John Wood Dodge worked as both a miniature portrait painter and dioramist in New York City during the second quarter of the 19th century. Like Aramenta Vail, Henry Inman and Nathaniel Rogers, John Wood Dodge also exhibited at the National Academy and Apollo Institute between 1830 and 1844. By 1849, Dodge had travelled to New Orleans, where he exhibited a series of topographical and allegorical dioramas such as "View of New York," "The Opening of the Sixth Seal," "The Interior of St. Peter's Church at Rome," and "The Departure of the Israelites from Egypt."
Although he did not exhibit again at the National Academy for several years until 1863, Dodge maintained his successful career as a portrait miniaturist travelling through the South during the 1850s. In 1854, he is known to have worked in Huntsville, Alabama, and he is also known to have worked in Nashville, Tennessee.
The portraits illustrated here in lots 189-194 of Anne Dodge, Daniel Dodge, and R.J. Dodge are those of his immediate family. Virginia Dodge is a descendant of the artist. Ann Dodge was the artist's aunt.