Independence (Squire Jack Porter) painted in 1858 by Frank Blackwell Mayer. Jack Porter, a veteran of the War of 1812 who made a handsome living from Pennsylvania's coal mines, is surrounded by handmade objects, including a corncob pipe, a roughly-hewn wooden bench, and his wife's knitting. As a self-sufficient landholder and businessman, "Squire Jack" embodied an independent and enduring spirit that, by the 1850s, had become an American ideal, celebrated by painters and writers alike. The squire takes his ease on the porch of a substantial home, dressed in a flowered vest, black cravat, and polished boots that signal the rewards of his hard work.Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006. #CobLife #Aristocob #CornCobPipe

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