Edward W. Gorham

Edward W. Gorham
This somber colored, posthumous portrait of a child seated on a floor and playfully driving tacks into a chair seat has long been known by the title "The Young Hammerer." The child has been identified, however, as Edward W. Gorham of Springfield, Massachusetts. The portrait's inscribed death date of February 19, 1844 matches the known date of the Gorham boy's death, and corresponds with Stock's listing in his journal of a portrait of "J. W. Gorham's boy deceased" painted in Springfield in early 1844. Edward W. Gorham was the son of Joseph W. and Laura N. Rogers Gorham of Springfield. According to Stock's journal, Mr. Gorham paid the artist the sum of twelve dollars for this likeness of his deceased child. Stock depicted the Gorham boy as a playful, energetic child, yet placed him in a dark, plain setting without the brightly patterned floor that typifies his portraits of children. Included in the compositions are a number of characteristic props such as the boy's toy hammer and the ball and whip in the foreground. The piece of string loosely wound around the arm of the chair adds an air of informality to this likeness.
Physical dimensions: 
height 33 in ; width 28 in