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Noontime conversation series

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    Sharpe Family portraits.
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    Kingsbury Clarke portraits.
September 11, 2017 - 11:36 am

KINGSTON — Friends of Historic Kingston presents upcoming noontime conversation series beginning at noon Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 in the Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery, Main and Wall streets, Kingston. The focus of these informal conversations is FHK’s important acquisition of noteworthy portraits — one pair by John Vanderlyn and one pair by his nephew, John Vanderlyn Jr.

On Sept. 15, Paul O’Neill, Ulster County’s Commissioner of Jurors and a local historian, will share his research about General George Henry Sharpe (1828-1900) of Kingston, the subject of one of the portraits by John Vanderlyn (1775-1852). The first pair of portraits depicts Henry Sharpe (1782-1830) and his wife Helen Hasbrouck Sharpe (1797-1886) with their son, George Henry Sharpe. George Henry Sharpe would later become a general in the Union Army. A local hero, he presented the statue “Patriotism” at the Old Dutch Churchyard in honor of the men in his regiment, the 120th Infantry, New York Volunteers. His home, known as “The Orchards,” stood opposite Academy Green at 1 Albany Avenue until it was demolished in 1967. Today, the property is a parking lot for the Governor Clinton Hotel.

On Sept. 22, Sanford Levy, an antiques dealer, will speak about the path the second pair of paintings took to arrive at the FHK gallery. The portraits, entitled “Oil on Canvas,” are attributed to John Vanderlyn Jr. (1805-1876), the nephew and student of his renowned uncle, John Vanderlyn. The subjects of these paintings are thought to be members of the Kingsbury Clarke family of Palenville in New York’s Greene County. Levy will discuss the provenance of this couple and his discovery of the works.

Seating is limited and donations are welcome.