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Portrait of a Lady with a Dog (Anna Baker Weir)

ca. 1890 J. Alden Weir Born: West Point, New York 1852 Died: New York, New York 1919 oil on canvas 22 x 17 3/8 in. (56.0 x 44.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mahonri Sharp Young 1977.92 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 4B


Luce Center Label

J. Alden Weir taught painting classes in New York City while he cultivated his reputation as a portrait artist. Nineteen-year-old Anna Dwight Baker was one of his students, and after a brief courtship the two married in 1883. Anna Weir's friends variously described her as "ethereal," "like some beautiful dream woman," qualities her husband captured in this portrait of her with his subtle, impressionistic style. She leans forward in a black ladder-back chair, holding her dog, Gyp, in her lap. Just over her shoulder the bedroom door is ajar, providing the viewer with a more intimate glimpse into the private life of the artist. Anna Weir died in 1892 due to complications after the birth of the couple's fourth child. This touching, personal portrait remained in the family's collection until it was given to the American Art Museum in 1977. (Dorothy Weir Young, The Life & Letters of J. Alden Weir, 1960)

Keywords

Animal - dog

Portrait female - Weir, Anna Baker - knee length

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About J. Alden Weir

Born: West Point, New York 1852 Died: New York, New York 1919

More works in the collection by
J. Alden Weir