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upper left: Frank W. Benson / '89


The artist and his wife, Ellen Perry Peirson Benson, to 1951; Ellen Perry Peirson Benson [1860-1954], Salem, Massachusetts; her estate, 1954-1956; her daughter, Elisabeth Benson Rogers [Mrs. C.M.A. Rogers], Alabama, by 1956 or before; her sister, Sylvia Benson Lawson [Mrs. Ralph Lawson], Salem, Massachusetts, by 1976; bequest 1977 to NGA.

Exhibition History
Exhibition of Pictures by Frank W. Benson and Edmund C. Tarbell, Chase's Gallery, Boston, 1891, no. 7.
World Columbian Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Chicago, 1893, no. 561.
Exhibition of Paintings by Frank W. Benson, St. Botolph Club, Boston, 1900, no. 20.
An Exhibition of Portraits, The Union League Club, New York, 1904, no. 4.
Paintings, Prints, and Drawings by Frank W. Benson, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1921, no. 38, as Portrait of My Wife.
Frank W. Benson, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1924, no. 26, as Portrait of My Wife.
Paintings, Watercolors and Etchings by Frank W. Benson, Akron Art Institute, Ohio, 1924, no. 18, repro.
Frank W. Benson & Edmund C. Tarbell: Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1938, no. 45.
One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York, 1952, no. 3.
Frank W. Benson Retrospective Exhibition, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, 1956, no. 5.
Frank W. Benson 1862-1951: Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints, Farnsworth Library and Art Museum, Rockland, Maine, 1973, no cat.
Extended loan for use by Ambassador Raymond G. H. Seitz, U.S. Embassy residence, London, England, 1992-1994.
Downes, William Howe. "Frank W. Benson and His Work." Brush and Pencil 6 (July 1900): 153, repro. 149.
Smith, Minna C. "The Work of Frank W. Benson." International Studio 35 (October 1908): 100.
Seaton-Schmidt, Anna. "Frank W. Benson." American Magazine of Art 12 (November 1921): 366-368, repro. 367.
Southgate, M. Therese. "The Cover: Frank W. Benson's 'Portrait in White.'" Journal of the American Medical Association 241 (22 June 1979): cover, 25, color repro.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 28, repro.
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 130, repro.
Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 190, repro. 191.
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 152, repro.
Bedford, Faith Andrews. "Frank W. Benson: A Biography." In Frank W. Benson: A Retrospective. Exh. cat. Berry-Hill Galleries, New York, 1989: 31, fig. 27, 40.
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 33, repro.
Bedford, Faith Andrews. Frank W. Benson: American Impressionist. New York, 1994: 42-43, repro. 36.
Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 26-28, color repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a very fine twill fabric \rthat has been lined, but the original tacking margins are \rpresent. A white ground was unevenly applied over the \rfinely woven support. After the figure was sketched in, the \rbackground was covered with dark green paint of a \rpastelike consistency. The sitter's body and dress were \rblocked in with white, and the flesh areas with a yellow-tan. Following this, the flesh areas were painted over with smooth applications of cool pink, leaving the darker tan underlayer exposed to model the forms. The details of the dress were built up thickly with ridges of impasto defining the stripes along the sleeves. Overall, the painting was executed decisively, with bold brushwork and very few changes in the composition. Examination by x-radiography reveals that the only compositional change made to the work involved the figure's right eye. The paint and ground layers are secure, although areas of craquelure are found throughout the thickly painted face, hands, and dress. One large hole, located in the middle of the woman's left side, and several old losses are also present. The varnish has grayed slightly.