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Notable portrait of freed slave sold in Philly

- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An early portrait of a freed slave has been sold to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the 1819 painting by Charles Willson Peale was sold by the Philadelphia History Museum. The portrait went on public view Friday.

The painting of Yarrow Mamout is one of the earliest formal portraits of a black man. Peale painted the portrait of the elderly Muslim and former slave in Washington, D.C.

The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent is selling off some paintings and artifacts to pay for a $5.9 million expansion. The price was not disclosed.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will finance the purchase be selling some pieces from its collection. Director Timothy Rub tells the Inquirer ( http://bit.ly/rqnLA5) the painting's historical significance makes it worth it.

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