Figure of a Girl in Blue (portrait of Miss Minnie Clark)

Due to copyright restrictions, access to this image is restricted to certain sizes outside the University of Michigan.
Portrait of a woman with dark hair and fair skin seated in a chair wearing a blue dress amid a sparse background of blues, greens, and browns; her body is positioned at an angle towards the right, while she looks directly out at the viewer.
Thomas Wilmer Dewing
c. 1892
This work is typical of many of Dewing’s paintings, depicting young, fine-boned, elegant women wearing the highest fashions of the day amid a sparse background and executed in muted tones of blues and grays lending to the overall mood of the piece. The painting is a portrait of Miss Minnie Clark, a 28-year-old working-class, Irish immigrant, who worked as an artist’s model in turn-of-the-century New York. She was in reasonable demand, and was considered to be very beautiful and the picture of youthful vigor, but in reality she was in poor health and could not afford the medicines she needed. She was a widow, and she modeled because she had no other skills with which to support her two children. Eventually Minnie married an architect and vanished into the American middle class.
Gift of Mr. Raymond C. Smith
Friday, February 3, 2023