Saturday, August 5, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: August 5, 1828 - Samuel Woodson Price

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From the Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Samuel Woodson Price, portrait artist, was born August 5, 1828, near Nicholasville, Kentucky, to Daniel Branch and Elizabeth (Crockett) Price. At an early age he began to draw in pencil and charcoal and had set up a studio in Brown's Hotel by the age of fourteen. He attended the Nicholasville Academy and in 1846 entered the Kentucky Military Institute near Frankfort, where he was soon teaching drawing. After studying under William Reading, a portrait painter from Louisville, and under Lexington's Oliver Frazer, he left for New York City in the winter of 1848 to enroll in the School of Design, where he remained five months. By the spring of 1849, Price had reopened his painting studio in Lexington and at the request of A.L. Shotwell, a prominent Louisvillian, Price moved to that city in 1851. For the next several years, he traveled through Tennessee and other states painting portraits. In 1859 Price bought a house at 100 Constitution Street (now 233 East Second) in Lexington.

During the Civil War, Price led Federal troops. On February 26, 1862, Captain Price was made colonel of the 21st Infantry of the Kentucky Volunteers. He was wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864, and was then assigned as post commander of Lexington until the end of the war. On March 13, 1865, by a special act of Congress, the title brevet brigadier general was bestowed on Price for meritorious service. Following the war, Price went to Washington, D.C., to paint portraits, including those of Gens. George H. Thomas and William S. Rosecrans. On April 5, 1869, Price was appointed twelfth postmaster in Lexington, and he painted in a studio on the upper floor of the post office. He was removed as postmaster by President Ulysses S. Grant in April 1876.

In 1878, facing financial difficulties, Price moved to Louisville, where he lived on Breckinridge Street. The Louisville city directory of 1879 lists him as occupying a studio in the Courier-Journal office building. In 1880, as a result of his war wound and subsequent ill health, Price lost his sight in one eye, and a year later was completely blind. In 1882, Price dictated a history of the 21st Infantry, which was later published in Speed's The Union Regiments of Kentucky (1897). He wrote about Kentucky painters in The Old Masters of the Bluegrass, published by the Filson Club in 1902.

Price married Mary Frances Thompson on May 26, 1853; they had a son and two daughters. Following the death of his wife in 1892, Price lived with his son, Robert Coleman Price, in Louisville and later in St. Louis. Price died on January 22, 1918, in St. Louis and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Coleman, J. Winston. Samuel Woodson Price, Kentucky Portrait Painter. S.l.: S.n., 1949. Print.
N6580.K4 C650, Fine Arts Library

Coleman, J. Winston, and University Press of Kentucky. Three Kentucky Artists--Hart, Price, Troye. Lexington: U of Kentucky, 1974. Print. Kentucky Bicentennial Bookshelf.
N6530.K4 C64, Fine Arts Library

Price, Samuel Woodson. Samuel Woodson Price Papers, 1861-1951, 1861-1891 (bulk Dates) (1861). Print.
M-445, Special Collections Research Center - Microfilm Coll

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