Ichabod Norton Portrait

Ichabod Norton

Having one’s portrait painted has long been a mark of wealth and status. On Martha’s Vineyard in the 19th century, there were many successful merchants and sea captains who could afford to commission portraits of themselves and their families, but not enough to keep a painter in business. This is probably why the two best-known portrait artists from the Island, Frederick Mayhew and Edward Dalton Marchant, moved away as young men. Mayhew seems to have given up painting altogether, but Marchant went on to have a long and successful career as an artist.  

This portrait shows Ichabod Norton, a wealthy Edgartown landowner and businessman. He probably commissioned Marchant to paint him around 1830, when Norton was around 70 years old and Marchant was still a young man, before he moved to New York and then Philadelphia, big cities where a portraitist was more likely to find wealthy sitters. 


Artist Edward Dalton Marchant
Title Ichabod Norton
Date c. 1830
Type Painting
Medium Oil on Canvas
Credit Purchase of the Museum
Ref No 2013.012.001
Thematic Collection 100 Years, 100 Stories: Artists of This Island
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