Zorn's American Subjects...
1881-1891, 1893, 1894 -1895, 1896-1897, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1903-1904, 1905-1910, 1911-1917

Charles Deering, 1901, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 63.5 cm., Art Institute of Chicago. Charles Deering (1852-1927) was, along with Isabella Stewart Gardner, Zorn’s closest American friend and patron. He was the first chairman of the International Harvester Company (1902). Deering amassed the largest collection of Zorn etchings outside of Sweden, which Asplund described as “containing many unique etchings and states.” Only Zorn had more etchings than his American friend. Deering’s etching collection was given by his daughters to the Art Institute of Chicago. The cache of prints was large enough that a number were also given to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Deering also collected Zorn’s paintings and drawings. He commissioned a number of portraits by Zorn of family members. He was a serious amateur artist who “studied” painting and etching under Zorn’s tutelage. John Singer Sargent painted Deering’s portrait in 1917. Sargent had earlier made a pencil sketch of Deering wearing his naval uniform. Sargent painted a portrait of Deering’s first wife, Annie Rogers Deering, ca. 1877, which is in the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.

Colonel Daniel Scott Lamont, 1901, oil on canvas, 224 x 117 cm., private collection. The work drew the attention of Henry Dwight Sedgwick, whose article concerning the portrait appeared in The New American Type and Other Essays (1908). He contrasted the wisdom of the Founding Fathers with the Captains of Industry who rose to prominence during the Gilded Age. After leaving his cabinet post in the Cleveland administration, Lamont joined William C. Whitney in forming the Metropolitan Traction Company in New York City. He was a vice-president of Northern Pacific Railroad and president of the Northern Pacific Express Company. Lamont was on the board of directors of more than ten companies.

Mrs. Daniel Scott Lamont, 1901, oil on canvas, 110.5 x 87.6 cm., private collection. Julia Kinney Lamont was so pleased with Zorn’s portrait of her husband that she asked the artist to make another portrait. See the two etched portraits of Lamont from 1904.

Daniel Catlin, 1901, oil on canvas, 57.7 x 47.6 cm., St. Louis Art Museum, accession no. 85:1942. Daniel K. Catlin was a St. Louis manufacturer.

Mrs. John Cotton, 1901, oil on canvas, 61 x 51 cm., private collection. According to Count Louis Sparre (Zorn Museum Archives), the work was originally given by Zorn to Washington University in St. Louis. The painting was sold in the 1940s.

Mrs. Cotton I, 1901, etching, 22.9 x 15 cm., A. 161, a mirror image of the painted portrait.

Mrs. Cotton II, 1901, etching, 20 x 15 cm., A. 162.

Robert de Forest, 1901, oil on canvas, 69 x 56 cm., Museum of the City of New York, accession no. 58.28. Robert de Forest (1848-1931) was a corporate lawyer who dealt in railroads, insurance, and banking. He was active in many charitable causes and was instrumental in establishing the New York School of Social Work. According to Gerda Boëthius, Robert de Forest owned a painting by Zorn, Girl with a Cigarette (1892). The painting was in the collection of Legg Mason Wood Walker of Wall Street as late as 1989, according to a letter from a company representative to the authors. Zorn made two etched versions of Girl with a Cigarette, A. 61 and 62.

Grant B. Schley, 1901, oil on canvas. The painting was destroyed. Grant B. Schley (1845-1917) was a founder of Moore and Schley (1885). It became the largest brokerage firm on Wall Street and handled the money of such men as John D. Rockefeller. The painting is believed to have been painted at Schley’s Far Hills, New Jersey, estate. Zorn’s fee was $4,000 for the portrait, but against the artist’s protests, Schley did not pay for the portrait. Instead, he invested the money in Zorn’s name. Six weeks later, a very pleased Zorn received a check for $5,600, according to his autobiographical notes and a letter from Schley to Zorn in the Zorn Museum Archives.

Dr. Ira de Ver Warner, 1901, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 86.5 cm., Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. de Ver Warner, using his medical knowledge, designed a widely used corset. His Bridgeport, Connecticut, factory employed 8,000 people and was the world’s largest producer of the undergarment. Dr. de Ver Warner also had dealings in railroads and banking. His summer home in Augusta, Georgia, was next to John D. Rockefeller’s. Zorn met Dr. de Ver Warner through Colonel Daniel Lamont.

Mrs. Eva de Ver Warner, 1901, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 86.5 cm., private collection. The portrait sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet, Jan. 26, 1979. Eva Follet was Dr. de Ver Warner’s second wife.

Charles Nagel, 1901, oil on canvas, 61 x 50.8 cm., Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, accession no. NPG 69.1. The portrait served as a partial payment for legal expenses stemming from Zorn’s lawsuit against St. Louis businessman Henry Clay Pierce. See Pierce portrait, 1899. Charles Nagel (1849-1940) was a lawyer and politician who served as secretary of commerce and labor under President Taft. The portrait was painted in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s New York City hotel room.

Samuel Untermeyer, 1901, oil on canvas, 102 x 77 cm. New-York Historical Society, accession no. 1949.68. Samuel Untermeyer (1858-1940) was a New York attorney who was known for taking on big business and organized labor in questions of corruption. Untermeyer represented Zorn’s nemesis, Henry Clay Pierce, in litigation involving the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. Untermeyer also took on J. Pierpont Morgan as counsel for the Lockwood Congressional Committee, which investigated interlocking directorships.

Dreams, 1901, oil on canvas, 56 x 76 cm., Thielska Galleriet, Stockholm, Sweden. The painting, which depicts a nude woman asleep on a bed, was painted in the New York City studio of Samuel Roosevelt (1863-1920), a champagne merchant, skilled amateur artist, and cousin to Theodore Roosevelt. The model for the painting was, according to Zorn’s autobiographical notes, the wife of a prominent New York doctor. The painting was first exhibited under the title Doktorinnan. In Zorn’s notes, he wrote that the woman, unashamed to pose in the nude, did not mind that she was identified as a doctor’s wife.

Freja, 1901, oil on canvas, 59 x 44 cm., private collection. This is one of the few Zorn works based on a mythological subject. He depicts the goddess Freja nude, holding a chalice, while slumped in an old Norse chair of honor. As in the saga, the goddess is accompanied by a black cat. The painting is signed “To my friend Roosevelt Zorn” and was painted in Roosevelt’s studio. The work was featured on a poster for “Zorn’s Women,” an exhibition held in Lund, Sweden, in 1976. To the exhibition’s organizers, the painting symbolized Zorn’s crass exploitation of women. His 1913 painting Renaissance has a similar composition, as does the 1908 portrait of Hilma Eriksson.

The Watchman, (John Smith), 1901 (or 1904), oil on canvas, 61 x 40 cm. The painting sold at Sotheby’s, London, March 23, 1988. John Smith was a security guard employed by Charles Deering.

Sitting Woman, 1901, etching, 20 x 15 cm., A. 163. The etching was done in New York City, perhaps at Zorn’s hotel, which often served as his studio. The subject was an African- American. Elizabeth Broun wrote in her 1979 exhibition catalogue of Zorn’s prints held at the Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas, that the Swede may have been influenced by Rembrandt, especially the Dutch Master’s 1658 etching Woman Bathing Her Feet. Zorn was highly influenced by Rembrandt and collected only two etchers, himself and the Dutch artist. There are approximately 200 Rembrandt etchings in the Zorn Museum Collection.

Standing Woman, 1901, etching, 22.5 x 15 cm., A. 164. This is the same woman who posed for A. 163. Zorn’s sketchbook has two drawings of the same nude woman in different poses.

Miss Henlop, 1901, etching, 22.6 x 15 cm., A. 165. In 1903 Miss Henlop married Robb de Peyster Tytus (d. 1923), an artist and explorer who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Miss Henlop, 1901, blue crayon on paper, 36.4 x 22.5 cm., a study for the etching, Zorn Museum, ZT 1022.

Miss Lurman, 1901, etching, 22.5 x 15 cm., A. 166. Zorn wrote in his autobiographical notes that he met Miss Lurman ten years earlier on a trip to the North Cape of Norway. According to Asplund, Zorn possessed a pencil drawing of the subject.

Grace Thompson Seton, 1901, oil on canvas, 109 x 69 cm., private collection. Grace Thompson Seton (1872-1959) was the author of seven widely read travel books, including A Woman Tenderfoot (1900). She married Ernest T. Seton (1860-1946), who helped found the Boy Scouts of America. Mrs. Seton was instrumental in creating the organization that is known today as the Camp Fire Girls. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement and was president for many years of the Pen and Brush Club (1898-1939) in New York City. This is perhaps the most “American” of all of Zorn’s portraits. Mrs. Seton, standing and facing the viewer, wears a western riding outfit. She “sports” a wide-brimmed hat tilted to the side. In her extended right hand she holds a rifle, while in her left hand she grips a riding crop at her waist.

Grace Thompson Seton, 1901, etching, 22.5 x 15 cm., A. 167. The etching is a mirror image of the painting. In the lower left corner of the plate, Zorn placed a foot with a nail through it and the ♀ sign, a visual pun associated with Mrs. Seton’s recently published A Woman Tenderfoot.

Grace Thompson Seton, 1901, pencil on paper, 27.5 x 21.1 cm., Zorn Museum Collection, ZT 49. This is a study for the painting and etching.

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