James W. Stock

(1815-1855)

James W. Stock was a mostly self-taught folk artist, although he received some criticism from Franklin White. Stock spent his life in a wheelchair after an accident at the age of 11. He began his artist career by copying pictures by White and other popular prints distributed by Nathaniel Currier. Stock's professional painting career was launched in 1832. His first portraits were of relatives and locals. Just two years later, 1834, Stock gained some recognition, traveling and working primarily in Springfield. He kept a journal between the years 1832 to 1846, which describes his early efforts and training. Stock produced over 900 paintings from 1842-45. His rise in popularity can be seen in the increase of price for his paintings. In 1852 Stock moved to Orange County, NY. His work emulates social portraitists like Chester Harding. A large library of literature, history, religion as well as books, magazines and manuals on art were found in Stock's estate. Stock's portraits usually depicted kids with pets and toys, along with miniatures, landscapes and marine scenes.