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Notes to the Reader

This catalog encompasses paintings by American artists who were born primarily in the last quarter of the 19th century and came to prominence in the United States before 1945. Its first online release documents a group of 37 major works, including several paintings acquired from the Corcoran Gallery of Art after its closing in 2014. Many of these works are featured in the new East Building permanent collection galleries devoted to American modernism that were inaugurated in 2016 during the Gallery’s 75th anniversary. A second installment of approximately 60 scholarly catalog entries is forthcoming.

The paintings cataloged here are arranged alphabetically by artist, and for each artist there is a short biography and selected bibliography. Each painting’s page begins with an image of the work; the name, nationality, and life dates of the artist; and the title, execution date, medium and support, dimensions, credit line, and accession number of the painting. Each work is then discussed briefly in an overview, and at length in a full entry that includes a technical summary, provenance, notes, and bibliography. If present, any signature or inscription is transcribed, and if the painting was publicly exhibited at any time after its creation, an exhibition history is given.


The following conventions are used for dates:

1920 Executed in 1920
c. 1920 Executed sometime around 1920
1920–1925 Begun in 1920, finished in 1925
1920/1925 Executed sometime between 1920 and 1925
c. 1920/1925 Executed sometime around the period 1920–1925


Overall dimensions are given in centimeters, height preceding width, followed by dimensions in inches within parentheses. Framed dimensions follow the overall dimensions.

Accession Numbers

Accession numbers are noted after the credit line. This is a unique number assigned to every object in the National Gallery of Art collection. It is composed of (first) the four-digit year in which the object officially entered the Gallery’s collection; (second) a number that represents the donation or purchase “lot” within the year of acquisition; and (third) a number recording the object within the lot. If necessary, these three parts are followed by a fourth letter or number, as, for instance, by “.a” for an obverse and “.b” for a painted reverse.


If present, signatures or inscriptions on the paintings are recorded as accurately as possible. In these transcriptions, a slash with a space on either side of it indicates a new line; a slash without these spaces indicates that the slash is included in the text being recorded. All references to right and left with regard to the location of the signatures and inscriptions are to that of the viewer.


The Provenance gives the names of all known owners in chronological order. A semicolon between two names indicates a direct transfer of ownership of the painting, whereas a period indicates uncertainty about the chain of ownership and the whereabouts of the object between two documented owners. The names of dealers, agents, and auction house sales are given in parentheses. Notes provide sources, details of research, and discussion of outstanding questions.

Exhibition Histories

Exhibition histories record the presence of paintings in special exhibitions or as individual loans from an earlier owner to another institution. They are as complete as possible and include exhibition catalog numbers (unless there was no catalog or the catalog was unnumbered) and a note if the painting was reproduced. We continue to update this information as our objects are included in new exhibitions or special loans, or when we learn about a previously unknown exhibition earlier in the painting’s history.


Each object page contains a chronological list of references that includes only those texts that specifically discuss the painting in the National Gallery of Art collection.

Technical Summaries and Instrumental Methods

Each entry includes a Technical Summary, which discusses the materials and techniques used by the artists in the creation of the paintings, as well as any changes and documented treatments. Each painting was examined unframed, in visible light, front and back. The paintings were examined with a stereomicroscope with magnifying power up to 100x and under ultraviolet light. X-radiographs were taken to answer questions regarding the paintings’ construction and condition. Infrared reflectography was used for each painting to reveal underdrawing, compositional changes, and condition. The results of these examinations are discussed only when they yield information considered essential to interpretation of the painting.

The medium of the paint has not been analyzed unless stated in the Technical Summary. For the panel supports, the type of wood is specified only if the wood has been analyzed. Any scientific analysis that was used to help understand the paintings is cited. The procedures and equipment used for this analysis are described below.

Treatments performed by Gallery conservation staff after acquisition are described briefly in the Technical Summaries. Occasionally, records of earlier treatments are included in the Technical Summaries. Damages such as paint losses should be assumed to have been repaired and inpainted. Significant areas of inpainting are discussed in the Technical Summaries.

A variety of techniques and instruments were used to examine and analyze the paintings in this catalog. The equipment is described below: 

Energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS): Small samples were examined with energy dispersive spectrometry using an Oxford Inca 300 spectrometer with a Super ATW Si(Li) detector on a JEOL 6300 SEM.

Fourier-transform infrared (micro)spectroscopy (FTIR): A Thermo Nicolet Nexus 670 instrument was used, fitted with a Continuum microscope. Spectra were collected in transmission mode at 4 cm-1 resolution. The samples were compressed between two windows of a Diamond Cell (Spectratech).

Gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC / MS): The samples were methylated with TMTFTH (TCI America, 0.5M in MeOH) or hydrolyzed using 6N HCl for 24 hours under vacuum. After removal of the HCl, the amino acids were silylated with MTBSTFA / TBDMCS. Samples were examined by gas chromatography / mass spectrometry on a 30 meter DB-5 column, a Varian Saturn CP3900 gas chromatograph, and a Saturn 2100T ion trap mass spectrometer.

Infrared examination: When infrared examination is designated by microns, one of four cameras was used: a Kodak 310-21X PtSi camera configured to 1.5 – 2.0 microns, a Mitsubishi M600 PtSi camera configured to 1.2 – 2.5 microns, an Indigo / FLIR Alpha Visible-­InGaAs camera, and a Santa Barbara Focalplane SBF187 InSb camera. The latter two cameras were configured with various band filters between 1.1 and 2.5 microns. For the Kodak and Mitsubishi cameras, the images were captured using a ScionPCI framegrabber card in a Macintosh computer with Scanalytic’s IP-­Lab software. For the Indigo / FLIR camera, the images were captured onto a Dell computer with an IMAQ capture board housed in a Magma external PCI box, and IRVista software. For the Santa Barbara Focalplane camera, the images were captured using a Windows Empower tower computer and WinIR software. Nikon 55mm macro, 50mm macro, and 35mm lenses were used with the various cameras, as were Astronomy J, H, and K filters. The infrared reflectograms were automatically mosaicked and registered to a reference color image using a novel registration algorithm developed by George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. For more information see Damon M. Conover, John K. Delaney, and Murray H. Loew, “Automatic Registration and Mosaicking of Conservation Images,” in Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology, vol. 4, ed. Luca Pezzati and Piotr Targowski, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 8790 (Bellingham, WA, 2013). 

Optical microscopy of cross-sections: Small paint samples (c. 0.25mm2) were removed using a scalpel and were mounted in polyester-type resin blocks. The samples were cut at right angles to the layer structure and polished using silicon carbide papers and examined using a Leica DRMX microscope.

Polarized light microscopy (PLM): Transmitted polarized light microscopy of dispersed samples was conducted using Leitz Orthoplan and Leica DMRX microscopes. Particle identification was accomplished by comparing characteristic features — including particle size, color, refractive index and relief, birefringence, extinction characteristics, pleochroism, and anomalous polarization colors of the unknown — to those of reference materials in the Forbes Pigment Collection and other reference collections.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM): Small samples were prepared for optical microscopy and examined with a JEOL 6300 scanning electron microscope at magnifications 100× – 10,000×. A Tetra backscatter electron detector was used to obtain BSE images.

X-radiography: X-radiography was carried out with equipment consisting of a Eureka Emerald 125 MT tube, a Continental 0-110 kV control panel, and a Duocon M collimator or a Comet Technologies XRP-75MXR-75HP tube. The image was captured on Kodak X-­OMAT film or digitally using a Carestream Industrex Blue Digital Imaging Plate 5537. The scanned x-ray radiograph films or digital x-radiograph captures were automatically mosaicked and registered to a reference color image using a novel registration algorithm developed by George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. For more information see Damon M. Conover, John K. Delaney, and Murray H. Loew, “Automatic Registration and Mosaicking of Conservation Images,” in Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology, vol. 4, ed. Luca Pezzati and Piotr Targowski, Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 8790 (Bellingham, WA, 2013). 

X-ray diffraction (XRD): The Philips x-ray generator XRG 3100 was used with a tube with a copper anode and nickel filter. The paint sample was mounted on a glass fiber in a Gandolfi camera. Data were collected on film, and line spacings and intensities were estimated using a calibrated rule.

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF): This is a noninvasive analytical technique, which was carried out using one of two systems. The first system used a secondary emission Kevex 0750A spectrophotometer equipped with a rhodium tube with either a barium chloride secondary target or a molybdenum secondary target using a variety of excitation conditions and a silicon lithium Si(Li) detector with a resolution of approximately 155eV @Mn Kα. For this system the range of Rh tube excitation was 40kV – 60kV and 0.4mA – 2mA. The second system used a Bruker ArtTAX Pro μXRF spectrometer, which uses primary excitation and is equipped with a helium (He) flush, a rhodium (Rh) x-ray tube, and a capillary optic lens with an analysis area of approximately 75μm. In this system the x-ray tube voltage was 50kV, the current was 200μA, and the accumulation time was 200 seconds.