An Interlude

Media - 1909.7.36 - SAAM-1909.7.36_1 - 65157
Copied William Sergeant Kendall, An Interlude, 1907, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans, 1909.7.36
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
An Interlude
Date
1907
Dimensions
44 1843 14 in. (112.0109.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of William T. Evans
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group — female and child
  • Recreation — leisure — reading
Object Number
1909.7.36

Artwork Description

William Kendall had three daughters whom he loved to paint in tender moments with their mother, Margaret. Here, the closed curtain and open book suggest a bedtime story, but there is a tantalizing hint of another meaning in this image. Margaret Kendall turns her face away from her husband to focus her affection on her daughter, who looks out at us with a wide-eyed, almost haunted expression. The title suggests a quiet moment before something happens, and it is possible that this image foreshadowed the disintegration of Kendall’s family. When An Interlude was painted, the artist had begun a relationship with the adolescent niece of artist Albert Herter. Kendall eventually divorced Margaret, resigned his teaching position at Yale, and retired to Hot Springs, Virginia, with Christine Herter.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006