"A GEORGIA BLACK FAMILY" (Each dated March 1883) by ELIZABETH BOOTT DUVENECK (Mrs. Frank) (1846 - 1888)
Jerry: Oil on canvas, 26 ¼ x 20 ½ inches (canvas); signed, titled and dated lower right; provenanec: Duveneck Estate, San Francisco, CA.
Mum Hannah: Oil on canvas, 21 x 17 inches (canvas); signed, titled and dated upper right; provenance: Duveneck Estate, San Francisco, CA.
Neptune: Oil on canvas, 26 ¼ x 26 ½ inches; signed, titled and dated lower right;provenance: Duveneck Estate, San Francisco, CA.
“…Elizabeth Duveneck was somewhat influenced by her husband’s ‘fast brush.’ These influences are evident in a trio of portraits of a black family, newly freed after the Civil War, which she painted during a trip to Georgia in the 1880’s ….The vigorously brushed heads show a mother with a corncob pipe in her mouth, a dignified father, and a son, Jerry. The young boy looks fearfully but hopefully, out toward the new life opening up to him. This was a typical Barbizon subject, glorifying the humble but noble tiller of the soil.” (Ref: Rubinstein, Charlotte. American Women Artists, 1982. Also, see Plate 12 in this reference for illustration of “Jerry.”) These three paintings were exhibited at the Doll & Richards Gallery in Boston in 1884. (Ref: Smithsonian Institution, “Frank & Elizabeth Boot Duveneck papers,” Archives of American Art; et al.). Very specific information on these three paintings is found in several documents dating from 1884. Frank & Elizabeth Boott Duveneck are extremely important artists in American art
history; consequently, there are many publications, including biographies, about the artists; they are listed in every major art reference, and their works are in many major museum and private collections.