Samuel Bell Waugh

(American, 1814 - 1885)

The portraitist Samuel Bell Waugh was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, and as a young man studied drawing with John Rubens Smith (1775-1849). He lived in Montreal, Canada, for a time and exhibited portraits at the Society of Artists and Amateurs in Toronto. He continued his study of art in England, France, and Italy. Although Waugh spent short periods of time in Buffalo, New York, New York City, and Bordentown, New Jersey, his primary residence for most of his career was Philadelphia. His panoramas of Italy were exhibited there and contributed greatly to his reputation, leading to numerous portrait commissions from the city’s elite. Waugh’s son Frederick (1861-1940) and his daughter Ida (died 1919) both became professional artists. Waugh exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum and the National Academy of Design in New York, which elected him an Associate Member in 1845 and an Honorary Member, Professional, in 1847. He also participated in exhibitions of the Artists’ Fund Society and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.