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1968 Roger Medearis Born: Fayette, Missouri 1920 Died: San Marino, California 2001 acrylic and egg tempera on Masonite 27 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. (68.9 x 63.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. Philip Desind 1986.90.3 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 34B

Luce Center Quote

"Realism had been the motivating factor for me. Realism gave meaning and coherence to all the aesthetic principles." The artist, quoted in Roger Medearis: Drawings 1977-1981, Capricorn Galleries, 1981

Luce Center Label

In 1966, after fifteen years in the business world, Roger Medearis returned to painting, and in later years became known for his images of midwestern landscapes and portraits. In Judith the figure's pale green dress and laced-trimmed bonnet recall the clothing of the pioneer women who settled the Midwest a century earlier. Judith's pose mimics that of portraits of wealthy patrons: Her body is at an angle to the canvas and she looks away from the viewer. Her sagging shoulders and careworn face, however, suggest that the portrait is less a celebration of Judith's wealth or beauty, and more a tribute to the steadfastness and spirit of those who braved the frontier.

This artwork was recommended by citizen curator Jeanne Kramer-Smyth as part of our Fill the Gap project on Flickr.


Dress - accessory - hat

Figure female - waist length

Portrait female - unidentified - Judith


paint - acrylic

paint - tempera

fiberboard - masonite