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Frances Wright (1795–1852)

Object Name: Portrait
Date: 1824
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 16 5/8 x 12 3/4 in. ( 42.2 x 32.4 cm )
Credit Line: Purchase, Abbott-Lenox Fund, Foster-Jarvis Fund, and the James S. Cushman Bequest
Object Number: 1955.263
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A native of Scotland, the subject was orphaned as a child and raised in London. She came to America in 1818 with her sister, Camilla, and for two years toured the country. The result was a book, "Views of Society and Manners in America" (1821). In 1829 she settled permanently in New York. She became famous for her radical ideas on which she frequently lectured; she advocated equal rights for women, birth control, the abolition of slavery and capital punishment, and equalization of wealth.


The Annual Report of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1955, 1956, New York, frontispiece, p. 66.

Catalogue of American Portraits in the New-York Historical Society, no. 1768, Vol. 2, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974, pp. 911-2.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz, Attitudes toward Sex in Antebellum America, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006, p. 11.


"The Works," New-York Historical Society, June 20, 2014-February 8, 2015.

"In Focus: Portrait and Small Paintings from the Society's Collections," New-York Historical Society, January 9, 2001-March 24, 2002.