called Clara Walker Allen (Mrs. William Allen, 1737-before 1765)

Date: ca. 1755-1758

There are two other portraits also identified as Clara Walker Allen (Brooklyn Museum and DIA), but they do not all represent the same person. All three descended in the Allen family at Claremont Plantation, though it is unclear when this portrait entered the family’s collection there. This subject appears too old to be Clara Walker Allen (1737-before 1765), who would have been approximately twenty years old at the time Wollaston was working in Virginia. Clara Walker was the first wife of William Allen. His second wife was Mary Lightfoot. This is likely another woman of the Allen, Walker, or Lightfoot family.

Dimensions: 34 3/8 × 29 1/2 inches (87.31 x 74.93 cm)

The portrait represents a woman standing and wearing a brown dress with white fichu, a gold bow tied over it, and a white cap trimmed with gold ribbon tied with a bow under her chin. Her right forearm rests on a table while she is turned three-quarters to her right. The background is plain.

Location: Unknown
Decade: 1750s
Credits: Shelburne Museum, 1956-708, gift of Edmund Astley Prentis. Photography by Bruce Schwarz.