Mother (Annie Williams Gandy)

Media - 1961.11.12 - SAAM-1961.11.12_1 - 1608
Copied Thomas Eakins, Mother (Annie Williams Gandy), ca. 1903, oil on canvas, 2420 in. (61.050.8 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Lucy G. Rodman through her sister Miss Helen W. Gandy, 1961.11.12
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Artwork Details

Mother (Annie Williams Gandy)
ca. 1903
2420 in. (61.050.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Bequest of Mrs. Lucy G. Rodman through her sister Miss Helen W. Gandy
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait female — Gandy, Annie Williams — bust
Object Number

Artwork Description

Annie Williams Gandy, affectionately nicknamed “Mother,” was a close friend of Thomas Eakins and his wife. One critic noted Eakins’s ability to capture an expression in which “mere thinking is portrayed without the aid of gesture or attitude.” (Simpson, “The 1880s,” Thomas Eakins, 2002) Here, Eakins enlists the viewer in an intimate, pensive moment, portraying Annie in a morning coat and braids to suggest that she has just risen from bed. While the subject of women lost in reverie was fashionable at the turn of the twentieth century, most artists chose to idealize their sitters. Eakins, on the other hand, did not disguise their blemishes and “worry lines,” and many people considered his portraits to be unflattering. (Perry, Women on the Verge: The Culture of Neurasthenia in Nineteenth-century America, 2004)