Description: Photograph of an elderly gentleman dressed in formal attire, leaning on a cane, and standing in a room next to a table containing stacks of books. Inscribed below the photograph: "R.L. Newman 1827"
Historical Note: Artist Robert Loftin Newman (1827-1912), originally from Virginia, lived in Clarksville, Tennessee, maintaining a portraiture practice prior to the Civil War. Hoping to serve as a "special artist" with the Confederate army, he enlisted as a Lieutenant in 1861, apparently working as a topographical draftsman, but resigned because of a dispute.He was drafted in 1864 and served with a Virginia regiment.On March 12, 1864, he submitted a design for a "National Flag for the Confederacy" with an accompanying letter to Jefferson Davis. The flag had 14 stars, apparently anticipating the secession of additional states. At war's end, Newman opened a studio in Nashville, hoping to make a living teaching students and attracting clients among ex-Confederates. While the studio was apparently short-lived, several related pairs of commemorative portraits of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been attributed to Newman, possibly from this period. For the remainder of his career, he lived and worked in New York City, painting religious and mythological scenes.
Institution: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Publisher: Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
Rights: Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.