Dodge, John Wood - portrait of Reuben Kreider

This miniature portrait is signed on the reverse by John Wood Dodge (1807-1893). For more about Dodge, see the adjacent miniature of Eliza Budd.

It is unfortunately cracked, but nevertheless illustrates his skill. The crack occurred because the original framer taped the ivory tightly to the backing card, to which it is still attached, and so the ivory was not able to move as it shrank.

The ivory itself is octagonal shaped, the same shape as the Doyle miniature mentioned elsewhere in this section.

The sitter is identified on the rear. The signature is much harder to read than the adjacent miniature, but appears to read, "Painted by John W Dodge Nashville, Tennessee. (Taken?) Feb 2 1847, Likeness of Reuben G Krieiderer or Kreider".

Some research has been undertaken to try and identify him more closely.

The most likely person seems to be R G Kreider (1824->1889), born in Pennsylvania, who appears in the 1850 census in Port Washington, Washington, Wisconsin as a merchant and is also in the 1860 census as Reuben G Kreider, living in Troy, Miami County, Ohio, where he has a hat and cap store, assets of $2800, is married to Clarinda (1835-?) and has two children Eugene Kreider aged 2 and Howard Kreider aged 1. By the 1870 census he has moved to Indianapolis where he is listed as a agent. As his assets are now only $300, he had not been a successful businessman.

In the 1880 census, he is still in Indianapolis with his family, but gives his occupations as "sells boots and shoes". His son Eugene Kreider is a law student and his other son Howard L Kreider is a clerk in a pork house. Reuben next appears in the 1889 census for Washington Territory, where he is retired, apparently a widower, and living in Pierce with his son Eugene, now a clerk.

Eugene Kreider (1858->1930) appears to have qualified as a lawyer, but his specific career direction is unclear as he is not apparent in the 1900 and 1910 censuses. However, in 1913 he is recorded as returning from Puento Barrios in Guatemala to New Orleans, as a resident of Troy Indiana and in 1923 returning from Hawaii to San Francisco. He lived until after the 1930 census, but by then is divorced. In both the 1920 and 1930 censuses he is a roomer, in 1920 in San Francisco, and in 1930 in Tacoma Washington.

An expert on John Wood Dodge has kindly located this particular portrait in Dodge's workbook. It was painted Feb 20, 1847 and Dodge charged $30 for the portrait, the standard price for his unframed portraits, but less than the price which applied to framed portraits.

It is evident that the framer used did not understand miniatures and it would have survived without cracking, had the purchaser also paid Dodge for the framing. 342

No comments: