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Pierre Toussaint (ca. 1781–1853)
Date: ca. 1825
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Medium: Watercolor on ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 3 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. ( 8.3 x 6.7 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Georgina Schuyler
Object Number: 1920.4
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Born in slavery in Santo Domingo, Haiti, Pierre Toussaint was brought to New York about 1797 by Jean Bérard, a wealthy French landowner. When Bérard returned to Haiti and suddenly died, leaving his young widow in New York without means, Toussaint took care of her until her death. He supported her as well as his own family by becoming one of the most successful and fashionable hairdressers in New York City.

Exhibitions:

"Tokens of Affection: The Portrait Miniature in America," Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, March 29–June 16, 1991; Art Institute of Chicago, IL, September 1–November 19, 1991; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, November 20–February 10, 1991.

"Jefferson's America and Napoleon's France," New Orleans Museum of Art, LA, April 12–August 31, 2003.

"Slavery in New York," New-York Historical Society, October 17, 2005–March 5, 2006.