The Woman Who Sewed Clothes – Elizabeth, Lady Henry Lyman

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In December 1908, Elizabeth Cabot married Henry Lyman, a Harvard-trained physician. Within a year, the couple moved to 36 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. Here, Tarbell presents life around Elizabeth, as well as her elite family status. She was dressed in pure white, wrapped in a pink scarf, and her hands were busy sewing. The elegant and refined décor presented in the home is deeply inspired by the Colonial Revival. The historicist phenomenon of colonial revival refers to the selective packaging and presentation of the skills and values ​​of the previous period in an attempt to defuse the disturbing consequences of industrialization and its threat to national culture. The artist’s fresh tones and loose brushes blur the ideological sense of the times, making the Colonial Revival style very modern.

We would like to thank the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for sharing today’s masterpiece with us. : )

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Side note: A similar anti-industrial sentiment is present in the beautiful American landscape paintings by Hudson River School artists. <3

76.2 × 63.5 cm

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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