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Image of Woman Reading

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/2882

Woman Reading

Eastman Johnson (AKA Jonathan Eastman Johnson), American, (August, 1824–April 6, 1906)
previously attributed to Winslow Homer, American, (February 24, 1836–September 29, 1910)

Creation date: ca. 1874
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on board
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by the Gerald and Inez Grant Parker Foundation
Accession Number: 1977.9
Dimensions: 25 1/8 in. x 18 5/8 in. (63.82 cm x 47.31 cm)
Currently on view

Provenance

Henry Reed, ( - early 1930s)

Eastman Johnson, (ca. 1874 - after ca. 1874)

Winslow Homer, Prout's Neck, Maine (after ca. 1874 - )

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Dale, New York, New York (early 1930s - ca. 1977)

Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, New York (ca. 1977 - 1977)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1977 - )

Label Copy

This type of representation—a woman alone amid an attractive landscape, in contemplative thought—appears in other works by the artist. Johnson avoided the industrialization that was becoming increasingly common in the United States and instead focused on individual and communal relationships with the serene potential of nature. In several ways, the style of the clothing worn by the woman is typical of American Victorian dress during the second half of the twentieth century. The overskirt is draped at the front, similar in form to an apron, and the underskirt and a full petticoat are visible from the bottom. The overskirt usually was pulled up at the side to expose an underskirt, as depicted here. Like many of Johnson’s subjects, the woman in this painting is a member of the middle class, a status signified by her dress and her leisure.


October 18, 2914
Anita Feldman, Deputy Director of Collections and Exhibitons
Eastman Johnson
American • 1824–1906
Woman Reading
Oil on board • ca. 1874
Eastman Johnson created intimate scenes of daily life that contribute greatly to our understanding of the American cultural landscape in the nineteenth century. Born in Lovell, Maine, Johnson lived mostly in New England, and this painting is likely one of the many works that were inspired by the land- scape of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Women figured promi- nently in Johnson’s work, and he frequently painted them alone and often engaged in tasks that were common activi- ties for women in the late nineteenth century, such as reading or walking outdoors.
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Gerald and Inez Grant Parker Foundation
1977.9
Last Updated: 7/24/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

American Life in a Century of American Art The Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester , 11/1/1935 - 11/30/1935

Centenary Exhibition of Works of Winslow Homer: 1836–1936 Carnegie Institute , 1/28/1937 - 3/7/1937

Seven Centuries of Painting The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor , 12/29/1939 - 1/28/1940

Romancing the Shore: Views of Coastal New England Heritage Plantation of Sandwich , 5/13/1990 - 10/14/1990

Eastman Johnson: Painting America Brooklyn Museum of Art , 10/29/1999 - 9/10/2000

Behold, America! Art of the United States from Three San Diego Museums The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/10/2012 - 2/10/2013

Modern and Contemporary , 12/21/2013 - 00/00/00

Art of the Americas San Diego Museum of Art , 12/23/2013 - 00/00/00

American Visions: Place and Identity The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/18/2014 - 3/17/2015

Art of the 20th Century , 3/28/2015 - 8/16/2015

American Art The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/26/2016 - 8/15/2021

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Richard M. Ketchum. American Heritage American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.. New York, New York, August 1957
Page Number: 52, 53, Figure Number: 53

Mr. Martin E. Petersen. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 149, 169, Figure Number: 169

Sarah Burns. Eastman Johnson: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.. New York, New York, 1999
Page Number: 193, 194, 195, Figure Number: 89

Anne C. Rose. Eastman Johnson: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.. New York, New York, 1999
Page Number: 223

Patricia Hills. The Genre Painting of Eastman Johnson: Garland Publishing, Inc.. New York, New York, 1977
Page Number: 135

Theodore Bolton. The Fine Arts The Antiquarian Publishing Co., Inc.. New York, New York, February 1932
Page Number: 25, Figure Number: 25

Forbes Watson and Aimée Crane. Winslow Homer Crown Publishers. New York, New York, 1942
Page Number: 52, Figure Number: 52

Romancing the Shore: Heritage Plantation of Sandwich. Sandwich, Massachusetts, 1990
Page Number: 40, 58, Figure Number: 7

Teresa A. Carbone. American Art Review American Arts Media, Inc.. Leawood, Kansas, January, 2000-February, 2000
Page Number: 157, Figure Number: 157

Mr. Robert L. Pincus. San Diego Union Copley Press. San Diego, California, March 12, 2000
Page Number: E-1, Figure Number: E-1

Mr. D. Scott Atkinson. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 169, Figure Number: 169

Seven Centuries of Painting The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. San Francisco, California, 1939
Page Number: 51 no. L-159, Figure Number: L-159

Centenary Exhibition of Works of Winslow Homer: 1836–1936 Carnegie Institute. Pittsburgh, Pennstlvania, 1937
Page Number: 22 no. 43

Mr. Maximilian Nutz, ed. Deutsch.Werk, Gymnasium 4: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlage GmbH. Leipzig, Germany, 2006
Page Number: 96, 279, Figure Number: 96

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