Interior View of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when in Fourteenth Street

Frank Waller (American, New York 1842–1923 Morristown, New Jersey)
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, 1895
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 763
Waller endeavored to improve American taste and art instruction and applauded new museums such as the Metropolitan, which opened in 1870. He set this scene in the Museum’s second home, the Douglas Mansion on West Fourteenth Street, which it occupied from 1873 to 1879. The work presents a female visitor as the archetypal devotee of art and culture, thus expressing women’s association with civilizing pastimes. Pictured are two second-floor galleries as they appeared in 1879, when the portrait on view in the far room—then attributed to Leonardo—was on loan from a private collector. Henry Peters Gray’s "The Wages of War" of 1848 (73.5) is shown installed above the doorway.
Signature: [at lower right]: Frank Waller. / 1881. / COPYRIGHT
the artist, New York (until 1895)