Description: Janet Scudder
Portrait of Peggy Guggenheim, 1930s
oil on canvas
signed lower left.
Biography from Sotheby's London, New Bond Street
Janet Scudder was born in Terre Haute, Indiana into an impoverished family plagued by misfortune. With help of friends and relatives she enrolled in local art classes and later the Cincinnati Academy of Art and moved through a succession of wood carving and studio assistant jobs in Cincinnati and later Chicago, encumbered by the fact that often female practitioners were forbidden to work. Her career and style took shape due to stints in the studios of Loredo Taft and Frederick Macmonnies between 1893 and 1896 and a number of years spent travelling as an artistic companion to a succession of American heiresses. As much as this helped her, she felt suppressed by the solemn statuary produced by her male colleagues and the monotony of living a luxury lifestyle and soon decreed "never to do stupid self-rightious sculpture - even if I had to die in the poorhouse" (Scudder, op. cit., p. 165).
From 1900 onwards she focused on joyous representations of children and youthful literary characters, often in the form of fountains, and swiftly found recognition and a steady stream of commissions. Around 1908-1913 she produced some of her best known work, such as The Tortoise Fountain, The Young Diana, and The Little Lady of the Sea, often during trips to Europe. Scudder equally sharpened her pen and tongue during this time, lashing out to dilettante woman artists, gender inequality, and dull art. A cast of The Seated Faun is in the Brooklyn Museum (inv. no. 26.184), dated 1924.
25 1/4"H x 20 3/4"W (image), 32 1/4"H x 28"W (frame).
Dimensions: 25 1/4"H x 20 3/4"W (image), 32 1/4"H x 28"W (frame).
Artist Name: Janet Scudder
Medium: oil on canvas