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Charles Tyson Yerkes

Charles Tyson Yerkes
Artist
Jan Van Beers, 1852 - 1927
Sitter
Charles Tyson Yerkes, 25 Jun 1837 - 29 Dec 1905
Date
c. 1893
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on wood
Dimensions
Frame: 54 x 48.3 x 5.7cm (21 1/4 x 19 x 2 1/4")
Topic
Printed Material\Book
Printed Material\Document
Artwork\Painting
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses\Pince-nez
Costume\Jewelry\Ring\Wedding Band
Interior\Domestic\Study
Charles Tyson Yerkes: Male
Charles Tyson Yerkes: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Financier
Charles Tyson Yerkes: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist
Charles Tyson Yerkes: Law and Law Enforcement\Criminal\Thief\Embezzler
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mrs. Jay Besson Rudolphy
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.76.28
Exhibition Label
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Through shrewd and often unscrupulous business practices, the financier and entrepreneur Charles Yerkes established streetcar lines in Chicago in the late 1880s and headed the syndicate that built the London Underground at the turn of the century. In 1892, Yerkes contributed some of his fortune to the University of Chicago to build the Yerkes Observatory. It included what was then the world’s largest refracting telescope—one of the principal attractions of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Yerkes helped underwrite the exposition and served on its fine arts committee. He also loaned several works of art, including twelve paintings by his favorite contemporary artist, the Belgian painter Jan Van Beers. This portrait, a gift from the artist to his faithful patron, was one of the works on display. In 1895, Yerkes erected a lavish mansion in New York City to house his large collection of European paintings and sculptures.
Nacido en Filadelfia, Pensilvania
Mediante prácticas astutas y a menudo inescrupulosas, el financiero y emprendedor Charles Yerkes estableció líneas de tranvía en Chicago a fines de la década de 1880 y dirigió el equipo que construyó el subterráneo de Londres a principios del siglo XX. En 1892 donó parte de su fortuna a la Universidad de Chicago para la construcción del Observatorio Yerkes, hogar del que entonces era el telescopio refractor más grande del mundo. Esta fue una de las atracciones principales de la Exposición Mundial Colombina de 1893 en Chicago.
Yerkes ayudó a financiar la exposición y participó en el comité de bellas artes. También prestó varias obras de arte, incluidas 12 pinturas de su artista contemporáneo favorito, el belga Jan van Beers, entre ellas este retrato, regalo del artista a su fiel mecenas. En 1895 Yerkes construyó una suntuosa mansión en Nueva York para albergar su vasta colección de pinturas y esculturas europeas.
Provenance
Mrs. Edith R. Rudolphy [Mrs. Jay Besson Rudolphy], Wayne, Pa., granddaughter of sitter; gift 1976 to NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 131