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Mary Phelps Austin Holley

Mary Phelps Austin Holley
Auguste Edouart, 1788 - 1861
Mary Phelps Austin Holley, 30 Aug 1784 - 2 Aug 1846
Ink, chalk and cut paper on paper
Image/Sheet: 28.1 × 21.2 cm (11 1/16 × 8 3/8")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16")
Frame: 47.9 × 37.8 × 3.2 cm (18 7/8 × 14 7/8 × 1 1/4")
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Rug
Mary Phelps Austin Holley: Female
Mary Phelps Austin Holley: Literature\Writer\Novelist
Mary Phelps Austin Holley: Society and Social Change\Socialite
United States\Kentucky\Fayette\Lexington
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Robert L. McNeil, Jr.
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Mary Phelps Austin Holley made several trips to Texas between 1831 and 1843, writing a book about her early travels in 1833. According to Auguste Edouart, the volume, entitled Texas: Observations Historical, Geographical, and Descriptive, was “the first work” on the subject and the one upon which “all the rest were founded.” Another commentator described the book as a work of “great purity and elegance of style.”
Holley visited Austin, then a colony, which had been founded by her cousin Steven Austin, and she went on to join the campaign for the annexation of Texas and invest in land there.
Edouart captures Holley seated without props that refer to her accomplishments or attributes. Her obituary tells us more: she was “slight and graceful” with finely turned features that “glowed with animation when aroused by her subject.”
Entre 1831 y 1843, Mary Phelps Austin Holley hizo varios viajes a Texas y en 1833 publicó un libro sobre sus primeras visitas. Según Auguste Edouart, Texas: Observations, Historical, Geographical, and Descriptive fue “la primera obra” sobre el tema, en la cual “se basaron todas las demás”. Otro reseñante describió la publicación como un trabajo de “gran pureza y elegancia de estilo”.
Holley visitó Austin, entonces una colonia que había fundado su primo Steven Austin, y decidió unirse a la campaña por la anexión de Texas e invertir en tierras del área.
Edouart capta a Holley sentada, sin accesorios que remitan a sus logros o atributos. El obituario de la escritora es más explícito: era “leve y grácil”, de facciones finas que “se iluminaban con viveza cuando el tema le interesaba”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery