In making a name for himself as a history painter, Thomas Sully (1783–1872) created the MFA’s monumental painting, The Passage of the Delaware (1819), as a new mode of painting that he described as a “historical portrait.” Hear the behind-the-scenes story of its creation and follow the painting’s journey from the State House of Raleigh, North Carolina, to Boston.

Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Moors Cabot Chair, Art of the Americas


Above: Thomas Sully, The Passage of the Delaware, 1819. 03.1079. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Owners of the old Boston Museum.

Ticket Information

Multi-session course packages are available. See all multi-session courses.

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

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