Self-Portrait (ca. 1877)
George Caleb Bingham
Oil on canvas
George Caleb Bingham painted this self-portrait, the last of four known, just two years before he died. The painting's composition was inspired by the English artist Sir Edward Landseer, who rendered himself similarly in a canvas that Bingham evidently knew from an engraving. The artist's direct gaze outward places the viewer in the role of a mirror. Bingham wears the toupee he customarily wore due to hair loss as a young man from a bout of smallpox.
Bingham's choice to picture himself sketching reflects the important role drawing played in his art. He drew on paper as well as sketched directly on the canvas for both portraits and genre paintings.
Eric Discerning (2010)
Image of man seated on blue wooden chair in front of window. He is wearing jeans and a wrinkled shirt with the sleeves rolled up. In his right hand, he holds a partially eaten apple. Fruit (pear, strawberry, kiwi, plum, and apple) is laid out on the small white table beside him - each with a large bite taken out of them. Near the lower right is a plate filled with fruit next to a wooden post. This is one image printed across three separate sheets/mounts with narrow white margins.
Portrait Study of a Child
Lilla Cabot Perry
American, 1848 – 1933
Oil on canvas
"Portrait Study of a Child presents Lilla Cabot Perry's poised seven-year-old daughter holding a violin. Confronting the viewer directly and by herself, this likeness of Alice Perry, unlike more sentimental depictions of children of the period, suggests the growing professionalism of women's creative endeavors throughout the late 19th century.
An elite Bostonian, Perry gravitated toward an artistic career beginning in the 1870s and responded to wide-ranging influences. The firm figure drawing evident in "Portrait Study" suggests her Parisian academic training, while her focus on children reveals the impact of painter Mary Cassatt. Furthermore, the portrait's restrained palette indicates Perry's admiration of James McNeill Whistler's unconventionally poetic approach to painting."
Loren Mozley (1928)
Oil on canvas
"An artist’s creative decisions shape the portraits they paint. Andrew Dasburg began this painting as a portrait of a ranch worker in Taos, New Mexico. When the worker moved away, Dasburg asked his former student Loren Mozley to model. Mozley remembered posing in front of a quilt, but Dasburg ultimately decided to paint him before a simple, gray backdrop. Mozley’s checkered jacket stands out because of this choice. Its pattern likely interested the artist who included similar abstract arrangements in other paintings."
Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge’s Palace, 1889
Oil on canvas
In the late 19th century, Venice was heralded as a refuge from modernity, and Thomas Moran's paintings of the legendary Italian city reinforced this perception. Moran's Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge's Palace shows famous buildings along the Grand Canal bathed in a romantic, atmospheric glow. Fanciful boats, gondolas and figures dressed in historical costumes contribute exotic details. Moran, who first visited Venice in 1886, created this and related scenes from memory with the aid of studies.
Moran followed a long line of artists who painted Venice, including English painter J. M. W. Turner, whose feathery brushwork and poetic treatment of light exerted great influence on the American.
Footed Dish, 1932
Henry Varnum Poor
Earthenware with glaze
Henry Varnum Poor began his artistic career with painting and drawing, but then turned to ceramics for his livelihood. He became one of America's leading ceramicists of the 1920s. Poor, a self-taught potter, thought of ceramics as canvases for his compositions, thus aligning his work more with contemporary paintings than ceramics. The abstract sgraffito decoration, a technique by which slip or glaze is incised to reveal the clay body, and the limited color range are characteristic of Poor's ceramics. The artist made the dish in honor of his parents, Alfred J. Poor and Josephine Graham Poor, whose names encircle the outer rim of the dish. The top of the rim reads: "Love and faith and sometimes even clay can be as golden as the purest gold."