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Speaking of Pictures: Abbott Handerson Thayer
April 25, 2006

Abbott Handerson Thayer, My Children (Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer), about 1897, oil, 86 1/4×61 1/8 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.122

Check out SAAM’s new Interact feature—Speaking of Pictures—which allows you to roll over an art image to find hidden meanings. This time we spotlight a painting by Abbott Handerson Thayer called My Children (Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer). Can you make out the figures of the younger children? Read on, and the snaking vines enveloping them might make sense!

Thayer is best known for his paintings of angels. But he was also an avid naturalist and studied the way camouflage protects animals from predators. His book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom helped develop camouflage techniques during World War I. Artworks in SAAM’s collection include dozens of studies for this book—completed by Thayer and his children.

If you like Speaking of Pictures, see our previous Interact pages. Learn more in our online exhibition Abbott Handerson Thayer.

Posted by Jeff on April 25, 2006 in American Art Here


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