Help Save Portrait of Bolling Family Founder

Portrait of Robert Bolling (1646-1709), Oil on Canvas
Photo Courtesy of Muscarelle Museum of Art – Williamsburg, VA

Muscarelle Museum of Art: Portrait of Robert Bolling (1646-1709), oil on canvas

My 9th Paternal Great Grandfather

This portrait depicts Colonel Robert Bolling, founder of the Bolling family, one of the “First Families of Virginia”, where he became a wealthy landowner and an active participant in the political affairs of the colony.

He arrived from England in October 1660 and in 1675 married Jane Rolfe, the granddaughter of John Rolfe and Pocahontas (born Matoaka). The painting suffers from surface loss due to flaking. The varnish treatment and its discoloration obscure much detail in the painting.

The public voting component of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program will conclude next week – on August 23, 2014. Until that time, the public is encouraged to visit the website and vote for their favorite items nominated by a wide range of collecting institutions – including museums, libraries, and historical societies from Virginia and Washington, DC. Additionally, the public may make donations directly to the participating organizations through the website to support conservation of the nominated artifacts.

Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a project of the Virginia Association of Museums and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant. The Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program raises awareness of the importance of conservation of our historic and cultural treasures. While it is not a grant-making effort, the program offers collecting institutions in Virginia and D.C. an opportunity to raise media and public awareness about the ongoing and expensive care of collections.

10,000 votes have been cast already by art lovers, history buffs, and fans of museums and historic houses from around the country. From a Kodak camera collection spanning from 1899 to 1977 to a 300-year-old East India Company Atlas of Japan to a Pamunkey Chief’s Regalia, this year’s competition features 36 fascinating items – part of our collective past and culture – that are all worthy of conservation.

The artifact with the most online votes will receive the People’s Choice Award. The overall voting will be taken into consideration by an independent panel of conservators and collections care professionals who select Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts for 2014. The “Top 10” Honorees for 2014 will be announced on September 9, 2014.

Please visit for updated information and a list of nominees.

One thought on “Help Save Portrait of Bolling Family Founder

  1. Hello Joanne, I came across a DNA match on and based on it, plus, a communication with the distant cousin I was matched to; started researching a family name Royall (previously not familar due to being a few generations back). That name lead me to finding that I have ties to the pioneers of Jamestown, VA as well as secondary ones to the Powhatan family, and President Thomas Jefferson, and one of his wives (Martha who was a distant cousin of his). Things continued (and continue) to unfolded, bringing me to my Bolling Relatives. Via , I too have Tristram Bolling son of Edward and Magdeline as a 12th Paternal Great Grandfather. Any chance you are on 23andMe and able to verify any match like was done on the Royall Surname?
    Please advise

    Thank you,


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