah Hayden , American, 1770 - 1801
Original Owner:Originally owned by Huldah Ely , American, born 1772
Embroidery: silk thread, chenille thread, velvet, paint, and ink on a plain-woven silk ground Frame: wood, glass, paint, paper board
Primary Dimensions (height x width of frame): 23 1/2 x 28 1/2in. (59.7 x 72.4cm)
Credit Line: Museum purchase.
Gallery Copy: Amelia Hayden’s embroidered picture deftly combines a commemoration of death (her father’s of about five years earlier), a family portrait (her mother, siblings, and two older male relatives, one of whom may be her mother’s new husband), a local landscape (the Hayden’s house at right and views at left of Essex and Saybrook), and a symbolic message of hope and strength (the lighthouse and oak tree). Her rendering of different textures in thread, the family’s faces, and the atmospheric landscape in paint are testaments to artistic skill.
Description: Memorial picture worked in tan, cream, white, dark and medium green, and medium blue silk threads, dark and medium brown, dark and medium green chenille thread, dark green velvet, watercolor and ink, on a plain-woven silk ground, using satin stitch and other stitches. The picture shows an urn-shaped memorial above a cube-shaped stone base. The front of the base has a hand-written ink inscription: "TRIBUTE of RESPECT/ For the/ MEMORY/ of/ Mr. URIAH HAYDEN 2d/ Who DIED Oct. 9th AD 1801/ AGED 31". The memorial sits on a small hill beneath a willow tree. To the left of the memorial is a woman wearing a black Empire-style dress, a white cap, and holding a handkerchief in her hand. To the left of her are two girls in white Empire-style dresses and two boys in black suits, each of a different age. To the right of the memorial are two adult men, each wearing black suits. One man, the closest to the memorial, has grey hair and a lined face. At the right of the mourning scene, in the middle distance, is a two story house with two chimneys and a hipped roof. At the left of the scene are two landscapes. In the foreground is a small town of a church and four buildings with an arched bridge. In the background is a larger town with a church, a lighthouse, and several buildings on land that juts out into the body of water at the left edge of the picture. The two landscapes are separated by a small body of water. The foreground is constructed using dark green velvet that is sewn to the ground. Chenille and silk threads are embroidered to make the ground, memorial, the willow tree, the foremost landscape on the left, and the house, a tree and shrubbery on the right. The remaining elements are painted onto the ground: background landscape and body of water at left, figures, portions of the tree, sky and clouds. The memorial picture is in a modern frame with a modern mount. Stitches: The primary stitch on the memorial picture is the satin stitch; it also includes encroaching satin, flat, and french knot. Condition: Portions of the ground have shattered, especially in the sky at the left and around the inscription on the base of the memorial. The painted portions of the left side of the picture have slight water damage. The ground does not lay flat. The paint on the rightmost figure of a man is flaking. The mount and frame are replaced.
Historical Note: According to a memorial of Uriah Hayden 2nd printed at the back of a sermon written by Reverend Frederick William Hotchkiss (1762-1844), "Mr. Uriah Hayden, 2d ... went to New-York upon mercantile business about the middle of September AD 1801; was attacked with yellow fever on the 3rd of October, on his return from New-York; arrived at Saybrook the day following, and deceased after a five days painful sickness in the 31st year of his age. He has left a disconsolate widow, and five young children, to bemoan their loss --- three daughters, and two sons -- the oldest eight years, and the youngest six months." Subject and Date Note: The memorial picture depicts an urn-shaped memorial with the widow and her four children to the left and two adult men to the right. The widow is Huldah Ely; the four children are Prudence Amelia Hayden (1795-1880), William Sheldon Hayden (1797-1861), Charles Uriah Hayden (1799-1840), and Louise Cecelia Hayden (1801-1841). Ely and Hayden had an older child, Electa Hayden, who died on 11 September 1802. The two men to the right of the memorial are probably Uriah Hayden's brother Jared Hayden (1767?-1814) and his father Ebenezer Hayden (1736-1818); the man closest to the memorial has grey hair and a lined face. Uriah Hayden 2nd had a younger brother Gideon Hayden (b. 1774) who died on 28 September 1802, the same month as his niece Electa Hayden. The memorial would have been made after the death of Electa and Gideon Hayden in September 1802 but before Jared Hayden's death in 1814 and Prudence Amelia Hayden's marriage in 1815. (Hunt 7/31/2007)
Object Number: 1965.74.0
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