Stretcher: 128.3 x 190.5 x 5.1cm (50 1/2 x 75 x 2")
Frame: 162.6 x 225.7 x 12.7cm (64 x 88 7/8 x 5")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942
In 1857, the inventor of a coal-burning stove, Jordan Mott, commissioned Christian Schussele to paint a group portrait of eighteen American scientists and inventors who "had altered the course of contemporary civilization." As with Schussele's celebration of American letters, Washington Irving . . . at Sunnyside, the group portrait did not mark an actual occasion but was designed to honor the achievements of American industry. The artist sketched study portraits of each of his subjects before putting them all into his final, formal composition. Men of Progress is a remarkable document of the growth of the American economy by the 1850s as it celebrates the inventions and processes of manufacturing pioneered by men such as Cyrus McCormick, Charles Goodyear, Samuel Colt, Samuel Morse, Elias Howe, and fourteen others.
Jordan Lawrence Mott; Mott family; (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); purchased 21 January 1937 by The A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA 1942; transferred 1965 to NPG.