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1903 Kate Clifton Osgood Holmes Born: Ellsworth, Maine 1858 Died: Washington, District of Columbia 1925 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 14 5/8 in. (49.8 x 37.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Dr. and Mrs. William Henry Holmes 1930.12.70 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 15B

Luce Center Label

In Summer a woman retreats to a shadowed interior to play quietly on her guitar. White curtains and the figure’s linen gown glow in the light from the window, suggesting the heat of the afternoon outside. Such scenes of solitary women playing music, reading books, or writing letters expressed an idea of domestic peace and refinement that became more desirable as the Gilded Age grew more ambitious and frenetic. The painting can also be seen as an emblem of Kate Holmes’s artistic talents and efforts: She was married to a prominent archaeologist, but made a name for herself in the Washington art world as a respected painter and teacher.


Allegory - season - summer

Figure female - full length

Performing arts - music - guitar


paint - oil

fabric - canvas