Portrait of a Woman (Miss Gertrude Bloede)

Media - 1929.6.125 - SAAM-1929.6.125_1 - 46109
Copied Abbott Handerson Thayer, Portrait of a Woman (Miss Gertrude Bloede), ca. 1881, oil on canvas, 16 5814 in. (42.235.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.125
Free to use

Artwork Details

Portrait of a Woman (Miss Gertrude Bloede)
ca. 1881
16 5814 in. (42.235.7 cm)
lower right in oil incised: Abbott H. Thayer (written on an angle) frame verso upper right and lower left in acrylic: 29.6.125.G. (line drawing of stylized face) stretcher verso upper left in acrylic: 29.6.125.G.
Credit Line
Gift of John Gellatly
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait
  • Portrait female — Bloede, Gertrude, Miss — bust
Object Number

Artwork Description

Gertrude Bloede was the sister of Abbott Thayer’s first wife, Kate. The Bloedes were German immigrants who lived in Brooklyn and regularly entertained a circle of intellectuals. Both daughters were highly creative and independent: Kate was an artist, and Gertrude was a noted writer who published her romantic poetry under the pseudonym Stuart Sterne. In this portrait sketch, Thayer gave his sister-in-law a faraway look, as though she were lost in thought, perhaps composing a poem.

Luce Object Quote

“About her head or floating feet/No halo’s starry gleam/Still dark and swift uprising, like/A bubble in a stream.” Stuart Sterne, “My Father’s Child,” reprinted in Stedman, ed., An American Anthology, 1787–1900, 1900