Framing Fuller: Thomas Hicks

Photo by Sonia Di Loreto, Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Thomas Hicks painted Margaret Fuller in Rome, but that painting is privately owned. The Houghton Library has a photo of the painting hanging on a wall, and it is cataloged in the Margaret Fuller Family Papers, 1662-1970 (MS Am 1086). Houghton Library, Harvard University. This is the description: Margaret Fuller, photographic image of a framed portrait painting hanging on a brick wall : color snapshot copy print photograph, 1970 June. 1 folder Date: 1970. It depicts the Hicks painting of Fuller, hanging on the wall of Constance Fuller Threinen, of Middleton, Wisconsin. It includes a copy of a 1970 June 17 letter from Constance Fuller Threinen to Louise Ambler of the Fogg Art Museum concerning the daguerreotype owned by Harvard.

Thomas Hicks (October 18th, 1823- October 8th, 1890) was an American born, European-trained artist that spent time with Fuller while they were both living in Italy. While little is known about the details of their relationship, we can imagine that they spent a significant amount of time together, which undoubtedly influenced both of their thinking.

Hicks was known for use of dark, but lush colors, and attention to detail. Upon his return to the United States, he established himself in New York, where he would go on to paint many important societal and political figures, including Abraham Lincoln.