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Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry
Daniel Huntington, 14 Oct 1816 - 18 Apr 1906
Joseph Henry, 17 Dec 1797 - 13 May 1878
Oil on canvas
Sight: 75.1 × 62.2 cm (29 9/16 × 24 1/2")
Stretcher: 76.8 × 64.8 × 3 cm (30 1/4 × 25 1/2 × 1 3/16")
Frame: 102.4 × 89.9 × 93.4 cm (40 5/16 × 35 3/8 × 36 3/4")
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie
Joseph Henry: Male
Joseph Henry: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor
Joseph Henry: Science and Technology\Scientist\Physicist
Joseph Henry: Education and Scholarship\Administrator\Smithsonian Institution\Secretary
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Bequest of James C. McGuire) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
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Exhibition Label
Born Albany, New York
From 1846 until 1878, scientist and educator Joseph Henry served as the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. “The worth and importance of the Institution is not to be estimated by what it accumulates within the walls of its building,” Henry wrote, “but by what it sends forth into the world.”
Prior to his appointment, Henry was a professor of natural philosophy at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he lectured on physics, mineralogy, geology, astronomy, chemistry, and even architecture. As a scientific researcher, his work on electromagnetism contributed to the evolution of the telegraph, and in 1849, he established a program to analyze meteorological data that would give rise to the National Weather Service. During the Civil War, he advised President Abraham Lincoln on scientific matters while running the Smithsonian. Artist Daniel Huntington based this portrait on sketches made while Henry was lecturing.
Nacido en Albany, Nueva York
Desde 1846 hasta 1878, el científico y educador Joseph Henry se desempeñó como primer secretario de la Institución Smithsonian. “El valor y la importancia de la Institución no deben estimarse por lo que acumula entre las paredes de este edificio”, escribió Henry, “sino por lo que difunde al mundo”.
Antes de su nombramiento, Henry era profesor de filosofía natural en el College of New Jersey (hoy Universidad de Princeton), donde enseñó física, mineralogía, geología, astronomía, química e incluso arquitectura. Su trabajo de investigación sobre el electromagnetismo contribuyó a la evolución del telégrafo y en 1849 inició un programa para analizar datos meteorológicos que daría lugar al Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Durante la Guerra Civil fue asesor del presidente Abraham Lincoln en asuntos científicos a la vez que dirigía el Smithsonian. El artista Daniel Huntington basó este retrato en bocetos que había realizado cuando Henry impartía clases.
James C. McGuire [1812-1888]; Bequest to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1888; Gift to NPG, 2019.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery