One of the most exciting things about my recent visit to Joy Lewis's historic Sag Harbor home was seeing a trio of paintings by local artist Orlando Hand Bears. Bears (pronounced and sometimes spelled BEERS) was a resident of Sag Harbor who died on February 12, 1851 at the age of 39. His talent and creativity made the portraiture of the day something more.
The Hendrick Family of Sag Harbor
by Orlando Hand Bears
Mr. Hendrick appears to be holding an accordion.
8-key bisonoric diatonic accordion (c. 1830s) via
A book with illustrations, I wonder which one....
Mother and son both adorned with rose colored China silk.
How do you get a child to sit still for a portrait?
Give them a soft kitten to hold.
The portraits by Orlando Hand Bears are believed to be of a merchant family. Merchant ships carried silks and porcelain from Asia and perhaps musical instruments among other things from Europe.The international port of Sag Harbor was populated by more than whaling ships. It has been difficult finding information about the Hendrick family. Could their name have been misspelled along the way? Kendrick perhaps? The quest continues.
Call for information: I am compiling a book of all of the known Orlando Hand Bears paintings. I am currently skulking in Oakland Cemetery and researching his background. Any feedback at all would be appreciated. If you own a Bears painting please contact me and be assured that I will share all historical knowledge that I uncover and treat you to a copy of the book that I create, even if it is just one that I have self published. Please include your email/contact information with your response. Thanks in advance!