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William R. Hamilton

WILLIAM R. HAMILTON (1795-1879), Portrait of Mary Morison Masterton, oil on canvas, 24 ½ x 28 ½ inches
Gift of Mary Means Huber

Mary was the only daughter of Alexander and Euphenus Masterton.  She is seen here as a young girl of about eight years, elegantly dressed and playing the piano, the very model of a child from a well-to-do family.

Mary married Elias Dusenberry, a lawyer from a prominent local Dutch family, in 1856 and together they had four children.  At her father’s death in 1859 Mary inherited the family homestead on White Plains Road as well as its entire contents.  The house remained in the Masterton-Dusenberry family until 1959, when Mary and Elias’ youngest child Amie died.

William Hamilton emigrated from Scotland in the early 1830s with the help of his fellow countryman, the owner of the Tuckahoe marble quarries, Alexander Masterton.  The artist trained in London and Paris was active in America’s National Academy from 1835 to 1841.  Hamilton is best known as a portraitist and painted the individual likenesses of the Masterton family as well as a large family portrait from 1834, now hanging in the Los Angeles County Museum.