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William Penn Morgan (American 1826-1900) Loves Me-Loves Me Not

Oil on canvas on board, 28.5 x 21.5 inches / Signed lower left

William Penn Morgan, was not as one might think born in Pennsylvania, but London England. He arrived in Brooklyn, New York in 1851 after spending time studying in Paris at the atelier of Thomas Couture and at Le Havre. The interlude between his departure from Paris and his arrival in the United States was spent as a sailor. Once in New York, Morgan studied, by his own admission, somewhat lackadaisically at National Academy of Design. As in Paris, he was prone to absorb himself with the sights and sounds of his environment instead of rigorous academic studies. Regardless, his innate talent and artistic interest finally manifested themselves and he began painting in earnest. Morgan became an accomplished portraitist, but it is for his genre depictions of women and young girls that he is best known. He began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design in 1852 and continued throughout his career. The Academy memorialized his achievements in their records describing him "as a painter of 'sterling merit' whose treatment of subjects ‘reflected the sensitiveness and refinement of his own nature' ". Morgan also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fines Arts (Philadelphia, PA) between 1885 and 1888. He was an elected member of the National Academy of Design and a member of the Artists Fund Society.

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