FFOULKE, Charles Mather

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

Washington Post, December 15, 1896.

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There is no certain photograph known of the portrait, but when the sitter’s tapestry collection was privately published post mortem by his wife as The Ffoulke Collection of Tapestries in 1913, the present portrait, which may well be by Muller-Ury, was used as a frontispiece. It appears that Muller-Ury painted Ffoulke in December 1896, and early 1897. The artist visited the sitter in Washington the following April according to the New York Journal, April 25, 1897.

The sitter owned one of the largest collections of tapestries in the world at that time, and in 1888 had purchased (in Rome?) the famous collection of the Barberini en bloc. He lived in Washington D.C. at 2013 Massachusetts Avenue, though his business was in Philadelphia. He was President of the National Society of Fine Arts, and, as such, asked James J. Hill on March 5, 1908 to attend a Washington meeting of the society (Hill Papers, James J. Hill Reference Library, St. Paul; see also Homecoming: The Art Collection of James J. Hill, exhibition catalogue, St. Paul, 1991, p.107, note 30). See Denise M. Budd, ‘Charles Mather Ffoulke and the Market for Tapestries in Late Nineteenth Century America’, in Dealing Art on Both Sides of the Atlantic 1860-1940, Brill, 2017.

His five children were Horace Cushing Ffoulke (died Silver City, New Mexico, 2 May 1903), Helen Seagrave, Gladys, Gwendolyn and Charles Mather Ffoulke Jr. (died Tucson, Arizona, 12 November 1912).

Helen Seagrave Ffoulke married Mr. Emmanuel Havenith, Belgian Minister to Persia, in Washington on February 26 1908. His second daughter Gladys was married at the home of her parents, 2013 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D.C., to Edward Chapman Smith, son of Mr. Winthrop Smith, of Glenside, Philadelphia (Ambler Gazette, October 24, 1901, p. 4), and later Captain Marcel Levie. Gwendolyn was presented to Washington society in 1902. Charles Mather Ffoulke, II, was born in Washington DC, September 4, 1889, the son of Charles Mather and Sarah (Cushing) Ffoulke. He attended the University School, Washington, and Mr. Evans’ School at Mesa, Arizona. He was in college from September 1907 to January 22, 1908. He died at Tucson, Arizona, November 12, 1912. Charles M.  Ffoulke II, was a direct descendant of the Quaker, Edward Ffoulke, who came from Wales in 1651 and received his grant of land from William Penn; and from Matthew Cushing who sailed from England in 1638 and settled in Hingham,  Mass. His father, Charles Mather Ffoulke, a distinguished art critic, was president of the National Society of Fine Arts, and the author of several works on tapestries, on which subject he was the leading American authority.