Miss Mary Tunaley

Joseph Wright of Derby (English, 1734–1797)


77.2 x 64.1 cm (30 3/8 x 25 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





According to family tradition, the sitter, Mary Tunaley, was a particular favorite of Joseph Wright, who in the early 1790s lived near the Tunaley family in Derby, England. She eventually came to Boston with her husband, Francis Boott, a partner in the trading firm Boott & Farrow and cousin to Kirk Boott, who helped establish the earliest textile mills in Lowell, north of Boston. Mary was the great-grandmother of Guy Lowell, architect of the MFA’s 1909 building, whose wife gave the painting to the Museum.


Believed to have passed by descent from the sitter, Mary Tunaley Boott, through the Boott family, to Guy Lowell (b. 1870 - d. 1927) and his wife, Henrietta Sargent Lowell (b. 1874 - d. 1953), Brookline, MA [see note]; 1951, gift of Mrs. Guy Lowell to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 14, 1951)

NOTE: Mrs. Lowell lent the painting to the MFA in 1937 and 1945. Guy Lowell's mother, Mary Wolcott Goodrich, was the daughter of Samuel Griswold Goodrich (b. 1793 - d. 1860) and his wife Mary Boott Goodrich (b. 1806 - d. 1868), the daughter of Francis and Mary Tunaley Boott.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Guy Lowell