Robert Street

(American, 1796 - 1865)

Robert Street was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. His grandfather, John Street, was an English immigrant. His family was wealthy, but he was mistakenly omitted from his father's will and did not receive the inheritance that was due him as the eldest son. His fourth son, also named John, was Robert's father. Little is known about the artist's early training; his first entry into the art community was his exhibition of The Wood Gatherer at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1815. He continued to exhibit at the Academy until 1861. The staples of his career became the half length portraits for which he is known today, although he also painted historical genres and landscapes. A large exhibit of his work (over two hundred paintings) was held in November, 1840 at the Artists' Fund Hall in Philadelphia and included more than fifty paintings by "deceased or old masters" from his collection. One of his most notable portraits was that of General Andrew Jackson painted in 1824 which hung in the White House for some time. Street also exhibited at the Artists' Fund Hall until 1845, at the Franklin Institute (1847 and 1851), and at the Apollo Association in New York (1838 39.) Portraits by Street are in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Street married three times (1821, 1849, 1861) and fathered six children; four sons also became artists: Rubens Corregio, Austin del Sarto, Theophilus, and Claude Lorraine.