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Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wase by George Bellows / American Art
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Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wase

1924 George Bellows Born: Columbus, Ohio 1882 Died: New York, New York 1925 oil on canvas 51 1/4 x 63 in. (130.2 x 159.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Paul Mellon 1967.39.1 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 37A



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Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Wase



Luce Center Label

George Bellows spent summers in Woodstock, New York, where Mrs. Wase worked as a cleaning woman and her husband was a gardener. Bellows chose to show the couple stiffly posed and strangely detached from one another. Mrs. Wase’s face shows the worries of a lifetime, and Mr. Wase stares off into the distance, as if thinking of another time or place. Between them, a portrait, perhaps of Mrs. Wase as a bride, hangs on the wall. Their clothes match the shadowy gray of the parlor. Bellows painted suggestions of a brilliantly green summer day beyond the closed shutters, as if to emphasize the distance between youthful optimism and the resignation of old age. The artist experimented with new ways to paint portraits throughout his career, and from 1915 to 1920 he exhibited with the National Association of Portrait Painters, whose mission was to separate from “the tiresomely conventional and perfunctory portrait.” (Myers, “‘The Most Searching Place in the World’: Bellows and Portraiture,” in Quick et al., The Paintings of George Bellows, 1992)

Keywords

Animal - bird - parrot

Object - art object - painting

Object - furniture - couch

Portrait female - Wase, Phillip, Mrs. - elderly

Portrait female - Wase, Phillip, Mrs. - knee length

Portrait group - family - spouses

Portrait male - Wase, Phillip, Mr. - elderly

Portrait male - Wase, Phillip, Mr. - knee length

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About George Bellows

Born: Columbus, Ohio 1882 Died: New York, New York 1925

More works in the collection by
George Bellows