James Jebusa Shannon | Virginia Gammell

American, 1862–1923

Miss Virginia Gammell

Signed and dated J.J. SHANNON/ 1905
Oil on canvas
50 x 37 inches (127 x 94 cm)
Framed: 64 x 50 inches (162.5 x 127 cm)

This work was exhibited alongside a portrait of the sitter’s mother, Mrs. Robert Gammell, at an exhibition of portraits by Shannon at Knoedler Gallery in New York in 1906.  The reviewer for the New York Times wrote, “The dress in the portrait of Miss Virginia Gammell of Providence is vividly, richly wrought by clear, deft strokes that sometimes make one think of Sargent…” (New York Times, March 6, 1906, p. 5).

Virginia Gammell Cross (1880-1966) was the daughter of Mr. Robert Ives Gammell (1852-1915) and Mrs. Eliza Anthony Hoppin Gammell (1859-1938) of Providence, Rhode Island.  She married Harry Parsons Cross in 1906 and they had three daughters, Virginia Cross Mabley, Elisa Cross Brooks and Hope Gammell Curtis. The sitter’s maternal great-great-grandfather was William Jones of Newport, who was a captain in Colonel Lippitt’s Rhode Island regiment until it was disbanded in 1777.  He served as a marine on the Providence until she was captured at Charleston.  The Gammells, a prominent banking family in Providence, also spent much of their time in Newport.

Virginia Gammell Cross, Providence, Rhode Island
Thence by descent

New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Recent Portraits by Mr. J.J. Shannon, A.R.A., 1906, no. 5

“Portraits by Shannon, A.R.A.,” New York Times, March 6, 1906, p. 5
“Art Notes,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 13, 1906, p. 4, “Notable also for brush handling are the portraits of … Mrs. Robert I. Gammell and Miss Virginia Gammell, a sparkling young beauty, with roses all round her and roses on her dress. She did not suffer from the comparison.”
Barbara Dayer Gallati, Portraits of Artistry and Artifice: The Career of Sir James Shannon [1992 Ph.D. thesis, City University of New York], Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2014, p. 349


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