Monday, January 13, 2020

"Casual Acquaintance"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

The High Museum has this stunning portrait, Miss Bessie (Miss Elizabeth Newton) by a seldom-recognized painter, Albert Herter.  It has the trademarks of John Singer Sargent - the flush ear and fingertips - and James Whistler - the arrangement of tones and tints of whites, both artists and acquaintances of Albert.

Albert Herter took off running as an artist at the young age of 19, winning awards in Expositions in Atlanta, Nashville and Buffalo then at the Paris Salon in 1890 - most of his work being portraiture.  He created cover illustrations for Ladies' Home Journal and a number of books including posters of the Red Cross and YMCA in the early 1900's.  He painted murals in private homes, the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the Supreme Court Building in Hartford, the State Capital of Wisconsin and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC.  He was sought after and hugely successful.

Albert married Adele, a fellow artist he met in Paris, had three children, moved back to New York, where he eventually founded a tapestry and textile firm.  Two of Albert's children went on to be artists, one served as governor of Massachusetts and later as U.S. Secretary of State under Eisenhower.  His wife was a founding member of New York City's Cosmopolitan Club and was known as one of the northeast's 'society' portrait painters.

Please click here for a larger view.

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