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Mrs. Robert Abbe (Catherine Amory Bennett)
Accession # 1999.113
Artist Cecilia Beaux
Title Mrs. Robert Abbe (Catherine Amory Bennett)
Date 1898-1899
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 74 x 39 in. (188 x 99.1 cm) frame: 86 1/2 x 51 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (219.7 x 130.8 x 8.3 cm)
Signed Signed lower left: "Cecilia Beaux"
Credit Line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Schweitzer
Location American Identities: Everyday Life / A Nation Divided

Curatorial Remarks: Cecilia Beaux’s emphasis on the clothing in this portrait of the society matron Catherine Abbe points to Abbe’s social status rather than her personality or achievements. Mrs. Abbe devoted much time to philanthropic activities, including the League of Political Education, through which she supported women’s rights. Her interest in that cause may have led her to choose Beaux, an accomplished woman artist, to paint her portrait. Beaux made the decision not to marry, believing that family responsibilities would impede her professional success in a field dominated by men.