Inscribed along lower margin: 'TO ANTOINETTE / GIFFORD BEAL'
Gifford Beal was born in New York, graduated from Princeton in 1900 and studied art under William Merritt Chase for ten years. He also worked with George Bridgman and Frank Vincent DuMond at the Art Students League. Beal's specialties were marine and figure painting; among his favorite subjects were circus scene and Central Park. In the mid 1920's, he produced a series of painting portraying fishermen at work. He also did considerable mural painting; among them; panels portraying the life of the scientist John Henry at Princeton and a mural in the Department of the Interior building, Washington, D.C. Beal was president of the Art Students League from 1914 to1929, received many awards and is represented in many museum collections. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was honored with a memorial exhibition there in 1957.
Antoinette Kraushaar, a distinguished New York art dealer, was a devoted promoter of the work of the Eight and American 20th-century realist artists including Beal. The sitter's father John Kraushaar had inherited the gallery founded by his brother Charles W. Kraushaar in 1917; the year that George Luks had painted a full length portrait of the young Antoinette (The Brooklyn Museum). By the time Beal painted his charming likeness around 1925, Miss Kraushaar had probably joined her father in the family firm; when he died in 1946, she took over the gallery. This informal bust length portrait shows the sitter in profile looking to the left and seated at a round table before a piano. Her elegant features and upswept hair are poised against the light surface of the sheet music on the piano, above which hangs an old fashioned male portrait whose dark garb sets off the light hair and pink frock of the modern young woman. A bouquet of boldly painted brilliant summer flowers sits atop the piano at the left, suggesting that the location is Rockport, Massachusetts where both the Beal and the Kraushaar families summered during the 1920s. Beal's open strokes, light palette, and the glimpse he offers of a homey Victorian interior reinforce the relaxed, even intimate, tone of this charming portrait as does the artist's affectionate inscription "To Antoinette."
Gift of Carole Pesner
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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