This painting depicts John Henry Livingston, an American minister and fourth President of Queen’s College (now Rutgers University). Mr Livingston passed away in 1825, and judging by the materials used, this painting dates from that time. Currently, the wood panel is unstable and there are areas of loss in the paint film as well as considerable amounts of dirt particulates across the surface. The painting and its frame will be restored, and a cradle added to accommodate the painting within the frame.
Cleaning efforts have begun, and besides uncovering a heavy amount of contaminants, more surface damage has been discovered.
Along with being a pastor and a professor, Mr. Livingston also authored a few non-fiction books, and we like to think that possibly this portrait was staged with one of those works. Stay tuned for more…
John Henry Livingston was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on May 30, 1746. He graduated from Yale and went on to study law, but abandoned it for the ministry. He graduated from the University of Utrecht, Holland, in 1767, and with the degree of D.D. in 1770 was invited to take charge of one of the Reformed Dutch churches in New York, and was ordained by the classis of Amsterdam on June 5, 1769.
Upon his return to New York City in September, 1769, he was made pastor of the Fulton Street Reformed Dutch church, and was instrumental in settling the dispute in the church between the Coetus and Conferentic parties. In 1784 he was appointed professor of theology for the church and later became president of Queen’s college, New Brunswick, N.J., and a professor of theology from 1807-25. He married Sarah, daughter of Philip and Christiana (Ten Broeck) Livingston.
His publications include: Funeral Service; or Meditations Adapted to Funeral Addresses (1812); and A Dissertation on the Marriage of a Man with his Sister-in-Law (1816).
He died in New Brunswick, NJ on Jan. 20, 1825.
In view of Dr. Livingston’s great efforts and achievements in the areas of theological education, church constitution, liturgy, psalms, missionary endeavor, and the unity of the church, as well as his great patriotism, he is still called “Father of the Dutch Reformed Church” in America.