Emma in a Chair


George Wesley Bellows ( American, 1882 - 1925 )


Bolton Coit Brown ( American, 1864 - 1936 )

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General Description

For three years starting in 1921, George Bellows labored on the final portrait of his wife, Emma in a Purple Dress (1956.58). During these years he also executed several lithographs which depict Emma seated in the same, ruffle-trimmed dress, but experimented with the composition and surroundings. He used his printmaking process to explore the various possibilities of scale and facial expressions. Though the final painting shows Emma seated in their home in Woodstock, New York, this view shows her in their Manhattan apartment at 146 East 19th Street.

Adapted from

William Keyse Rudolph, DMA Label copy (1956.58), July 2005.

Fun Facts

  • Emma was thirty-nine and the mother of two girls when Bellows completed his final portrait of his wife, Emma in a Purple Dress (1956.58). Bellows met Emma, who is reported to have been an attractive, spirited woman of strong character, in 1905, and they were married in 1910. The pair met while enrolled in a class taught by Robert Henri at the New York School of Art (formerly the Chase School of Art, named for its founder, William Merritt Chase).