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Mrs. William Allen
Date: 1896
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Medium: Watercolor on ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 3 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. ( 8.3 x 6.4 cm )
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Peter Marié
Object Number: 1905.3
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Marks: inscribed on card within case: "Carl & Fredrika Weidner pinxt / N.Y. 1896" and "Mrs. Wm. Allen of NY and Virginia"

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Mary Houstoun, the daughter of Confederate general Robert Houstoun of Savannah, married New York lawyer William Allen. The couple frequently entertained members of high society at their home on East 65th Street, which boasted a grand display of silver inherited from Mrs. Allen's southern ancestors. In 1901, Mary Allen published a popular book, The Love Letters of a Liar, a story of passion and disloyalty told through the epistles of a smitten lover.


"Beauty's Legacy: Gilded Age Portraits in America," New-York Historical Society, September 27, 2013–March 09, 2014