Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf (O in Black with a Scarf)

Robert Henri1910

de Young Museum

de Young Museum

The woman depicted in this painting is Robert Henri’s wife, Marjorie Organ, whom he often affectionately referred to as “O.” Organ was a cartoonist for the New York Journal and also an active member of Dress Reform Movement, a group with feminist and health concerns that rejected fashions containing restrictive whalebone corsets and bustles. Henri used vigorous, fluid brushstrokes to present his wife as a strong, liberated woman, clothed in loose, modern attire, who gazes directly and confidently at the viewer.

Henri studied, in the late 1880s, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Pollock Anshutz, under whose influence he developed a brushy, realist style. He later became a leading figure of the Ashcan School of painting, popular at the turn of the twentieth century, which was characterized by subjects drawn from urban life.

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  • Title: Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf (O in Black with a Scarf)
  • Date Created: 1910
  • Location: United States
  • painter: Robert Henri
  • credit line source: Museum
  • credit line: Museum purchase, gift of the M.H. de Young Museum Society from funds donated by the Charles E. Merrill Trust
  • Physical Dimensions: w939.8 x h1962.15 in
  • Type: Painting