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Unknown Young Man

Vogler, Elias Alexander
Place Made:
Possibly Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
watercolor on ivory –gold
HOA 1 7/8; WOA 1 3/8
Accession Number:
Miniature on ivory of boy, facing forward, brown hair combed forward, blue eyes, fair complexion, wearing a white shirt folded over a black neck band, with blue vest (red striped) and brown coat, with stippled background.
Mrs. Kern stated that her mother, from whom she received the miniature, said that it was of Augustus Nathanael Reich, born 1823. The miniature is attributed to Elias Vogler by Dr. Albright. It could not, therefore, be Augustus, as Elias would have been about 5 when he painted same. Since the miniature was aquired by Mrs. Kern’s mother from the Reich family, it is probable that it is a later child of the same parents. The miniature dates, in style of clothing, etc., c. 1845-1850.
Elias Alexander Vogler (1825-1878), son of silversmith John Vogler, was a talented artist himself. Elias was born in Salem but traveled to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, at the age of fourteen to study at the prestigious Moravian boys’ school, Nazareth Hall. There he perfected his drawing and painting skills. Although we do not know exactly who taught Elias Vogler the art of miniature painting, in a letter written by Francis Shober from Salem to his brother Charkes Shober (in Bethlehem,PA), Francis writes, “Louisa is getting taken in a different way (painted) by Elias Vogler who learned it under a certain person who was here.” (March 1, 1844, letter filed with Shober Papers)
Once he returned to Salem, Elias worked at various times as a silversmith, architect, sign painter, cartographer, and he owned a retail shop. The miniatures he painted survive as a testament to his skill at capturing likenesses.