The Silver Hand Glass

Media - 1992.4 - SAAM-1992.4_1 - 11385
Copied Kenyon Cox, The Silver Hand Glass, 1907, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Joan Armstrong Schmidt, 1992.4
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Silver Hand Glass
24 1820 in. (61.250.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Joan Armstrong Schmidt
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure female — nude
  • Object — furniture — mirror
Object Number

Artwork Description

In 1891 a group of women protested several of Kenyon Cox's nude studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual show. Cox advocated the nude as an artistic subject but was often criticized because his nudes looked too familiar. For example, in this image the woman gazes into a nineteenth-century silver mirror, wears a fashionable pompadour hairstyle, and sits in a turn-of-the-century domestic interior with contemporary wallpaper. Cox based his treatment of the subject on classical and Renaissance models, but he was always mindful of keeping up with the times. He wanted his nudes to have "real flesh and bodily appearance" so they would appeal to modern tastes. (Morgan, Kenyon Cox, 1856-1919: A Life in American Art, 1994)