Wright, Joseph, 1756–93, American portrait painter, b. Bordentown, N.J., son of Patience Lovell Wright. He studied under Benjamin West in London, where he painted the prince of Wales (later George IV). Wright worked briefly in Paris, where he knew Franklin, whose letters of recommendation enabled him to obtain a sitting from General and Mrs. Washington on his return to America. He also painted a portrait of John Jay (N.Y. Historical Society) and a group portrait of his own family (Pa. Acad. of the Fine Arts). In 1792 he was made diesinker at the U.S. Mint, Philadelphia; the nation's first official coins and medals are probably Wright's work.
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