Alice Vanderbilt Shepard
Oil on canvas
30 1/8 x 22 in.
signed u.l.: John S. Sargent
dated u.r.: 1888
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
For Sargent, who lived his life largely abroad, encountering the highly educated American thirteen-year-old, Alice Shepard, was a new experience. According to family lore, she captivated Sargent with her beauty, intelligence, and especially her ability to converse fluently in French. Whether by design or circumstance, Sargent portrays her here in her fashionable, military-style walking suit, then considered proper public attire for a young woman as it masked her femininity.
We the People: Picturing American IdentityJune 15–September 8, 2013
This exhibition focuses on the fluidity of national identity through the creations of American artists, particularly in key moments in history when the definition of a singular American identity was challenged and ultimately reshaped.