Rose Naftulin, Reading Vuillard in the Garden
In this painting, Naftulin juxtaposes three subjects that often captivated her: garden landscape, still life, and the figure. Naftulin painted many portraits of her daughters and female friends in the 1990s. After someone questioned why she never depicted men, she decided to paint friend and colleague Bill Shoyer on the deck of her studio in Wyndmoor. While posing, he read a book about one of her favorite painters, Jean-Édouard Vuillard, prompting the portrait's title. Naftulin often traveled to France to paint. During one of her trips, she stayed in the village Giverny, where she was permitted daily access to paint in Claude Monet's gardens during the lunch hour and in the evenings. While there she met American abstract painter Joan Mitchell, whose garden in Vetheuil she also painted. Naftulin's brother donated this painting to Woodmere in memory of her husband.