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Book Condition: Good
Oblong, 11 by 20 cm. 36 leaves, all portraits, 117 in all, and two still lifes, on rectos. Some portraits are captioned with names and dated, and a few leaves are also signed, with location given. The portraits are clearly by an amateur, or a developing, hand, yet even the most awkwardly executed of these portraits, one can sense, imparts a rather credible likeness of the subject, with a few of the portraits undeniably life-like. All of the portraits render their subjects with serious, rather grim expressions. We can't say whether this reflects a limitation by the artist or was deliberate, as sober expressions were the norm back then. Whether intentionally or not, Kennedy would appear to capture a cross-section of middle class or upper middle class New Englanders of the day, and we regard this sketchbook as a rather special specimen of late nineteenth century Americana. Kennedy, the artist, came from the Springfield, Massachusetts area, where he worked first in a woolen mill and later as a book-keeper. After marrying a woman from New Haven in 1892, he moved there and worked both in the insurance industry and as a railroad clerk. He ultimately retired back in Ware, where he was born.