"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mary Smith Lockwood

This portrait of Mary S. Lockwood hangs in the DAR library at Memorial Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.
Mary Lockwood was born in Hanover, Chautauqua County, New York, on October 24, 1831.  She moved to Washington, DC, in about 1878.  Mrs. Lockwood’s residence was Washington’s elegant and imposing Strathmore Arms, and it was there on October 11, 1890, the formal organization of the NSDAR took place.

Mrs. Lockwood was the NSDAR’s first historian and the Society, inspired by Mrs. Lockwood’s commitment to historic preservation, resolved on October 18, 1890, to “provide a place for the collection of Historical relics which will accumulate…and for historical portraits, pictures, etc.  This may first be in rooms, and later in the erection of a fire-proof building.” She held many other national offices as well and served as editor of the DAR Magazine from 1894 to 1900.

Mrs. Lockwood was also a prolific author and wrote many noteworthy books.  Her last book, The Historic Homes of Washington, was dedicated to her older brother to whom she became close after her mother’s death when Mrs. Lockwood was only four years old.  She was an avid promoter of the work of women’s clubs and was both the founder of the famous Travel Club and for a time president of the Women’s Press Club.  She also held the position of Lady Manager at Large at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

An acquaintance noted that “she is friendly to all progressive movements, especially so in the progress of women.”  Mary Lockwood died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on November 9, 1922, and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC.  She was not only the last surviving Founder, but is also the only Founder buried in Washington. – DAR, Four Founders.
The painting seems to be modeled on this photograph that appeared in The Story of the Records: D.A.R.  1906 by Mary Lockwood and  Emily Ragan.

In the photograph Mrs. Lockwood is wearing a DAR insignia pin. The insignia  was adopted by the DAR in 1891.

In the painting Mrs.  Lockwood is also wearing her Founder's Medal. These medals were awarded to the founders of of the DAR. Mary Lockwood's bears the word "Service" where the other three founder's medals bear the word "Founder," a distinction obscured in the painting. Mrs. Lockwood is often called the "Pen Founder" of the D.A.R.

Daughters of the American Revolution 1776
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