Artwork of the Week: June 14
Dorothy Weir Young (1890-1947), Theresa and Tommy, c.1920, oil on canvas, 27 1/8 x 34 1/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
This week we celebrate the June birthday of Dorothy Weir Young. The daughter of prominent American artist Julian Alden Weir and wife of artist Mahonri M. Young, Dorothy enjoyed her own career as professional artist. She studied under James McNeill Whistler, at the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors at the Brooklyn Museum, and at the National Academy of Design.
Dorothy painted this large portrait of Theresa Knoche, the daughter of a neighbor and family friend, with the Young’s cat, Tommy. Despite the sleeveless white shift dress worn by Theresa, the yellow leaves seen through the window suggest the arrival of autumn. The Young’s typically returned to New York City before winter, however, they stayed in their inadequately heated Branchville farmhouse until the end of January allowing Dorothy time to finish this painting. Theresa is depicted in an informal and intimate moment of reflection. Her relaxed demeanor and contemplative expression invite the viewer into her private scene.