PRESERVATION LONG ISLAND ANNOUNCES
A SIGNIFICANT GIFT TO THE COLLECTION:
PORTRAITS OF THE LLOYD FAMILY
The group of important early American portraits from descendants of the Nelson and Lloyd families of Boston and Long Island is currently on view in a new digital exhibition:
Facing Slavery: The Lloyd Family Portraits in Context
Cold Spring Harbor, NY— Preservation Long Island is pleased to announce the gift of a group of important early American portraits from descendants of the Nelson and Lloyd families of Boston and Long Island. For over three hundred years, portraits of Elizabeth Tailer Nelson (1667–1734), John Nelson (1654–1734), Henry Lloyd I (1685–1763), and James Lloyd III (1769–1831) remained in the possession of the same family that commissioned them centuries ago. The artworks, an extraordinary gift from the collection of Orme Wilson III and Elsie Wilson Thompson, in memory of Alice Borland Wilson, have joined Preservation Long Island’s collection and are now available for the public to view in a new digital exhibition: Facing Slavery: The Lloyd Family Portraits in Context.
“We are honored to be the new stewards of these important pieces of American history and to make them available to the public for the first time,” said Alexandra Wolfe, Preservation Long Island Executive Director.
In gifting the paintings, the donors wrote: “After being in family care all these years, we believe that these portraits are going to the right place with you and your colleagues at Preservation Long Island, where we hope that they will be useful in your development of a deeper historical understanding and contextualization of the issues and events that swirled around the Long Island area in colonial times and later”.
This gift coincided with the launch of the first phase of the Jupiter Hammon Project, a long-term initiative that will transform how Preservation Long Island engages future visitors to Joseph Lloyd Manor (1767) with the entangled stories of the Lloyd family and the individuals they enslaved for more than a century at the Manor of Queens Village on Long Island (Lloyd Neck today), among them, Jupiter Hammon (1711–before 1806) one of our nation’s first published Black American writers.
This multi-generational collection of portraits is a visual reminder of the region’s colonial and early national history, but the individuals they represent reflect only a fraction of the people, both enslaved and free, who lived, formed families, and established communities on Long Island and New England during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
“We are grateful to the descendants for recognizing the important work of the Jupiter Hammon Project and for giving the portraits a new, permanent home with Preservation Long Island,” said Lauren Brincat, Curator, Preservation Long Island. “There are no known portraits of Jupiter Hammon or any of the men, women, and children the Lloyds enslaved. By interrogating the hidden history behind these painted surfaces, however, we can uncover a complex story of one family forcibly bound to another across generations”.
Facing Slavery: The Lloyd Family Portraits in Context is now on view at:
About Joseph Lloyd Manor
Joseph Lloyd Manor was completed in 1767 for Joseph Lloyd (1716–1780) on the Manor Queens Village, a 3,000-acre provisioning plantation established in the late 17th century on the ancestral lands of the Matinecock Nation. Jupiter Hammon (1711–before 1806), one of the first published African American writers, was one of the many people of African descent enslaved at the site. The British occupied Joseph Lloyd Manor during the Revolutionary War and it is where Hammon authored his most significant works about slavery and freedom during the founding of the United States.
The house remained in the Lloyd family until 1876, eventually becoming the country house of Mrs. Anna Matheson Wood (1882–1980) who donated the property to Preservation Long Island in 1968. Today, Joseph Lloyd Manor is recognized as a national Literary Landmark in honor of Jupiter Hammon and occupies a spectacular 2.5-acre setting overlooking Lloyd Harbor.
About Preservation Long Island
Preservation Long Island is a not-for-profit organization that works with Long Islanders to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the protection of our shared past through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.
Preservation Long Island maintains and interprets historic sites and collections that embody various aspects of Long Island’s history including:
Joseph Lloyd Manor, Lloyd Harbor http://preservationlongisland.org/joseph-lloyd-manor/
Custom House, Sag Harbor http://preservationlongisland.org/custom-house/
Sherwood-Jayne Farm, Setauket http://preservationlongisland.org/sherwood-jayne-farm/
Old Methodist Church and Exhibition Gallery http://preservationlongisland.org/methodist-church/
Image Credits below.
Image credit: Montage of Lloyd family portraits from the collection of Preservation Long Island:
Elizabeth Tailer Nelson (1667–1734) by an unknown American artist, ca. 1685. Oil on canvas. Preservation Long Island, 2020.5.2.
John Nelson (1654–1734) attributed to James Frothingham (1786–1685) after John Smibert (1688–1751), before 1824. Oil on panel. Preservation Long Island, 2020.5.3.
Henry Lloyd I (1685–1763) by John Mare (1739–ca. 1803) after John Wollaston (active ca. 1742–1775), 1767. Oil on canvas. Preservation Long Island, 2020.5.1.
James Lloyd III (1769–1831) by an unknown American artist, 1800-50. Oil on canvas. Preservation Long Island. 2020.5.4.