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Colonial dating in 1776

By this time, the population in the Carolinas had topped 100,000.Many French Protestant Huguenots, seeking religious freedom, settled in Charleston (47.103.23), where they built splendid townhouses along the harbor’s edge.Henry Benbridge, a talented portraitist in the next generation, also offered miniature versions of his work in watercolor on ivory.

The wealthy planters and merchants of the South brought over private tutors from Ireland and Scotland to teach their children, or they sent the boys to school in England.

Most elite American families owned fine English earthenware and Chinese porcelains; some of these imports were decorated with the American market in mind.

Exotic beverages such as coffee, tea, and chocolate arrived in seventeenth-century Europe and soon became available in the colonies.

The preparation, service, and consumption of tea required an entirely new panoply of goods: the teapot, the sugar bowl, imported cups and saucers, and even a new furniture form—the tea table (25.115.31; 24.109.7).

This latter technique, devised by Benjamin Franklin, was known as leaf or nature printing.

Nature printing consisted of laying a leaf, twig, or branch on a wet cloth placed over a smooth plaster bed.Browse collection Collection Location: Maryland Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center.Collection Overview: This collection of Maryland colonial and continental currency from the Maryland Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center includes various denominations of Maryland paper dollar notes dating from 1767 to 1776.The northern colonial elite also looked to portraiture as an art form embodying the ambitious ideals and tastes of a wealthy society, in large measure caused by the arrival of Scottish émigré John Smibert, in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1728.An artist of considerable skill and the first academically trained painter to work in the colonies, Smibert executed more than 250 likenesses over the next seventeen years (62.79.1).By the second quarter of the eighteenth century, British colonists of all ranks were experiencing a consumer revolution.For the gentry, more substantial houses based on English Georgian architecture rose in the landscape (16.112).Soon other European-born portraitists brought their talents to the colonial American marketplace.America’s first native-born painter of significant promise was John Singleton Copley, a superb artist of oil paintings, pastels, and portrait miniatures.Likenesses of the southern elite hung in the first-floor parlors and second-floor ballrooms of grand mansions.Jeremiah Theus, born in Switzerland to an artist family, came to America in the 1730s and settled in Charleston to paint portraits of some of South Carolina’s wealthiest citizens (1997.340).

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