The Artist’s Wife and Daughter Beatrice (1904)
William Sergeant Kendall
Pastel on paper
"A small child wearing a white gown sits on its mother's lap, facing left. The mother is seated on a chair with a domed crest rail that can be seen at the right of the composition over her left shoulder. She holds the child with both hands while fixing her gaze beyond its face. She wears a blue and white striped gown with a lace collar. Although little known today, William Sergeant Kendall was a fixture in the American art world of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In this pastel, the artist's wife, Margaret, embraces their two-year old daughter, Beatrice. This tender, timeless relationship between mother and child represents Kendall's favorite subject. Kendall repeatedly explored a subject in pastel before painting the final composition in oil. It is possible that this piece is a highly finished study for a not-yet-located painting."
Rene Leighty’s exhibit, “The Reality of Motherhood,” depicts the changes that occur in a women’s body that come naturally when having children. The artist describes her artwork as contemporary, expressive, dramatic, personal, and more importantly, demonstrates the reality of motherhood. “I used repetitive lines and shapes to display an appearance of movement and merged together a layering of multiple images in graphite and charcoal,” said Leighty. “The process is similar to the triple exposure technique in photography, with a repetition of recognizable body parts and overlapping imagery in my descriptions of a hectic life.”
“Joseph Hirsch painted Lynch Family as a response to racial disturbances in the South in 1946. That year the number of lynchings rose from an all-time low in January to a fevered pitch by August. Citizens across the country urged President Truman and Congress to end the horrors. To capture the tragedy of Lynch Family, Hirsch presented a mother with her baby, presumably survivors of a lynching victim, in abstracted surroundings. The painting focuses on the mother’s intense yet restrained hold on her defiant child while she turns to hide her anguish. The blue background floats around the figures. It both highlights their pain and contrasts with the sheer beauty of Hirsch’s painterly technique.” — From the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” George Bernard Shaw