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Uncle William

ca. 1927 Elsie Motz Lowdon Born: Waco, Texas 1883 Died: Ft. Worth, Texas 1960 watercolor on ivory sight 3 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. (8.6 x 11.4 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Alice L. McGowan 1984.12.4 Not currently on view


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William had worked for the Lowdon family for decades, and when this was painted, he was said to be 104 years old. During the 1920s and 1930s, Elsie Lowdon exhibited this popular work in Dallas, Abilene, Houston, Atlanta, and Worcester, Massachusetts. In each case, reviewers noted how real the man’s eyes and aged skin appeared, a sentiment echoed by William himself.

Keywords

Ethnic - African-American

Figure male - elderly - knee length

Portrait male - unidentified - Uncle William

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory