Maria Rachel Bronson and son Wilber M. Bronson
Ammi Phillips (1788-1865)
Winchester, Connecticut, circa 1852
Oil on canvas, 35 x 35 ¼ inches
Maria Rachel Munsell was born in Torrington, Connecticut April 26, 1819, and married Theron Bronson (1809-1873) on July 7, 1841. The couple resided in Winchester, Connecticut. They produced six children, Edward H. Bronson, born July 31, 1842; Henry T. Bronson, born January 1, 1845; Wilber M. Bronson, born June 9, 1848; Maria L. Bronson, born January 31, 1853; Elliot B. Bronson, born August 7, 1858, and Carrie M. Bronson, born January 17, 1863.
This double portrait of mother and son Maria Rachel Bronson and Wilber M. Bronson, together with a double portrait of brothers Edward H. and Henry T. Bronson, were part of a small but important commission that also included a portrait of Theron Bronson, now presumed lost. An informal Bronson family history written by Ellen E. Potter of Winsted Connecticut in 1912 mentions that “…Ammi Phillips of Goshen painted the several portraits of Uncle Theron… of Edward and Henry.”