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Martha Johnston nee Wentworth (c1768-1866) / artist unknown
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Martha Johnston nee Wentworth (c1768-1866) / artist unknown
1 framed oil painting on canvas : 178 x 95.4 cm.
Unsigned, undated.
This Wentworth family portrait came into the Vaucluse House collection in 1969 via the Honorable William Charles Wentworth (1907-2003), when he was Minister for Social Services in the Gorton government. In a letter written in September 1968 Wentworth explained that on a recent trip to the United States he had "met a Mr J.G.D. Paul of Baltimore who is an elderly man of considerable distinction in the United States. Mr Paul is a great-great-grandson of Martha Wentworth who was a sister of D'Arcy Wentworth, my own great-great-grandfather. He has a contemporary portrait of Martha Wentworth as an old woman." The portrait was shipped to Vaucluse House in October 1969 in the diplomatic care of the Australian Embassy in Washington and Australian Prime Minister J G Gorton presided at a ceremony at Vaucluse House in February 1970 organised for the reception of the painting.
Martha Johnston, nee Wentworth, the subject of the portrait, was one of four sisters of D'Arcy Wentworth (1762-1827). Her first husband was a merchant named Moses Paul whom she married in 1789. She became Martha Johnston following the death of Moses Paul in 1812 and was again a widow at the time of her death at Armagh, Ireland, in November 1866, aged 98. One of her sons, D'Arcy Paul (1793-1874) emigrated to the United around 1820. It was D'Arcy Paul's great-grandson John Gilman D'Arcy Paul (1887-1972) who gave the painting to Vaucluse House. (MM, December 2017)
Gift of John Gilman D'Arcy Paul (1887-1972), 1968
Vaucluse House ; V88/48
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