Alice Kent Stoddard, Contemplation
Stoddard was well known among prominent Philadelphians, many of whom commissioned her to paint portraits of their families. She painted her own family members as well. Here she masterfully conveys the intimacy of family life, capturing her mother and sister, Virginia, in the sitting room of their home on Crefeld Street in Chestnut Hill. Domestic interiors and depictions of women and children were the frequent subjects of women artists.
In Contemplation, Virginia sits in an antique nursing chair and pauses while knitting, seemingly lost in thought. Across the room, Stoddard’s mother focuses on a game of solitaire. The large space between them suggests their separate psychological spaces and their respective moments of quiet inwardness.