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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Cyrus Field Family Portraits

These paintings of Cyrus Field and his parents, wife, and sons are owned by Peter Christian Hall and Alix-Marie Hall, New York City-based siblings whose great-grandfather was Frederick Joseph Stone, Cyrus Field's nephew.

In November 1840, when Cyrus Field was 21, he was married to Mary Bryan Stone. When he formed the firm of Cyrus W. Field & Co. in 1842 or 1843, he took in as a partner his brother-in-law, Joseph F. Stone.

In 1852 Joseph F. Stone married Cyrus Field's youngest sister, Mary Elizabeth Field; their son, Frederick Joseph Stone, was thus doubly Cyrus's nephew. When Frederick J. Stone's parents both died in his early youth, he was raised in Cyrus Field's home at Gramercy Park. 

While the paintings are not signed, family history holds that the portraits were painted by Daniel Huntington, whose signed painting of Field is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (shown alongside for comparison).

Huntington also painted the 9' x 7' 3" canvas of Field, Morse, et al., titled The Atlantic Cable Projectors presented to the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New-York in 1895, and he is known to have executed signed portraits of other Field Family members. Accordingly, the portraits here are described as "unsigned, attributed to Daniel Huntington."

Click on each image for a larger version

Mary Bryan Stone Field,
wife of
Cyrus West Field
(26" X 32¼")
See note below for
more information
on this portrait

Cyrus West Field
(26" X 32¼)

Cyrus Field painting by Daniel Huntington, donated by Field in 1892 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

David Dudley Field,
father of
Cyrus West Field
(25" X 30")

Submit Dickinson Field,
mother of
Cyrus West Field
(25" X 30")

Two boys, believed to be the sons of Cyrus West Field: Cyrus William Field (1857-1894), left, and Edward Morse Field (1855-1930)
(20" X 24")

Note on portrait of Mary Bryan Stone Field:

The Halls' painting of Mary Field is unsigned, but is a larger-size copy of a 15" x 12" painting by Oliver Ingraham Lay (1845-1890). Lay's painting itself is signed "After Vaini/Oliver Lay", and is presumably a copy of a portrait by Pietro Vaini, an Italian artist who came to America from Italy in 1872.

The Oliver Lay painting is noted as being in the collection of Mrs. Cyrus Field Judson, Jr. at Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, as of February 1967. The location of the Vaini painting is not recorded.

A further copy of this work, in the form of a large chalk drawing, was owned by the mother of Field family genealogist Diane Gravlee, and is now at the Irvington Historical Society.

Thanks to the Art Reference Library at the Frick Collection for the information on the works by Ingraham and Vaini.

Last revised: 12 July, 2010

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