Curator's Choice tells the stories behind prized objects and artifacts from the collections of historical organizations and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

Upon graduating from Lancaster’s Franklin and Marshall College in 1900, Worth B. Stottlemyer settled in Arling­ton, Virginia, where he prospered in the insurance and real estate businesses. An insatiable collector, he amassed a cache of antiques and works of art, intending to open an antiques shop in Frederick, Maryland, upon retiring. While building his enormous collection, Stottle­myer often consulted with specialists, including experts at the Cor­coran Gallery of Art in Washing­ton, D.C. He never realized his dream, though. Worth B. Stot­tlemyer died in 1950.

Responsibility for the vast accumulation of objects fell to Stottlemyer’s sons, Car­men and Quayton R. Not long after he began the arduous task of cataloging, inventorying, and photographing the collection, Carmen Stottle­myer died in an automobile accident. The collection remained virtually untouched and unknown for nearly a half-century, until it was given in 1998 to the Juniata College Museum of Art, Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, by Quayton R. Stottlemyer, Class of 1951.

The Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection includes works by significant American and European artists from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. Of the more than four hundred paintings, prints, drawings, and portrait miniatures, notable examples include American landscapes and seascapes by Asher B. Durand, John W. Casilear, Jervis McEntee, Thomas Moran, Edward Moran, George Inness, Arthur F. Tait, and Ralph A. Blakelock, in addition to American and British portraits attributed to Sir Joshua Reynolds, Samuel Morse, Anna Peale, and William Sidney Mount. The collection includes more than seventy portrait miniatures, as well as drawings and prints by Rembrandt van Rijn, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Ando Hiroshige, and J.M.W. Turner. Most of the works in the collection were previously unknown and many are unpublished.

Among the miniatures is Portrait of Valentine Blanchard (circa 1836) by Charles Cromwell Ingham (1796-1863). Born in Ireland, Ingham studied with William Cumming, a painter known for his likenesses of female subjects. Ingham adopted his master’s specialty and upon moving to New York in 1816 became known as the city’s premier “ladies” painter. He became extremely active in artists’ organizations, first as a member of the American Academy of Fine Arts (AAFA) and, in 1826, as a founder of the National Academy of Design, organized in opposition to the AAFA. He was also a founder of the Sketch Club and the Century Association. Ingham exhibited sporadically in Philadelphia, Washington, and Albany, but poor health in his later years forced him to curtail his activities.

Portrait miniatures, extremely popular between 1750 and 1850, were regarded as highly as full-size likenesses. Painted on thin disks of ivory, bone, or porcelain, they were intended to be worn or carried. These miniatures eventually fell out of favor, succumbing to the bur­geoning popularity of the emerging photographic processes, especially the daguerreotype.

The Juniata College Museum of Art, founded in 1998, the same year it acquired the Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection, is housed in Carnegie Hall, a beaux-arts style edifice built in 1907 as a Library with funds pro­vided by Andrew Carnegie and the citizens of Huntingdon. To learn more about the museum and its programs and exhibitions, write: Juniata College Museum of Art, 1700 Moore St., Hunt­ingdon, PA 16652-2196; telephone (814) 641-3505; or visit the Juniata College Museum of Art website. The museum is open to the public free of charge.