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Bessie Potter Vonnoh

Bessie Potter Vonnoh
Robert William Vonnoh, 17 Sep 1858 - 28 Dec 1933
Bessie Potter Vonnoh, 12 Aug 1872 - 8 Mar 1955
Oil on canvas
Sight: 32.1 × 24.4 cm (12 5/8 × 9 5/8")
Stretcher: 32.7 × 25.4 cm (12 7/8 × 10")
Frame: 55.2 × 47 × 6.4 cm (21 3/4 × 18 1/2 × 2 1/2")
Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Female
Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Bequest of Bessie Potter Vonnoh Keyes) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
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Exhibition Label
Born St. Louis, Missouri
Raised by a single mother in Chicago, Bessie Potter Vonnoh is known for her sculpted figurines of upper and middle-class women and idealized representations of motherhood. Having trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, she opened her own studio in 1894. One year later, she traveled to London and Paris, where she visited the studio of Auguste Rodin, a pivotal experience for her practice.
In 1899, Vonnoh married American Impressionist painter Robert Vonnoh, whom she had met in Chicago while preparing for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition with her former teacher Lorado Taft. Here, Vonnoh’s husband depicts her in academic garb, a sign of her high professional status and the couple’s deep mutual respect.
Highlights of Vonnoh’s distinguished career include her first solo exhibition in 1910 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and her election as a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1921.
Nacida en St. Louis, Misuri
Criada por su madre viuda en Chicago, Bessie Potter Vonnoh se dio a conocer por sus estatuillas de mujeres de clase alta y media y sus representaciones idealizadas de la maternidad. Luego de asistir al Art Institute de Chicago, abrió su propio estudio en 1894. Un año después viajó a Londres y París, donde visitó el estudio de Auguste Rodin, experiencia crucial para su trabajo.
En 1899 se casó con el pintor impresionista estadounidense Robert Vonnoh, a quien conoció en Chicago mientras se preparaba para la Exposición Colombina de 1893 con su antiguo maestro Lorado Taft. Aquí el esposo la presenta en atuendo académico, indicando su elevado estatus profesional y el profundo respeto mutuo de la pareja.
Entre los hitos de la distinguida carrera de Bessie Potter Vonnoh se encuentran su primera exposición individual en 1910 en la Galería de Arte Corcoran y su elección como miembro titular de la Academia Nacional de Diseño en 1921.
Bessie Potter Vonnoh Keyes [1933-1955]; Bequest to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1955; Gift to NPG, 2019.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 140