by Colleen Taylor Sen
George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1884) was one of the most prominent and sought-after portrait painters of his day, Healy was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He lived in Chicago from 1855 through 1869 and again from 1892 until his death. Among his notable portraitures are “Webster’s Reply to Hayne,” done in 1851, which hangs in Boston’s Faneuil Hall; “Franklin Urging the Claims of the Colonists before Louis XVI,” which won the second class gold medal at the Paris International Exhibition of 1855; and a series of the Presidents from John Quincy Adams to Ulysses S. Grant hanging in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. Locally, Healy’s celebrated portrait of Abraham Lincoln hangs in the Newberry Library.