Frame: 78.1 x 100.2 x 2.2cm (30 3/4 x 39 7/16 x 7/8")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; bequest of Katharine Graham
Paul Burty Haviland: European\French
Mexican-born artist Marius de Zayas was closely associated with the avant-garde circle of photographers, painters, and writers surrounding Alfred Stieglitz. In this 1912 drawing, he captured the high-spirited, playful side of his companions careening precariously downhill on a hay wagon. De Zayas probably made the watercolor at Seven Springs, a farm near Mount Kisco, New York, owned by patrons Agnes and Eugene Meyer. In addition to the young artist Katharine Rhoades in the driver's seat, Agnes directly behind, and Eugene in the rear, the figures include Stieglitz, his wife, some critics, artist John Marin, photographer Paul Haviland, and de Zayas himself (in a cap). Despite the vivid colors and lively tangle of geometric forms, the scene has unsettling aspects, as some of the subjects clutch the wagon in grim terror. De Zayas suggests both the zestful camaraderie and the tensions that the group shared.