Musée No:379.020Regular price £25.00
Artist: Alice Pike Barney
Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931) is an absolutely fascinating American artist and her life far too interesting to be squeezed into a couple of paragraphs, so unusually I have split it up between several paintings (379.005, 379.018, 379.019, 379.020, 379.021 & 325.185). If you would like to find out more pop the number or her name in the search box at the top of the page, I hope you enjoy discovering more about her fascinating life.
Thisarresting painting is believed to be a self-portrait of Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931) . She was born into a wealthy whiskey family Cincinnati in 1857 - records state that their house was the first in Cincinnati to have a fully plumbed in bath tub and it was big enough for her and her two sisters to bathe in at the same time. It’s difficult to believe I’d never heard of her before now, but the strength of the portrait and its mesmerising presence and direct glaze certainly makes more sense to me now.
She was an artist, playwright, philanthropist, patron of the arts and fabulous eccentric. She defied social conventions and expectations and was known for her bohemian ways and art salons. She and her counterparts were seen as ‘the new woman’ – a new social type of women, educated and modern who lived upper class lives but used their wealth and privilege to defy convention, promote other women and live freer lives. She moved in the art circles of early 20th century Paris, Washington and London and frequented people like Oscar Wilde, James McNeill Whistler, Anna Pavlova, Sarah Bernhardt amongst others.