Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lady of the Lake

Artist:
Horace Pippin (American, West Chester, Pennsylvania 1888–1946 West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 1/2 x 36 in. (52.1 x 91.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Jane Kendall Gingrich, 1982
Accession Number:
1982.55.1
Not on view
A self-taught artist from Pennsylvania, Pippin only started making art at the age of thirty-seven, and later became one of the most recognized African American artists in the country. Based loosely on Arthurian legend, Lady of the Lake is Pippin’s lone painting of a female nude. She appears as a sunbather at the edge of the water, sitting with her face held up to the sun and next to a log cabin that seems too small to accommodate her. The cabin, canoe, Indian-style blanket, rose trellis, bricolage planters, and the lush, mountainous landscape suggest that Pippin mined many resources he knew close to home for the composition.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): H. PiPPiN.
[Carlen Galleries, Philadelphia, by 1940–42; in October 1942 to Downtown Gallery]; [Downtown Gallery, New York, 1942–46; in 1946 to Carlen]; [Carlen Galleries, Philadelphia, from 1946; sold to Hamilton]; Jane Hamilton, later Jane Kendall Gingrich, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., New York, and New Jersey (by 1947–d. 1981; her bequest to MMA)

Philadelphia. Carlen Galleries. "Horace Pippin Exhibition," January 19–February 18, 1940, no. 20 (as "The Lady of the Lake").

New York. Bignou Gallery. "Paintings by Horace Pippin," September 30–October 12, 1940, no. 18 (as "The Lady of the Lake").

Arts Club of Chicago. "Exhibition of Paintings by Horace Pippin," May 23–June 14, 1941, no. 12 (as "The Lady of the Lake").

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Horace Pippin," 1942, no catalogue.

Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Art Museum. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–April 21, 1985, unnum. cat. (p. 107).

Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 5–June 30, 1985, unnum. cat.

New York. National Academy of Design. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 16–September 1, 1985, unnum. cat.

Evanston, Ill. Terra Museum of American Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 15–November 10, 1985, unnum. cat.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 12, 1985–January 19, 1986, unnum. cat.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–March 30, 1986, unnum. cat.

St. Paul. Minnesota Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 20–June 8, 1986, unnum. cat.

Pleasantville, N. Y. Reader's Digest. "Faces and Figures: Selected Works by Black Artists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 12–April 1, 1988, brochure no. 18.

Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. "I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin," January 21–April 17, 1994, unnumbered cat. (fig. 78; as "The Lady of the Lake").

Art Institute of Chicago. "I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin," April 30–July 10, 1994, unnumbered cat.

Cincinnati Art Museum. "I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin," July 28–October 9, 1994, unnumbered cat.

Baltimore Museum of Art. "I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin," October 26, 1994–January 1, 1995, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin," February 1–April 30, 1995, unnumbered cat.

Chadds Ford, Penn. Brandywine River Museum. "Horace Pippin: The Way I See It," April 25–July 19, 2015, no. 16 (as "The Lady of the Lake").

Selden Rodman. Horace Pippin: A Negro Painter in America. New York, 1947, pp. 13, 83, no. 18, pl. 9, locates it in the collection of Mrs. John D. M. Hamilton, Paoli, Pennsylvania.

Lisa M. Messinger. "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1982–1983. New York, 1983, p. 63, ill., calls it "The Lady of the Lake" and dates it 1945.

Lowery Stokes Sims. The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Jacksonville Art Museum. New York, 1984, pp. 92, 106–7, ill., dates it 1945.

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan in Judith E. Stein. I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin. Exh. cat., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. New York, 1993, pp. 92–93, 122 n. 14, fig. 78 (color).

Mark F. Bockrath and Barbara A. Buckley in Judith E. Stein. I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin. Exh. cat., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. New York, 1993, p. 172.

Anne Monahan in Judith E. Stein. I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin. Exh. cat., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. New York, 1993, p. 195.

Jacqueline Francis in Horace Pippin: The Way I See It. Ed. Audrey Lewis. Exh. cat., Brandywine River Museum. Chadds Ford, Penn., 2015, pp. 7, 9, 11–13, 87 n. 32, p. 167, colorpl. 16, ill. pp vi-vii (color detail).



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