John Drinker

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John Drinker (March 12, 1760 - February 16, 1826) was an American portrait artist.



John Drinker was born on March 12, 1760 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were John Drinker (1716–1787) and Susanna Allen Drinker (1721–1787). His father made a number of successful real estate investments in Philadelphia, including the property known as Drinker's Court. In 1787, John Drinker, Jr., opened a drawing school at Philadelphia, where he taught "the art of Drawing and Colouring." That same year, both of his parents died and with his inheritance, he was able to buy property in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He bought and sold land in Virginia for the next 36 years.[1]

He may have moved to Virginia between 1790 and 1793. On April 12, 1797, he married Elizabeth Peppers in Berkeley County, Virginia, and returned to Philadelphia. In 1801, they returned to Berkeley County, and on January 1, 1808, John bought additional property in Berkeley County, now known as the John Drinker House. He died at his home in Berkeley County on February 16, 1826. He was buried at Morgan Chapel Cemetery. Elizabeth Drinker lived until April 15, 1858.[1]


Of the eight portraits that have been attributed to him, three are signed, but as of 1981, only one of these three has been located. All of the portraits are of prominent figures in the Berkeley and Jefferson Counties of Virginia and West Virginia. These works include[1]:


The John Drinker House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[2][3]