Inscription

lower left: F.W. Benson / [four blurred digits, possibly 1910]

Provenance

Commissioned by the sitter's parents, The Reverend and Mrs. George Alexander Strong, Boston; by inheritance to their daughter, the sitter, Margaret Wendell Strong Withers [1892-1973] and her husband, Captain Clarke Withers [d. 1983], Massachusetts and St. Michael's, Maryland; by bequest 1983 to Captain Wither's first cousin once removed, Elizabeth Clarke Hayes [Mrs. Francis W. Hayes], St. Michael's, Maryland; gift 1992 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1989
Frank W. Benson: A Retrospective, Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., New York, 1989, no. 28.
2007
Loan to display with permanent collection, Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland, 2007-2008.
Bibliography
1989
Bedford, Faith Andrews. "Frank W. Benson: A Biography." In Frank W. Benson: A Retrospective. Exh. cat. Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., New York, 1989: 66, no. 28.
1994
Bedford, Faith Andrews. Frank W. Benson: American Impressionist. New York, 1994: 106, repro. 107.
1996
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: 28-31, color repro.
Technical Summary

A thin, grayish ground is applied over the medium-weight, plain-weave fabric support. The painting remains unlined and is attached to the original four-member, mortise-and-tenon stretcher. The fabric was primed before stretching. Paint was applied fluidly and in a relatively thick manner in a series of impasted brushstrokes. A small repaired hole is found in the area of the sitter's hair. There appears to be writing in addition to the signature and date. Efforts to decipher this with infrared reflectography and ultraviolet examination have been unsuccessful. The painting underwent varnish removal in 1993 and is currently displayed unvarnished.

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