The Starr Family Home portraits provide a glimpse into an important Texas family who influenced the settlement and development of Texas throughout the 19th century. After the Civil War, the Starr family was a major contributor to the growth of the railroad and cotton industries. Their portraits are often mentioned in family letters and are displayed at the Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall, Texas.
Twelve portraits from the mid to late 19th century depict the first two generations of the Starr family. Each is finely rendered, and at least one is signed by Henry Byrd, the renowned antebellum portrait painter. All portraits are framed in ornate gold and silver-gilt Renaissance, Rococo, and Greek Revival frames that complement the Starr Family Home’s architectural and decorative features.
Although a prominent family, they suffered an all-too-common fate: the loss of several children. The two portraits of Lily Starr and James Franklin Starr Jr. are believed to have been painted posthumously.
The restored portraits, a project supported through the fundraising efforts of the FTHC, offer a unique opportunity to bring art to children in a meaningful way and animate the Starr Family Home with images of the family that once graced its grounds.