The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Dr. John Morgan

Artist
Angelica Kauffmann, 30 Oct 1741 - 5 Nov 1807
Sitter
John Morgan, 10 Jun 1735 - 15 Oct 1789
Date
1764
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame: 144.1 x 108.3 x 5.7cm (56 3/4 x 42 5/8 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; this acquisition was made possible by a generous contribution from the James Smithson Society
Object number
NPG.78.221
Exhibition Label
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. John Morgan's noted student, Benjamin Rush, once remarked that Morgan's name should forever be linked with the birth of professionalism in American medicine. Having first worked on the western frontier as a military surgeon during the French and Indian War, Morgan pursued an advanced medical degree at Edinburgh University in Scotland. Upon returning home to Philadelphia in 1765, Morgan played a key role in the establishment of America's first medical school. During the Revolutionary War, he served two years as the director-general of the Hospital of the Army. In this position, Morgan confronted daunting medical challenges, including an outbreak of smallpox and also extraordinary infighting among army officials who were unaccustomed to a centralized medical service.
This portrait was created by noted Swiss-born artist Angelica Kauffmann in Rome during Morgan's visit there in 1764.
Nacido en Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Benjamin Rush, distinguido alumno del doctor John Morgan, comentó que el nombre de su mentor estaría por siempre vinculado a los inicios del profesionalismo en la medicina estadounidense. Habiendo trabajado en frontera del oeste como cirujano militar durante la guerra franco-india, Morgan prosiguió a obtener un título avanzado de medicina en la Universidad de Edimburgo, Escocia. Al regresar a Philadelphia en 1765, fue figura clave en la fundación de la primera escuela de medicina en Estados Unidos. Durante la Guerra de Independencia sirvió dos años como director general del hospital del ejército. En dicho puesto confrontó situaciones abrumadoras, entre ellas una epidemia de varicela e intensas luchas internas entre los oficiales que no estaban acostumbrados a un servicio médico centralizado.
La reconocida artista de origen suizo Angelica Kauffmann realizó este retrato en Roma durante una visita de Morgan en 1764.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 150a