Portrait of a Lady with a Dog (Anna Baker Weir)

  • J. Alden Weir, Portrait of a Lady with a Dog (Anna Baker Weir), ca. 1890, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mahonri Sharp Young, 1977.92

J. Alden Weir taught painting classes in New York City while he cultivated his reputation as a portrait artist. Nineteen-year-old Anna Dwight Baker was one of his students, and after a brief courtship the two married in 1883. Anna Weir’s friends variously described her as ethereal,” like some beautiful dream woman,” qualities her husband captured in this portrait of her with his subtle, impressionistic style. She leans forward in a black ladder-back chair, holding her dog, Gyp, in her lap. Just over her shoulder the bedroom door is ajar, providing the viewer with a more intimate glimpse into the private life of the artist. Anna Weir died in 1892 due to complications after the birth of the couple’s fourth child. This touching, personal portrait remained in the family’s collection until it was given to the American Art Museum in 1977. (Dorothy Weir Young, The Life & Letters of J. Alden Weir, 1960)

Portrait of a Lady with a Dog (Anna Baker Weir)
ca. 1890
2217 38 in. (56.044.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mahonri Sharp Young

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait female – Weir, Anna Baker – knee length
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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