3.18.20 Insta post
Thanks for all of your feedback about artworks you miss and would like to (re)connect with while SCMA is closed. “Mourning Picture” was suggested by @rowanwheel. Please share your ideas for future posts—we love hearing from you!
This poignant painting is one of the most beloved in SCMA’s collection. Artist Edwin Romanzo Elmer shows himself, his wife Mary, and late daughter Effie standing with a pet sheep in front of the house he had built with his brother Samuel in Buckland, MA. He and his wife wear mourning garb. Effie had passed away from appendicitis at the age of nine. It was unusual to find the dead and living depicted together in one work. Elmer modeled the portraits after studio photographs.
Poet Adrienne Rich was inspired by “Mourning Picture” to write from Effie’s perspective.
Here’s an excerpt:
“This was our world.
I could remake each shaft of grass
feeling its rasp on my fingers,
draw out the map of every lilac leaf
or the net of veins on my father's
#smithcollegemuseumofart #SCMAFromHome #MuseumFromHome #smithcollege #EdwinRomanzoElmer #AdrienneRich
Credit: Edwin Romanzo Elmer, American, 1850–1923. “Mourning Picture,” 1890. Painting, oil on canvas. Purchased