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SILHOUETTES —black profile portraits cut out of paper or painted on cards—were used as wall decorations during the first half-century of the republic. Well-known silhouettists included William M. S. Doyle and Henry Williams, both of whom worked in Boston, and William Bache, who was an itinerant. Another itinerant was the boy silhouettist Master Hubard, who cut profiles in 20 seconds. Auguste Edouart, a French visitor to America, cut full-length silhouettes. William Henry Brown, who was born in Charleston, South Carolina, likewise cut full-length silhouettes, and he published a Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens in 1855.


Carrick, Alice Van Leer. Shades of Our Ancestors. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1928.

Verplanck, Anne Ayer. "Facing Philadelphia: The Social Functions of Silhouettes, Miniatures, and Daguerrotypes." Ph.D. diss., College of William and Mary, 1996

TheodoreBolton/a. r.

See alsoFolk Art .

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