Watercolor Painting Depicting the Bennet Family Record

The practice of recording family likenesses predates the 1839 invention of photography by thousands of years, as seen in sculptures and paintings. Illuminated family records commemorated births, deaths, and marriages. This watercolor family record from Poland, Maine, recorded the marriage of Miss Betty Haskel and Mr. Jonathan Bennet, as well as the birth dates of their nine children.
Pregnancy and raising children filled the daily lives of many women in the eighteenth century. Marriages, births, and deaths were primarily community affairs prior to the mid-19th century. Family occasions were marked by a gathered congregation, a village, or a household that routinely included servants, apprentices, lodgers, and visitors.
Currently not on view
Date made
April 12, 1804
Bennet, Jonathan
Haskel, Betty
Barns, Ruben
Place Made
United States: Maine, Poland
Physical Description
watercolor (overall production method/technique)
image: 13 3/4 in x 10 3/4 in; 34.925 cm x 27.305 cm
overall-in frame: 3/4 in x 20 1/8 in x 22 1/2 in; 1.905 cm x 51.1175 cm x 57.15 cm
overall, frame hook: 3/4 in x 15 3/8 in x 1 7/8 in; 1.905 cm x 39.0525 cm x 4.7625 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur M. Greenwood
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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