Victor Chapman
about 1890
Albumen print
This photograph memorializes Victor Chapman, the first American pilot to die in World War I and son to one of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s closest friends. After his death, the bereaved Chapmans presented Gardner with a small panel painting, Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, in Victor’s memory. She placed it on an easel in the Early Italian Room with a memorial wreath, but saved this photograph of Victor as an infant—close to the age of her own son when he died—for her personal archive.