LONG before the camera made possible the snapshot in the wallet, a man who cared to. carry about the likeness of his wife or children had to commission an artist. The demand for such likenesses, to hang on watch fobs or dangle in gold lockets, fostered the exacting art of painting watercolor portraits on small circles and squares of ivory. The genteel custom flourished in New England in the mid-18th century, died out a century later. Last week, in conjunction with the Colonial Dames of Massachusetts, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts put on...

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