In celebration of maternal love, the Experiment Station takes a look at the figure of “mother” in art through a selection from the Phillips’s permanent collection.
Edouard Vuillard, Woman Sweeping, between 1899 and 1900. Oil on cardboard, 17 3/8 x 18 5/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1939
Despite trysts with a number of women, Edouard Vuillard‘s mother was the only woman he ever called his muse.
Augustus Vincent Tack, Allegory – Love and Life (Mother and Child), ca. 1900-07. Oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 25 x 24 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1919; traded 1924; reacquired by 1959
In the lovely and soft painting above, Augustus Vincent Tack uses the portraits of a mother and child to embody the notions of Love and Life.
Isamu Noguchi, Mother and Child, 1930. Ink on paper, 56 1/2 x 35 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Bequest of June P. Carey, 1983
In just a few simple strokes of ink on paper, Isamu Noguchi captures the intimacy between mother and child.
(left) Max Weber, Mother and Child, between 1916 and 1923. Lithograph overall: 8 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Diane and Norman Bernstein, 2006 (right) Max Weber, Mother and Child, ca. 1919-20, Woodcut print overall: 8 in x 5 1/2 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Diane and Norman Bernstein, 2006
Max Weber approaches the relationship between mother and child from a number of angles—first through lithograph, then through woodcut—in his multiple renderings of the subject.
Bonnie Harris, Memory of My Mother’s Parlor, not dated. Casein on paper, 13 1/2 x 20 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Gift of Marilee Shapiro and Eleanor Harris, 1981
Bonnie Harris, who began painting at age 79, remembers her mother through a familiar and surely intimate setting—her parlor.
I own a wonderful painting signed Bonnie Harris 1954, Casein on paper. The view appears to be from the same home as the parlor painting. The painting shows a maid carrying a tray with cups and ice for tea. The table is set in the dining room. Same window curtains as in the parlor painting. Brilliant color. 18″X 24.