Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage

Six Lords Baltimore - How the Portraits Came to Maryland

While visiting in Europe in the summer of 1933, Dr. Hugh Hampton Young, the Baltimore surgeon, who had long been interested in the history of Maryland,  Dr. Hugh H. Young learned of the approaching sale of portraits of the six Lords Baltimore of Sotheby's, London's famous auction house. The paintings were offered by Sir Timothy Calvert Eden, sixth baronet of Maryland, to whom they had descended from Lady Caroline Eden, sister to the last Lord Baltimore. Since Dr. Young in 1907 had commissioned the late Miss Florence Mackubin to make copies of these portraits of the first and second Lords, the disposition of this group was naturally of much interested in a to him. Informed that the Walters Gallery was interested in acquiring the series, Dr. Young did not attend the sale.

Dr. Young later learned that the plan had failed and that the portraits had been dispersed among several buyers. He found that the portrait of the second Lord Baltimore had been purchase by Lord Duveen for £4,600 and that the pictures of the first, third, fourth, and sixth, Lords had been bid in by the owner himself. When approached by Dr. Young, Sir Timothy agreed to part with the four portraits in order that they might go as group to Maryland.

To the unidentified purchaser of the portrait of the fifth Lord, Dr. Young offered, through the commissionaire who had handled the original transaction, a considerable profit if he would let it be restored to its place in this celebrated series and be brought to Maryland. Word was received that the owner would be most happy to turn the portrait over to Dr. Young, without profit, in order that it might again be part of the collection. This gracious owner was the late Lord Fairfax of Cameron, born Albert Kirby Fairfax of Prince George's County, Maryland, who in 1906 had assumed the title of his forefathers.

These five portraits were first publicly exhibited as a group at the American Embassy in London and then were shipped to Baltimore, where they arrived in time to be shown at the Tercentenary Celebration of November 22, 1933, at the War Memorial. Shortly afterward they were hung as a loan exhibit in the Pratt Library. In 1940 they were presented by Dr. Young, following negotiations by Mr. William G. Baker, Jr., former president of the Library Board, to purchase the missing portrait, that of the second Lord Baltimore, from a representative of Mr. W. R. Hearst, to whom it had been sold by Lord Duveen.

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