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Durand Family History: Cyrus Durand Chapman

Cyrus Durand Chapman

Cyrus Durand Chapman (1856-1918), an artist, photographer and architect, was the grandson of Cyrus Durand and the nephew of Henry and Asher B. Durand. Family papers, artwork and memorabilia were inherited by Chapman's son, John Holbrook Chapman. The Cyrus Durand Chapman Collection was given to the Durand-Hedden House in 1996.

Cyrus Durand Chapman inherited the talents of his ancestors and was notable for a painting called "The Wedding Bonnet," a photo of which is owned by the Durand-Hedden House. Chapman used his wife and great-aunt as two of the three figures in the painting, and our exhibit will include an 1886 diary of his future bride. The Sunday Call newspaper reported that "Mr. Chapman's studio was visited by hundreds of art lovers and everybody was pleased with the large picture…"

The Cyrus Durand Chapman Collection contains many wonderful items, such as a small album of watercolor drawings and sketches, daguerreotypes of Cyrus and Phoebe Durand, a small treasure box belonging to Phoebe, an 1835 land deed, and correspondence. The first postage stamps authorized by Congress in 1847 featured Asher Durand's engravings of earlier portraits of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

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