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Joseph (1708) Badger (1708 - 1765)



January 21, 2011
New York, NY, US

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ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH BADGER 1708 - 1765 LITTLE GIRL IN GREEN DRESS HOLDING CHERRIES, A LITTLE BOY IN ROSE-COLORED COSTUME SWINGING A CAT: A PAIR OF PORTRAITS OF THE CHILDREN OF THE THOMAS DICKMAN FAMILY The Bradford family genealogy states: "Moses Bradford's (descendant of William Bradford's, (Governor of the Plymouth Colony) first wife was Ascenath Dickman of Greenfield Massachusetts. Her father, Thomas Dickman, was born in Boston, December 13, 1769 and moved "west" to Springfield about 1792 as a journeyman printer. All that we know of the worldly goods which he brought with him from Boston were these two pictures. The identity of the subjects is unclear but it has always been thought that they were brother and sister of his." The girl's portrait is dated on the back 1767. the girl: oil on canvas; the boy: oil on paper each 25 by 19 1/4 in.


Joseph Badger (ca.1707–1765) was a portrait artist in Boston, Massachusetts in the 18th-century. He painted some 80 portraits of merchants, businessmen, clergy, and other notables, and their wives and children.

Badger was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to tailor Stephen Badger and Mercy Kettell. In 1731 he married Katharine Felch; they moved to Boston around 1733. He was a member of the Brattle Street Church.

He "began his career as a house-painter and glazier, and ... throughout his life continued this work, besides painting signs, hatchments and other heraldic devices." The best of his portraits exhibit charm, immediacy and, as in this case, humor.

Some of his subjects include:

James Bowdoin (1676-1747), father of Massachusetts governor James Bowdoin

Elizabeth Campbell, wife of William Foye

William Cooper (1716-1743), pastor of the Brattle St. Church, Boston

Andrew Croswell (1709-1785), pastor of King's Chapel, Boston

Thomas Cushing (1696-1746), speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and father of Thomas Cushing

Thomas Dawes

Jonathan Edwards

Works by Joseph Badger are in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Historic New England's Phillips House, Salem, Massachusetts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University, Yale University and The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center.

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