Object photography

Click image to enlarge +

On View Barbara Weld Putnam Gallery, level 1

Object description

  • Charles Osgood (American, 1809-1890)
  • Portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1840
  • Oil on canvas
  • Salem, Massachusetts, United States
  • image H: 29 1/2 in, image W: 24 1/2 in (image H: 74.9 cm, image W: 62.2 cm)
  • Gift of Richard C. Manning, 1933
  • 121459


Essex Institute Collection


This is a portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864). The portrait shows a half-length figure with the face two-thirds front and the eyes looking towards the left. The figure has dark hair and is wearing a dark coat, waistcoat, white high collared shirt and a black stock. Further Remarks: Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4th, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, son of Nathaniel Hathorne and Elizabeth Clarke (Manning) Hathorne. A descendant of the 17th century witch trial judge John Hathorne, he later changed the spelling of his name in order to distance himself from this relationship. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825. His early short stories were published in various newspapers and magazines, and he also edited several compilations. He is of course best known for his later and more mature works, such as The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851). Upon the advice of friends, Hawthorne tried his hand at politics and secured a position in 1839 at the Boston Custom House, but resigned his post to remove to West Roxbury, where he invested a large portion of his savings in the Transcendentalist movement, whose devotees founded Brook Farm. Soon diappointed in life at the farm, he removed to Concord, Mass. with his wife, Sophia Amelia Peabody, whom he married in 1842. Still restless in spirit, Hawthorne returned to Salem in 1845 where he secured the appointment of Surveyor of the Port. He also lived for several years abroad, serving as United States Consul to Liverpool, England. In failing health after his return to America, he made a carriage trip with his friend Franklin Pierce which proved too much for him and he died in his sleep at Plymouth, NH on May 18, 1864.

Exhibition History

  • Upcoming Exhibition, Peabody Essex Museum; 2015 through Present
  • American Decorative Arts exhibition, Peabody Essex Museum; June 03, 2003 through Present
  • Odyssey: A Journey into World Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; October 16, 1999 through January 11, 2001