LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — The Fayette County Courthouse commissioned Penn State Fayette art instructor and area artist Patrick Daugherty for a recreation of Charles Willson Peale’s 1772 portrait of George Washington in uniform as colonel of the First Virginia Regiment. The original, on display at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, is the earliest authenticated portrait of Washington.
Daugherty’s oil-on-canvas recreation took approximately 233 hours of painting time to complete. The portrait is permanently on display in Courtroom 1 at the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
Daugherty uses only “time-proven, permanent techniques and materials” for preservation. He has completed portraits of two retired president judges, along with restoration projects, for the county courthouse.
“I enjoyed the challenge of painting from Charles Willson Peale’s perspective and duplicating his style,” said Daugherty. “I gained more respect for the artist.” Daugherty’s work ranges from traditional oil and pastel portraiture to interpretations of modern and contemporary artists, such as abstract expressionists Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock.
Daugherty completed a bachelor of fine arts degree at Penn State, where he received the distinguished Award for Artistic Achievement, and a master of fine arts degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been featured at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and elsewhere. He was the 1993 Touchstone Artist of the Year.
In 1999, he co-founded the Frank L. Melega Art Museum in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, with the intent to “collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit the artworks” by the celebrated artist of the Southwestern Pennsylvania coal and coke era. Pittsburgh’s WQED station produced an Emmy-nominated feature documentary on the museum.
Daugherty is an adjunct professor at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, where his original portrait of J. Lewis Williams is displayed in the student center named after the former Fayette County commissioner.
“I have always enjoyed teaching at Penn State Fayette,” said Daugherty. “I learn from my students. If you can’t learn from your students, why teach?”
Daugherty lives in Uniontown, Pennsylvania with his wife, Ellen, also an artist. More information can be found at his website.