Portrait, miniature, and genre artist Jane Stuart was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1812, the daughter of famous portraitist Gilbert Stuart. Jane learned painting from her father as a child, mainly by assisting him as he gave instruction to his students. Refusing to give his daughter any formal instruction, Stuart used Jane to grind his colors and fill in the backgrounds of his paintings. When asked, her father explained his refusal to teach Jane by saying, “When they want to know if a puppy is of true Newfoundland breed, they throw him into the river; if true, he will swim without being taught.” Despite this lack of formal training, and including the fact that she was forbidden to enter the studio when her father was not present, Jane became a noted portraitist in her own right. When her father died penniless, Stuart, at the age of sixteen and the youngest of the four girls, became the sole support of the family. She established her own studio in Boston and earned a living by painting portraits and miniatures in oils and making copies of her father’s portraits, especially his famous portraits of George Washington. The copies proved to be extremely popular, and although other artists copied the elder Stuart’s Washingtons as well, Jane’s are credited with being some of the finest, including the one in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In addition to portraits, she also painted some quaint, narrative genre works. She and her mother and three sisters moved to Newport, Rhode Island, but she continued to maintain her studio in Boston until a fire destroyed it in the 1850s. Stuart lost much of her work and nearly all of the mementos of her father’s life. During her later years in Newport she became known as “Miss Jane,” a self-referentially comical figure in the midst of the glittering and sophisticated social scene. It is also said that she suffered the misfortune of looking like a female version of her father. She reminisced about her now-famous father for Scribner’s Monthly magazine. Towards the end of her life, Stuart became poverty-stricken once again, and when she and her sister were evicted from their home. Wealthy friends purchased another small house for them in Newport where they were able to live out their final years. Stuart died in Newport in 1888. Her work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City from 1829 to 1845 and at the Boston Academy of Fine Arts in 1833. Her paintings are included among the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport; the Newport Art Museum; the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence; Colby College, in Waterville, Maine; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Harvard University Art Museums; the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri; the De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco; the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut; and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.