National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of Mrs. Nancy E. Symington and Mr. Charles C. Glover III) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
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Born Lincolnshire, England
Growing up in a provincial English town, Jane Cocking turned to publishing to expand her horizons and sidestep social strictures against women in the public eye. At fifteen, she began submitting poems anonymously to the Lady’s Magazine, a popular journal reaching thousands of readers nationwide. In 1805, Cocking immigrated to the United States, and eventually settled in Washington, D.C. She married the prominent Maryland attorney Charles Carroll Glover (1780–1827) there in 1813. The 1820 federal census recorded that in addition to three children, the Glovers’s household included two female slaves—indicating Jane’s assimilation of the most reprehensible of her adoptive country’s practices.
In this portrait by Pietro Bonanni, an Italian artist who worked on the U.S. Capitol’s mural decorations, neoclassical columns and a distant river view allude to Jane Cocking Glover’s new life in Washington.