Jennie Waite

  • Olin Levi Warner, Jennie Waite, 1879, terra cotta relief, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Carlyle Jones, 1974.88.31

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Little is known about Jennie Waite except that she must have been a friend of Olin Levi Warner, who kept her portrait in his personal collection until his death. In the inscription, Warner referred to the medallion as a "souvenir amical," suggesting that he made it as a token of their friendship rather than for commission. Warner, who idealized most of his portraits of women, represented Waite in an especially flattering manner. The daisies in Jennie's hair and the ruffles on her dress draw attention to her beauty without distracting from the attractiveness of her face. Waite's young face also reveals no trace of aging. Warner often ignored female subjects' wrinkles regardless of their age, while he realistically depicted the signs of age in his portraits of men (see Model for Hodgkins Medal, 1974.88.20). In this relief, he experimented with deep imprints in the clay, such as those on the nape of the neck and shoulder, in addition to building up forms on the surface, to create Jennie's figure.
Jennie Waite
Not on view
8 1/4 in. (21.0 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Carlyle Jones

Mediums Description
terra cotta relief
  • Portrait female – Waite, Jennie
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI