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Portrait of a fair-skinned lady standing next to a fireplace mantle, facing and looking at us.

The woman (Bertha Hallowell Vaughan) wears a light green gown under an open light grey evening coat with dark fur trim. Her right elbow rests on the mantle behind two silver candle sticks as she looks our way with brown eyes and a steady gaze. Her dark brown hair is up in a bun, her left hand wears a white glove while the right hand at her side holds her other glove and something else, painted in loose brush strokes. The background is dark, but a folding Asian screen is visible behind her. 

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Cecilia Beaux, American (Philadelphia, PA 1855 - 1942 Philadelphia, PA)
Bertha Hallowell Vaughan (1866-1948)
Bertha Hallowell Vaughan (1866-1948)
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
147.3 x 96.5 cm (58 x 38 in.)
framed: 162.6 x 111.8 x 5.1 cm (64 x 44 x 2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: Cecilia Beaux
  • exhibition label: [1976-1977], removed from back of painting, now in curatorial file, paper, printed and typed: no. 100, loan no. ex. 76.1636
  • exhibition label: removed from back of painting, now in curatorial file, paper, printed and typed
  • exhibition label: [1987-1988], removed from back of painting, now in curatorial file, paper, printed and typed: no. 10


Recorded Ownership History
The sitter; presumably by descent to her nephew and niece, Samuel Vaughn and Mrs. Langdon P. Marvin, 1948; their gift to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge, MA, 1954.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Gift of Samuel Vaughan and Mrs. Langdon P. Marvin to Radcliffe College, 1954
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Cecilia Beaux, Background with Figures, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston and New York, 1930), p. 232
  • The One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, exh. cat., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA, 1955), no. 135, repr. p. 82
  • The Paintings and Drawings of Cecilia Beaux, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA, 1955), p. 105; repr. p. 104
  • Ann Sutherland Harris, Women Artists, 1550-1950, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA, 1976), no. 100, pp. 252-253, repr. p. 254
  • Anne-Marie Seltzer, "Cecilia Beaux Painting in National Museum Exhibition", Second Century Radcliffe News (June 1987), pp. 1-3, p. 3; repr. p. 1
  • Eleanor Tufts, American Women Artists, 1830-1930, exh. cat., International Exhibitions Foundation (Washington, D.C, 1987), no. 10, repr. [unpaginated]
  • Michael Marlais, Americans and Paris, exh. cat., Colby College Museum of Art (Waterville, ME, 1990), no. 38; repr. in color p. 47
  • Sarah Burns, "The 'Earnest, Untiring Worker' and the Magician of the Brush: Gender Politics in the Criticism of Cecilia Beaux and John Singer Sargent", Oxford Art Journal (1999), vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 36-53, pp. 37-38, repr.
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (U.S.) (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 37, cat. 3, ill.

Exhibition History

  • Exhibition of Paintings by Miss Cecilia Beaux, St. Botolph Club, 04/04/1904 - 04/16/1904
  • Recent Portraits by Cecilia Beaux, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, 11/14/1935 - 05/01/1936
  • The One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 01/15/1955 - 03/13/1955
  • Women Artists, 1550-1950, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 12/21/1976 - 03/13/1977; University of Texas at Austin Art Museum, Austin, 04/12/1977 - 06/12/1977; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 07/14/1977 - 09/04/1977; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, 10/08/1977 - 11/27/1977
  • American Women Artists, 1830-1930, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 04/10/1987 - 06/14/1987; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 07/05/1987 - 08/30/1987; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 09/19/1987 - 11/15/1987; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, 12/05/1987 - 01/31/1988; Meadows Museum, Dallas, 02/20/1988 - 04/17/1988
  • Americans and Paris, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, 08/01/1990 - 10/22/1990

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at