Edith Franklin Baker was from Medford, Massachusetts, and attended the School of Drawing and Painting at the Museum of Fine Arts as DeCamp’s pupil. By 1891 he had moved north to Medford, and on September 21, 1892, the two were married, with Edmund Tarbell serving as a witness. Edith became one of DeCamp’s favorite models, appearing in numerous paintings. Shortly after the completion of this portrait, the couple moved into their first home in Medford to provide ample room for their growing family. They welcomed their firstborn, Sally in 1892, Ted in 1894, Lydia in 1896, and Paulina in 1899. DeCamp often painted Edith with their children and won his first major award at Atlanta’s International Exposition of the Cotton States in 1895 for The Hammock, a depiction of Edith and their two eldest. The painting also graced the cover of Laurene Buckley’s 1997 book, Joseph DeCamp: Master Painter of the Boston School.
More information about this painting...
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Joseph Rodefer DeCamp studied briefly at the McMicken School of Design before traveling abroad and enrolling at the Royal Academy in Munich in 1878. In 1883 DeCamp returned to the Ohio area and took teaching positions at art academies in Cleveland, but by 1884, he had settled in Boston where he became an influential teacher, beginning at Wellesley College from 1884 to 1886. In 1897, DeCamp became one of the founding members of the Impressionist group, the Ten American Painters, along with Boston friends Frank W. Benson and Edmund C. Tarbell.
Disaster struck in 1904 and his studio in the Harcourt Building burned down. Starting from scratch, he offered to paint fellow St. Botolph Club members at a reduced rate, thus establishing himself as one of Boston’s foremost portrait artists. For the next fifteen years, DeCamp went on to capture the likenesses of many notable sitters, including Benjamin Ames Kimball (1905), Charles Henry Taylor (1913), his teacher Frank Duveneck (1911-12) and President Theodore Roosevelt (1908).
Private collection, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 32394, April 1998
To private collection, Stratham, New Hampshire, January 2000 to present
(in black marker on lower stretcher) Property of / Alex W. Moffat Jr.
Previous Vose Galleries label, Inventory No. 32394
- Buckley, Laurene, Joseph DeCamp, Master Painter of the Boston School (Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlag, 1995), illus. p. 49
- Mary Bradish Titcomb and Her Contemporaries: The Artists of the Fenway Studios 1905-1939, Vose Galleries, Boston, 1998, illus. p. 33
Mary Bradish Titcomb and Her Contemporaries: The Artists of the Fenway Studios 1905-1939, Vose Galleries, Boston, May 30 – July 31, 1998