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Quail Baby or The Interrupted Bath (see Comments)

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Grace Carpenter Hudson, American, (1865–1937)

Quail Baby or The Interrupted Bath (see Comments)

ca. 1892
Painting
Oil on canvas
38.25 x 22.25 in. (97.155 x 56.515 cm)
Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Holman
Accession Number: 1982.027


A California native, Grace Carpenter Hudson was the daughter of one of the first white schoolteachers to educate Pomo children. Both of her parents, as well as her husband, were photographers, and it was through photography that many of Hudson's subjects were captured before she painted them. In an 1895 NY Times article she described how she had to be clever in sketching or photographing native children as their mothers were often apprehensive about such images being made. This Pomo toddler, emerging subtly from a darkened background, appears oblivious to her presence. His nakedness, reserved usually for cherubs or children of mythical origin, adds to his exoticism. These Pomo portraits became wildly popular and provided Hudson with a lucrative career.

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