The Letter


Amelia Urbach ( American, 1889 - 1969 )

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General Description

This starkly painted rural scene resonates with dramatic tension, thanks to its title and the enigmatic nature of its central figure. What is the subject of the letter this young woman has received? Is it from a lover? Does it carry good news or unpleasant tidings? The artist gives no clues, lending ambiguity to her subject.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Amelia Urbach attended high school in Dallas and studied for two years at the Dallas Art Institute with Olin Travis. In a 1950 letter to the Museum, she stated that she considered The Letter to be her most important work. Urbach spent much of her career working and exhibiting in San Antonio.

Excerpt from

William Keyse Rudolph, DMA label copy, 2008