Skip to main content

As a public health precaution, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Please continue to check back frequently at npg.si.edu or si.edu for updates. In the meantime, please explore our website, resource materials and online exhibitions. 

Frenzied Effort

Frenzied Effort
Usage Conditions Apply
Alternate Title
Peggy Bacon Self-Portrait
Artist
Peggy Bacon, 2 May 1895 - 4 Jan 1987
Sitter
Peggy Bacon, 2 May 1895 - 4 Jan 1987
Mabel Dwight, 1876 - 1955
George Overbury Hart, 10 May 1868 - 9 Sep 1933
Anne Peck, 1884 - 1976
Reginald Marsh, 14 Mar 1898 - 3 Jul 1954
Date
1925
Type
Print
Medium
Drypoint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 14.9 × 22.7 cm (5 7/8 × 8 15/16")
Sheet: 28.5 × 43.5 cm (11 1/4 × 17 1/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
NPG.2002.194
Exhibition Label
Peggy Bacon’s keenly observed, witty images capture the camaraderie of artists’ communities in New York City during the 1920s and 1930s. In this print, she represents the “frenzied effort” of art students packed into a claustrophobic sketching class at the Whitney Studio Club on West Fourth Street. Established in 1918 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the Club provided artists with exhibition space, a library, and the opportunity to sketch from live models. Whereas traditional art schools and academies segregated women and men, at the Whitney they worked side by side as equals. Among the identifi able caricatures are Mabel Dwight (1876–1955) in a large hat (seated, left) and the balding, rotund Reginald Marsh (1898–1954; top left center). Bacon’s diminutive figure is tucked discretely behind Marsh. As a communal gathering place where artists could share their work and exchange ideas, the Whitney Studio Club helped accelerate modern art trends.
Las perspicaces imágenes de Peggy Bacon, fruto de aguda observación, plasman la camaradería en las comunidades artísticas de la ciudad de Nueva York durante las décadas de 1920 y 1930. Este grabado capta el “esfuerzo febril” de los estudiantes apiñados en una clase de dibujo en el Whitney Studio Club de la Calle 4 oeste. Establecido en 1918 por Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, el Club ofrecía espacio para exposiciones, una biblioteca y la oportunidad de dibujar con modelos vivos. Mientras las escuelas de arte tradicionales sepa raban a hombres y mujeres, en el Whitney traba jaban juntos como iguales. Entre las caricaturas identificables están Mabel Dwight (1876–1955) con sombrero (sentada, izq.) y Reginald Marsh (1898– 1954), grueso y medio calvo (arriba a la izq., centro). La diminuta figura de Bacon aparece discretamente detrás de Marsh. Como espacio donde los artistas podían compartir su trabajo e intercambiar ideas, el Whitney Studio Club contribuyó a impulsar las co rrientes del arte moderno.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Portraits of the World: Denmark
On View
NPG, North Gallery 230a