A previously unknown portrait of James Monroe—Revolutionary War hero, legislator, diplomat, Virginia governor and fifth president of the United States—will be exhibited for the first time on Saturday, April 25 at the James Monroe Museum.
The newest addition to the James Monroe Museum’s collection, the portrait will be on display for the celebration of the fifth president’s 257th birthday, which will feature live music and treats from 1 to 3 p.m. The celebration is free and open to the public.
The unsigned oil portrait depicts Monroe in 1820, roughly halfway through his two-term presidency that was called the “Era of Good Feelings.”
The painting was sold at a New Jersey auction in 2013 as a “portrait of a stately gentleman,” not identified as Monroe. In late 2014, it was purchased by Michael Meyer, owner of Meyer Fine Art in Yonkers, New York and brought to the James Monroe Museum for analysis and consideration of purchase. The museum purchased the Monroe portrait in March 2015 for $16,000, using private funds administered by the University of Mary Washington Foundation. To offset this expenditure the museum is seeking institutional and individual donors, all of whom will be recognized as sponsors of the purchase.
The James Monroe Museum is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by the University of Mary Washington. Founded in 1927, it is the nation’s largest repository of artifacts and documents related to the fifth president of the United States.
For more information about the museum’s hours of operation and directions, call 540-654-1043 or visit www.jamesmonroemuseum.org.