JCF Look-alike Contest
Current leader Mark Mysliwiec

Hi Bob,
I live in Chicago, and a number of years ago attended conferences at the Union League Club. The conferences were held on the 2nd floor of the club. I never paid attention to the art work in the entry way. During the conference a number of people gathered outside the room we were in, and pointing to me and calling for me to join them outside. This is where the G. P. A Healy portrait of Frémont hangs. You will understand from my picture why they were so excited.

I'm a bit older now, and less hair, but the resemblance is uncanny. I take guests there specifically to see the painting, and the staff is always shocked.

Thought you might find it amusing.
Mark Mysliwiec.


Below, the previous leader in the contest, Captain Jack Sparrow, has been disqualified for having entered three times.

G. P. A Healy portrait

The G. P. A. Healy portrait

The little seen portrait at left by G. P. A. Healy (1813-1894) is in the collection of the Union League Club of Chicago. It shows Frémont in front of a portion of the view of the Wind River Range drawn by Charles Preuss and published in the report of Frémont's 1842 expedition. Frémont is depicted as a man of about the 28 years of age that he was in 1842. It is not known, however, exactly when this portrait was painted, or if it was done from life.
The Wind River view used by Healy is the version of the Preuss drawing not published until 1843. The rank insignia is that of Lieutenant Colonel, which indicates a date after 1846. There is some similarity to image shown at right, which appears in James M. Cutts' The Conquest of California and New Mexico, 1847. It is possible that this, an engraving that may have been done from a daguerreotype (and therefore reversed, or reversed again by the engraver) was also used as the model for the Healy painting.









Jane Byrd (neé Page) Bryan by G. P. A. Healy

UPDATE Fall 2012.
The donor of the Healy portrait of Frémont to the Union League Club, Chicago real estate magnate and onetime club president Thomas Barbour Bryan, commissioned a portrait of his wife by Healy in 1859. Healy was at the time a resident of Chicago and a neighbor of Bryan's. Bryan also donated Healy portraits of Stephan A. Douglas and Daniel Webster. There being no apparent connection between Healy and the Frémonts, it is almost certain that Healy did the Frémont portrait using the 1847 Cutts portrait and the 1843 Charles Preuss illustration as the background.

Here, in comparison, the Healy portrait is reversed.
I do not know the origin of the engraved portrait used by Cutts in 1847. It shows a very young and clean-shaven Frémont, probably dating from 1837-1842. Details show several moles about the mouth and chin. The accompanying portrait of Steven Watts Kearny is elsewhere said to have been engraved from a daguerreotype by Y.B. Welch for Graham's Magazine. The engraving of Frémont seems to match in style and technique.

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