information from the Smithsonian American Art Museum catalog
description: The son of Charles and Sarah Carter Stearns, Robert E. C. Stearns (1827-1909) was also the artist’s cousin. Shown here at about age ten, Stearns would grow up to become a leading naturalist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution. He was a widely published author on topics as varied as mollusks, cetaceans, ethnology, agriculture, forestry, and the land snails found in the John Day fossil beds in Oregon. He was appointed curator of mollusks at the Smithsonian by Secretary Spencer Baird, and in 1884 served as John Wesley Powell’s paleontologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.
Portrait male – Stearns, Robert Edwards Carter – bust