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Artist
George Washington Conarroe
Title
Kate Hollowbush (1850-1861)
Date
1861
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 36 5/16 × 29 1/4 inches (92.2 × 74.3 cm)Framed: 48 × 41 × 5 1/2 inches (121.9 × 104.1 × 14 cm)
Tags
Painting
Credit Line
Bequest of Gertrude West Hollowbush.
Accession Number
1988.3.1
Kate Hollowbush was eleven years old when this portrait was commissioned. She was the only daughter of Jacob and Adelaide Hollowbush; her father was a prosperous Philadelphia bookseller and stationer. In July of 1861, the year this portrait was painted, young Kate died. It is likely that this work was commissioned to capture the beauty of a beloved child as her life ebbed away.

George Washington Conarroe was a prolific portraitist based in Philadelphia. There is no evidence that he had formal training in figure painting, but he was skilled at rendering likeness. Although the figure seen here is somewhat awkward, he convincingly captures the melancholy beauty of this young girl through the careful rendering of surfaces and textures.