Works by John Usher Parsons “epitomize the spirit of true folk art as rendered by an intuitive although untrained hand” – Nina Fletcher Little, Little By Little: Six Decades of Collecting American Decorative Arts (New York, 1968), p. 261.
Parsons can be identified by his flat, stylized portraits of people with pale complexions, rosy cheeks and firmly set lips. This couple, Mr. and Mrs. Moffat, also exhibit his use of detailed interiors with the highly decorated chairs and drapery fastened back with large yellow tie backs. Mr. and Mrs. Moffat were from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Parsons likely painted the couple when he served as a minister in a neighboring town in 1836-1838 (Ralph and Susanne Katz, “In Search of John Usher Parsons,” Folk Art Magazine (Spring, 2005), pp. 47-52.)