|Artist||Wilkinson, Anna Maria Cecilia|
|Title||[John Herbert Wilkinson rescuing a child]|
Painting, oil on canvas, framed. Portrait of a fireman rescuing a child in front of a burning stairway, painted by Anna Maria Brown (married name Wilkinson). The fireman is John Herbert Wilkinson of New Brighton (1863-1941), a firefighter with Alert Hose Company No. 1. He is depicted wearing a red shirt with a neck scarf, trousers, and boots. He has dark, side-parted hair, long sideburns, and a moustache. He carries a young child in a white gown in one arm; one hand holds a speaking trumpet and the other hand holds his fire helmet. On the floor near his feet is a leather fire bucket marked with the number "1." The figures are surrounded by billowing smoke and flames. The painting is signed and dated at the lower right corner (in red): "A. M. BROWN, / 1892." Overall dimensions (including wooden frame) are 38.5 inches x 38.5 inches; canvas measures approximately 32 inches square.
(Keywords: Firefighter, Work Clothes, Occupational Clothing, NSFD, New York, Folk Art)
|Ownership and History||
This portrait was made by amateur artist Anna Maria Brown, who was a teacher at PS 3 in New Brighton, Staten Island. The firefighter subject, John Herbert Wilkinson (1863-1941), became her husband in 1893, the year after it was painted. Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson had three daughters and resided at 130 York Avenue in New Brighton.
Mr. Wilkinson was devoted to the civic and community life of Staten Island. He worked as chief clerk in the Supreme Court of Richmond County for many years. He was a member of the Beacon Light Lodge of the Masons and was one of the organizers of Alert Hose Company No. 1 of New Brighton. An 1890s photograph of Alert's apparatus in front of its Jersey Street fire station shows this painting (or a copy) affixed to the front of the building.
The painting came to the Staten Island Historical Society as a gift of Marjorie Wilkinson (Mrs. Harold) Scheminger in 1953; she was the daughter of John and Anna Maria Wilkinson.
Wilkinson, John Herbert
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