Dr. William Henry Holmes

  • Alyn Williams, Dr. William Henry Holmes, 1928, watercolor and pencil on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1931.2.11

In 1920, William Henry Holmes became the first director of the first National Gallery of Art, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He was an accomplished anthropologist, archaeologist, artist, and geologist. Holmes’s many talents made him indispensable on many archaeological expeditions to New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, and South America. When the artist presented this miniature as a gift to the Museum, Holmes conveyed his gratitude in a letter to Williams, saying, your generous thoughtfulness thus enables me to leave in the National Gallery of Art my only portrait other than those by photograph.”

Dr. Holmes was always sparse in physique and seemingly delicate, but his agility was remarkable. In mountain climbing no one could keep up with him … He was never too busy to be polite, but he was always busy.” Walter Hough, American Anthropologist, 1933

Dr. William Henry Holmes
Not on view
sight 5 584 in. (14.310.2 cm) rectangle
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the artist

Mediums Description
watercolor and pencil on paper
  • Occupation – medicine – doctor
  • Portrait male – Holmes, William Henry, Dr. – bust
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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