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Help Identify Ms. Nameless Artist
July 26, 2011


Emily Moazami, one of American Art's photograph archivists, needs your help identifying an artist.

Nameless Artist

Help us identify this artist.

This photograph of a woman artist painting in her studio is from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, but we don't know who she is. I don’t know why, but she looks so familiar to me, and yet, I cannot track down her identity. Can you help?

Based on the clues in the photo we know that she is a landscape and still life painter. Her hairstyle suggests that the photo was shot in the early 20th century. My first guess was Florine Stettheimer, and although there is a resemblance in the hairdo, I don’t see similarities in the style of the artwork. Other guesses around American Art's Research & Scholars Center were Marguerite Zorach and Francine Baehr, but I’m not convinced either one is the identity of Ms. Nameless Artist.

Perhaps a little background information will help you (to help us) identify this woman: the photographers Peter A. Juley and his son Paul owned a New York firm that specialized in photographing works of art and the artists at work. This "nameless artist" image is among the artist portraits in the collection (most by the Juleys, some by other photographers from which the Juleys made copy negatives), including formal studio portraits such as this image of Jacob Lawrence, odd portraits like the back of Karl Heinrich Gruppe’s head, and portraits of artists at work in their studios such as our Ms. Nameless Artist’s photo. Other images in the collection include art students working alongside their well-known teachers, like John Sloan, Robert Henri, and George Elmer Browne to name a few.

So, do you have any ideas who this woman is? If you do, leave a comment down below. Until then, she will affectionately remain Ms. Nameless Artist.


Posted by Emily on July 26, 2011 in American Art Here, Behind the Scenes


Comments

i wonder if its a young Theresa Bernstein (in comparison to the other photo in the same collection). This still life by her looks like it could match the style of the work in the photograph as well.

Theresa Bernstein is a great guess. She would have been around the right age when this image was probably shot and the Juleys photographed Bernstein many times throughout her career. Also, as you pointed out, Bernstein painted still life scenes similar to the artworks in the Ms. Nameless Artist photo.

On the other hand, some of their facial features look different to me, especially their noses. Check out this larger image of Ms. Nameless Artist and compare it to this Juley photo of Bernstein from 1930. To be sure, I’ll try and track down an image of Bernstein in profile for comparison. Thanks for your comment and keep the guesses coming!

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