Laura Brown

  • Anne Whitney, Laura Brown, 1859, marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Given in memory of Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay by their children, 1968.24

Luce Center Label

Anne Whitney opened a girls’ school in Salem, Massachusetts, when she was only twenty-five. Over the next two years, she made friends with a local shipowner, William Augustus Brown. Several years later, Brown commissioned Whitney to create a bust of his youngest daughter. Laura, or “Bee-Bee” as Whitney called her, was only two or three years old at the time of this portrait, and the artist captured her youthful innocence in the figure’s half-smile and plump features. (Tufts, American Women Artists, 1987)

Luce Object Quote

“The likeness is good and the modeling I think the best by far I have done. It has been a great labor. The perpetually ranging curves of a child’s face, the impossibility of getting a half moment’s fixed look, and this child’s [e]xpression being the most mobile . . . I ever saw, made altogether the work for sometime almost a despair.” Whitney, quoted in Tufts, American Women Artists, 1987

Laura Brown
On View
12 5/8 x 11 x 6 in. (32.0 x 27.9 x 15.3 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Given in memory of Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay by their children

Mediums Description
  • Figure female – child – bust
  • Portrait female – Brown, Laura – bust
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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