Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Margaret Ellen Young
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Centre Co. (possibly)
Primary Support: 12 3/4 x 7 7/8in. (32.4 x 20cm) and Framed: 13 7/8 x 8 7/8in.
Watercolor and ink on laid paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanford R. Minsker
Acc. No. 1978.305.1
A man and woman stand full-length in profile facing one another, their proper right hands joined in a handclasp. The man extends a bouquet to the woman with his other hand. A stand supporting a two-handled vase appears between the two figures, who stand on a shallow green mound. 8-pointed stars appear on either side of an inscription at the top.
The 3/4-inch cyma reversa wood frame, painted black, is a modern replacement.
Label:Young's birth and baptismal certificate for his second youngest daughter features the typical facing-man-and-woman-in-profile format that the artist used extensively during his career. The two figures, representing the happy parents of the newborn, have no distinguishing features that would lead us to identify them as Young and his wife. As in similar certificates by the artist, the drawing of eyes, ears, hands, and mouths is stylized and impersonal.
The most unusual aspect of this example is that Young did not complete the text of the certificate by filling in the date and place of his daughter's birth or the name of the pastor who baptized the child.
Provenance:The piece is presumed to have descended in the donor's and artist's family, Stanford R. Minsker ("donor") being a great, great-grandson of the artist, but the exact line of descent has not been established.
Inscription(s):The inscription on the front reads: "Certificate of Birth and Baptism/Miss Margaret Ellen Young, a daughter of Mr. Henry /Young and his wife Frances, born a Slater, was/born [blank] the [blank] A.D. 18 [blank] in [blank] County,/State of Pennsylvania, and baptized by [blank]."