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La Crosse County Historical Society discovers, collects, preserves, and shares the history of La Crosse County, Wisconsin.

Object Record

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Object Name Portrait
Catalog Number 1943.100.01
Description Portrait of John Levy (1820-1910). Oil painting, in oval format, framed with very ornate gold oval frame with dangling ornamentation at top.

Collection LCHS Fine Art Collection
Provenance A copy of an April 29, 1933 newspaper article reports a meeting of the LCHS at which artifacts from the home of John M. Levy were displayed. Among them were "two large oil portraits in elaborate gilt frames...They were loaned to the society by John Foley, north side hotel owner. The pictures, it was reported, were painted in 1858 by Charles Jenkins in England." A penciled note in the margin notes: "gift, 1943."
Note: Charles Waldo Jenkins (1821-1896), presumably the artist mentioned, was American, who worked in New York.
Date 1858
Maker Charles Jenkins
Signature Location bottom, left side, in red paint
Signed Name Charles Jenkins
People Levy, John
Notes John Levy (1820-1910) was born in London to German parents. European-educated, Levy arrived in the US in 1837 and came to La Crosse in 1845 where he was the first Jewish immigrant. He was a fur-trader, merchant, real estate developer, financier and hotelier, as well as a civic leader. Levy was elected mayor of La Crosse for three terms. Signed by Charles Waldo Jenkins and dated 1858.