Woman Reading

Susan Macdowell Eakins

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764

Susan Macdowell, a former student of Thomas Eakins’s at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, married him in 1884. Primarily a portraitist, she frequently depicted family members in interior settings. Her model here may have been her sister Elizabeth, whose future husband would appear as "The Thinker" in 1900 (17.172). The fan resting on the table reflects Susan Eakins’s interest in Japanese art, which is also signaled by the book of prints she holds in her husband’s portrait of her (23.139). After her marriage, Susan Eakins gave up painting to devote herself to assisting her husband and, later, establishing his reputation.

Woman Reading, Susan Macdowell Eakins (1851–1938), Oil on canvas, American

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