Quaker Ideals in Edward Hicks’ Painting


71K0JTMXHELOn the 4th of April 1780, American painter and minister Edward Hicks was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to Anglican parents, but was raised in the Quaker faith by one of his mother’s friends after she passed away when Hicks was still a baby. Trained as a coach painter, he later became a Quaker preacher. He tried his hand, albeit unsuccessfully, at farming to support his growing family, but found that he could cope better financially by painting.

Quaker (Society of Friends) beliefs prohibited a lavish lifestyle, having excessive quantities of objects or materials. The religious evangelic movement were known for their refusal to participate in war or swear oaths; they also opposed slavery and teetotalism, and believed in plain dress. In search of economic opportunities and a more tolerant environment in which to build communities of “holy conversation,” some Friends from England emigrated to the Northeastern region of the…

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