Portrait of a Lady

Artist: Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921)
Historical period(s)
ca. 1900
Oil on canvas
H x W: 77.1 x 58.8 cm (30 3/8 x 23 1/8 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Oil painting

portrait, United States, woman

To 1909
Miss Margaret McKim, New York to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Miss Margaret McKim, New York in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Object file.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Miss Margaret McKim (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Freer purchased this painting in 1910 and lent it to an exhibition of works by Thayer, Dewing, Tryon, and Whistler at the Montross Gallery in New York early in the year. This exposure prompted praise from critic Royal Cortissoz, who noted "the sensuous charm of the sitter's white drapery and the blue background against which it is set." Writer and artist Guy Pène du Bois, struck by the white and blue of the head study, described it as "remarkably radiant, rich and full." The identity of this hauntingly pretty woman is unknown.

Quotations from Royal Cortissoz, Four Painters.A Brilliant Exhibition of American Art, New York Herald Tribune, February 13, 1910, and Guy Pène du Bois, Whistler, Tryon, Dewing and Thayer Contribute to a Remarkable Collection, New York American, February 14, 1910, Charles Lang Freer's scrapbooks, Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

Published References
  • Superb Exhibition of Oriental and American Art held under the auspices of the University of Michigan and the Art Association of Ann Arbor: Academy Notes. Buffalo, July 1910. p. 10.
  • Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. Catalogue of the Fifth Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists. Exh. cat. Buffalo, May 11 - September 1, 1910. p. 50.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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