The artist and his family 1908

.

Image description see below.

Oil on canvas 210 x 200 cm
Signed: John Quincy Ɑdams 908
Vienna Museum Inv.#78.742 Dedication Countess Walderdorff

Family portrait. The artist (Adams) in a brown suit sitting on a fief armchair, legs crossed and holding a drawing pad and a pencil in his hand. Surrounding him: on his left, a daughter (Gladys), in a white dress with puffed sleeves, leaning on the left armrest and curiously looking at the drawing in progress; on his right, the artist's wife (Stefanie), her right hand leaning on the right armrest, lovingly looking at the subject (daughter Harriet), she is wearing her hair up and a burgundy-brown house dress with wide sleeves and a golden breast insert. On the left in the foreground of the picture the portrayed (daughter Harriet), a small naked girl in side view, holding a gray-gold blanket in her hands, her eyes lowered. Living interior represented by curtain (right) two paintings (including a reproduction of the Adams painting Angelus from 1901) and a golden rococo armchair (only partially visible).

Persons depicted: John Quincy Adams (1873-1933), his wife Stefanie (Steffy) (1881-1952, née Sobotka, Adams marriage 1901-1919, remarried and divorced von Gutmann), daughter Gladys (1902-1932, married Frank), and daughter Harriet (1905-1999, married von Walderdorff). For the family history and the fate of the persons depicted, see the catalog entry on John Quincy Adams.

The monumental (yet intimate) family portrait is one of Adams' best-known works, exhibited and reproduced many times (including as an art postcard). The painting always remained with the artist and was kept with his estate at Schloss Würting with his divorced wife Stefanie. During the Nazi period (and the Aryanization of Schloss Würting) it was stored with a Viennese shipping company with the address Harriet Walderdorff, Salzburg, and thus escaped art theft. In 1948 it was handed over to the Vienna Künstlerhaus, which had the painting restored (by Leopold Schmid and Sepp Mayerhuber) and exhibited it. Then it was dedicated to the WienMuseum.

Exhibited

1908 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 52 #1765); awarded the Archd. Ludwig Medal; Adams receives the "Rappel Prize", the highest artistic disction of the Künsterhaus Vienna.
1909 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 53 #1624).
1910 Grosse Berliner Kunstaustell.#3203.
1911 Rome Intern. Art Exhibition.
1924 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 73 #4617)
1948 Künsterhaus Vienna Jublaeumsaustellung.
1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna 1986, Viennese society in portrait, catalog #16.

Literature

Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #16 (w. B/W ill.)

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 84, cat.#53, ill.#38.

Provenance

Estate of the artist.
His family descendants.
1948 dedication by Countess Walderdorff to the WienMuseum, Inv#78.742.

Top