Joseph Badger

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Joseph Badger (c. 1707–1765) was a portrait artist in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 18th century. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to tailor Stephen Badger and Mercy Kettell. 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, in order to eke out a livelihood when orders for portraits slackened."[1] In 1731 he married Katharine Felch; they moved to Boston around 1733. He was a member of the Brattle Street Church.[1] He died in Boston in May, 1765, when "taken with an apoplectic fit as he was walking in his garden, and expired in a few minutes after."[2] Works by Badger are in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Historic New England's Phillips House, Salem, Mass.

Portrait subjects[edit]

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lawrence Park. Joseph Badger (1708-1765): and a descriptive list of some of his works. 1918
  2. ^ Boston Evening Post, 05-13-1765; p.3.
  3. ^ Yale Bulletin Archived 2009-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. 2003
  4. ^ Smithsonian
  5. ^ Worcester Art Museum
  6. ^ Joseph Badger and His Work, Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 51, Massachusetts HIstorical Society, Published by the Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 1918
  7. ^ In the portrait of Rebecca Orne as a child in the Worcester Art Museum, the sitter holds a squirrel. Badger incorporated an emblematic squirrel into some of his portraits; he "would seem to have the claim to primacy" of what later became a hot trend in colonial portraiture, common in the work of his contemporary John Singleton Copley. Cf. Roland E. Fleischer. Emblems and Colonial American Painting. American Art Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3 (1988); p.26
  8. ^ Susan Rather. Carpenter, Tailor, Shoemaker, Artist: Copley and Portrait Painting around 1770. Art Bulletin, v.79, No. 2, June 1997; p.288
  9. ^ Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  10. ^ Massachusetts Historical Society. "Smith-Townsend Family Papers and Papers II".
  11. ^ Portrait of Whitefield, ca. 1750, attributed to Joseph Badger. Harvard University Portrait Collection.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lawrence Park. Joseph Badger (1708-1765): and a descriptive list of some of his works. 1918.
  • Portrait of Jeremiah Belknap by Joseph Badger. Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Vol. 6, No. 7/8 (Sep. - Oct., 1919), pp. 123–125.
  • The Orne Portraits by Joseph Badger. Worcester Art Museum Bulletin v. 1, no. 2, Feb. 1972.

External links[edit]