Object Image

Portrait of a Woman (Miss Gertrude Bloede)

Gertrude Bloede was the sister of Abbott Thayer's first wife, Kate. The Bloedes were German immigrants who lived in Brooklyn and regularly entertained a circle of intellectuals. Both daughters were highly creative and independent: Kate was an artist, and Gertrude was a noted writer who published her romantic poetry under the pseudonym Stuart Sterne. In this portrait sketch, Thayer gave his sister-in-law a faraway look, as though she were lost in thought, perhaps composing a poem.

Credit: Gift of John Gellatly

Ca. 1881
Oil on canvas
42.2 x 35.7cm
1929.6.125
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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