• Title: The Voyage of Life: Childhood
  • Date Created: 1842
  • Physical Dimensions: overall: 134.3 x 195.3 cm (52 7/8 x 76 7/8 in.) framed: 162.9 x 224.8 x 17.8 cm (64 1/8 x 88 1/2 x 7 in.)
  • Provenance: Sold by the artist to George K. Shoenberger [1809-1892], Cincinnati, perhaps as early as 1845 and no later than May 1846;[1] Shoenberger heirs, after 20 January 1892;[2] purchased 1908 by Ernst H. Huenefeld, Cincinnati;[3] gift 1908 to Bethesda Hospital and Deaconess Association of Methodist Church of Cincinnati;[4] sold 17 May 1971 through (Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York) to NGA. [1] For a discussion of a possible 1845 date, see _Thomas Cole_, Exh. cat. Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, 1969: 35. Other sources place the acquisition a bit later than 1845; see Paul D. Schweizer, "_The Voyage of Life_: A Chronology," in _The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole, Paintings, Drawings, and Prints_, Exh. cat. Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York, 1985: 45 ("December 1846?"), and Ellwood C. Parry III, _The Art of Thomas Cole: Ambition and Imagination_, Newark, Delaware, 1988: 332 ("sometime late in 1846 or, more likely, early in 1847"); however in a Boston Transcript article entitled "The Voyage of Life," which appeared 21 May 1846, the pictures are mentioned as then belonging to "a wealthy gentleman of Cincinnati." [2] A letter of April 1979 from Mrs. Robert Heuck (in NGA curatorial files) specifies: "Mr. Shoenberger died in 1892, at which time many of the belongings of the home were given to heirs." Shoenberger died 20 January 1892; for additional information, see _The Biographical Cyclopaedia and Portrait Gallery with an Historical Sketch of the State of Ohio_, 6 vols., Cincinnati, 1895: 6:1457-1458. [3] Mrs. Robert Heuck, letter of April 1979 (in NGA curatorial files) states: "In 1908 Mr. and Mrs. Ernest W. [sic] Huenefeld purchased the land [and the house and contents]." [4] Edward H. Dwight and Richard J. Boyle, "Rediscovery: Thomas Cole's 'Voyage of Life'," _Art in America_ 55 (May 1967): 62.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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