Painter. Known especially for miniatures, he also executed larger oil portraits. He played a significant role in the early history of the National Academy of Design, which he helped to establish and served in official and unofficial capacities during a period of several decades. In 1865 he published the important Historic Annals of the National Academy of Design, which details events in the organization's founding and development. Born in Bath, England, he arrived in New York as a child. He studied with Henry Inman before the two artists formed a partnership in 1824. During its three years in business, Cummings principally handled miniature commissions. The vogue for these finely detailed little likenesses went into decline before mid-century, and Cummings became largely inactive as an artist after 1851. In 1866 he moved to Mansfield, Connecticut, although he returned to New York during winters. He relocated again in 1889, to Hackensack, New Jersey, where he died.