Edith Neff, The Dining Room
Neff depicts her family members gathered around the dining room table in their home at 758 North 26th Street, in the Fairmount neighborhood, near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Included are her mother, Ruth Rodman Smith (standing); her sisters, Maria Smith (in maroon) and Dorothy Smith (in white); Neff’s husband, Albert Neff (arms crossed); and William Michael Waid (in blue), who was then Maria’s boyfriend. Hanging on the wall above William is a black-and-white photograph of the artist’s father, William Ernest Smith, who passed away in 1957. The family cat sits under Michael’s chair. By this time, Dorothy’s mental illness had become pronounced and the associated hardship was a central element in the family’s relationships.