22 Items in this Learning Collection

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Figure of a Girl in Blue (portrait of Miss Minnie Clark)

Accession Number

Figure of a Girl in Blue (portrait of Miss Minnie Clark)

Thomas Wilmer Dewing

Object Creation Date
circa 1892

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

29 5/16 x 36 3/8 in. (74.3 x 92.39 cm);29 5/16 x 36 3/8 in. (74.3 x 92.39 cm)

Subject matter
This work is typical of many of Dewing’s paintings, depicting young, fine-boned, elegant women wearing the highest fashions of the day amid a sparse background and executed in muted tones of blues and grays lending to the overall mood of the piece. The painting is a portrait of Miss Minnie Clark, a 28-year-old working-class, Irish immigrant, who worked as an artist’s model in turn-of-the-century New York. She was in reasonable demand, and was considered to be very beautiful and the picture of youthful vigor, but in reality she was in poor health and could not afford the medicines she needed. She was a widow, and she modeled because she had no other skills with which to support her two children. Eventually Minnie married an architect and vanished into the American middle class.

Physical Description
Portrait of a woman with dark hair and fair skin seated in a chair wearing a blue dress amid a sparse background of blues, greens, and browns; her body is positioned at an angle towards the right, while she looks directly out at the viewer.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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chairs (furniture forms)
figures (representations)
women (female humans)

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(Part of: Docent Thematic Tours)
Essay: Dewing
(Part of: Docent Essays on UMMA Collection Objects)
Essay: Dewing
(Part of: Essays)
Dewing Article: Background 
(Part of: Docent Study Information)
#3 Transitions Towards Surrealism
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 206 (Thomas H. and Polly W. Bredt Gallery)