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Emma Cheves Wilkins
Playing with Reds
c. 1931
oil on canvas
Canvas: 25 1/8 × 32 7/8 inches (63.8 × 83.5 cm)Framed: 30 × 37 3/4 × 1 inches (76.2 × 95.9 × 2.5 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase.
Accession Number
Savannah native Emma Cheves Wilkins was one of many women who played a pivotal role in the development of the arts in Savannah in the early years of the twentieth century. She began her studies at the Telfair under director Carl Brandt, and then traveled to Paris, where she studied at the Académie Colarossi, one of the leading private ateliers of the time. After her return to Savannah she taught art to other local women, including Hattie Saussy and Augusta Oelschig. This still life shows her command of the dark color palette and bravura brushwork of the Munich School and the aesthetics of contemporary Parisian art. Wilkins explores the aesthetic issues created by the repeated use of the color red, in the camellias, the ceramics, and the reflections on the polished tabletop and brass coffee urn.