Woman with Dark Hair

Media - 1979.82 - SAAM-1979.82_1 - 5502
Copied Jacob Kainen, Woman with Dark Hair, 1959, oil on canvas, 4436 in. (111.991.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Mary Jane Fisher, 1979.82

Artwork Details

Woman with Dark Hair
4436 in. (111.991.4 cm)
upper left in oil: Kainen back upper center in ballpoint pen and ink: WOMAN WITH DARK HAIR/JACOB KAINEN back upper left and upper right in felt-tipped pen and ink: 44 x 36 1959
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Mary Jane Fisher
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure
  • Abstract
  • Figure female — bust
Object Number

Artwork Description

For several decades, Jacob Kainen held two careers: one as an artist and the other as a curator and research scholar for the Smithsonian Institution. After his retirement in 1970, Kainen devoted all of his time to painting. He had begun his career in New York City, where his friends included artists Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Arshile Gorky. In Woman with Dark Hair, Kainen used the energetic brushwork associated with abstract expressionism and bold dark blues, deep greens and reds to give the figure a sense of dominance with very little detail of her features.

Luce Object Quote
"However abstract the forms and colors seem, they should somehow give off an aura of human experience." The artist, quoted in Agee and Berman, Jacob Kainen, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1993.