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ca. 1917 John R. Grabach Born: Newark, New Jersey 1886 Died: 1981 oil on canvas 36 1/8 x 42 1/4 in. (91.6 x 107.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1979.119.2 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 29A

Luce Center Quote

"I wish my art to be colorful and effective, to interpret life as it throbs and surges about me with all its movement and to convey its complexity both visual and psychic." The artist, quoted in John R. Grabach: Century Man, 2006

Luce Center Label

John Grabach completed this portrait of his wife, Anna, shortly before her death. While the visible brushstrokes and bright colors are characteristic of Grabach's impressionist works, the enlarged bed and floating parasol create a distorted perspective. During World War I, Grabach worked in New York creating demographic and climatic maps of Europe for the federal government. As he commuted into the city every day, his fascination with the urban experience grew, and Grabach gradually turned from impressionistic landscapes and portraits, like Morning, toward the social realism seen in his Depression-era painting The Fifth Year (see Luce object 1979.119.1).


Architecture Interior - domestic - bedroom

Figure female - head

Object - furniture - bed

State of being - other - sleep


paint - oil

fabric - canvas