Historic Camden Foundation has again been given an incredible gift to engage the history of the Camden region and Kershaw County through our collection. Thanks to a very generous gift we are establishing the Robert David Carpenter Gallery for Decorative Arts. The Dining Room of the Kershaw Cornwallis house will begin to feature conserved pieces of colonial arts and artisans. Security measures are already being added and the Col. John Admanson (1744 -1816) portrait has been sent for conservation.
Another exciting addition is returning to the Kershaw House, the portrait of Catherine DuTarque (1760-1793) by renowned colonial artist, Jeremiah Theus (1715-1774). This painting is one of two found in the attic of the house just prior to its burning. The other original is held by the Smithsonian Institution. Both portraits have been beautifully restored by the family.
A 1958 authentication by The Corcoran in Washington DC notes that Theus painted two similar portraits of Catherine.
“The portrait represents a young girl. Her hair has been drawn back severely and a stiff bunch of flowers plac
ed in it. There is no opening in the front of the bodice for a contrasting vest, but this bodice is heavily trimmed with a conventional pattern of embroidery. One of the two portraits is owned by Cecil Young, Anniston, Alabama; the other was willed by Mrs. Harriet K. Leiding to Tallulah Kershaw, Mt. Pleasant, SC”
Catherine DuTarque, married Capt. Isaac DuBose IV (1754 – 1816), a Lieutenant in the 2d Regiment of Foot, organized in 1775. He was one of the officers stationed in Fort Moultrie at
the time of the British attack on Sullivan’s Island. Catherine and Isaac were the parents of Mrs. John (Harriett) Kershaw (1791-1845).
Capt. Isaac DuBose, according to Historic Camden Volume I, was sent to the Constitutional Convention (1790), was Intendant of Camden (1792) and elected to the Legislature in 1796, 1800 and 1806.
Portraits at Historic Camden Foundation and housed at the Kershaw- Cornwallis House add to the story of South Carolina backcountry settlement and the Revolutionary War experience. These important artifacts along with colonial pottery, furniture, textiles and horticulture trades will engage the life of the citizens of early Camden.
“…Architecture is the most ubiquitous expression of the arts, But it is the decorative arts that truly mirror the aspirations of the people who have settled here and fills in where historians leave off-“ Quoted from the Forward by Joanna Craig in the Kershaw County Historical Society 1988 publication The Decorative Arts of Camden and Kershaw County, South Carolina.
Historic Camden Foundation is a private non-profit with a mission to protect, educate and celebrate the extraordinary colonial and Revolutionary War history of Camden. With this gift, Historic Camden will continue its programs and enhance the Colonial Village living history demonstrations:
* Conserving the items we own,
* Exhibiting artifacts from Native Americans to the Federalist Period,
* Producing items from the Forge, Pottery and Horticulture spaces,
* Educating the visitor and residents.
Creating a greater appreciation of America’s remarkable story.