Louisa Fletcher

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil on canvas
Mark Descriptions
signed and dated L.R.: Mary Green Blumenschein 1912
Dimensions
50 x 30 in. (canvas) 57 x 37-1/2 in. (framed)
Credit line
Gift of Miss Sally Reahard
Accession number
1996.318
Collection
Currently On View

Louisa seems an assured, engaging model in her fashionable empire-cut gown.

Louisa was the daughter of Indianapolis banker Stoughton Fletcher and wife of Hoosier author Booth Tarkington, whom she divorced in 1911.

The artist and Louisa were friends with a mutual interest in art.

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The Blumenscheins: An Artistic Couple

Mary Shephard Greene was an accomplished artist, who studied in New York City and in Paris. She won awards for her art at the Paris Salon and the St. Louis Exposition. In 1905, she married Ernest Blumenschein and returned with him to New York. She taught at the Pratt Institute, her alma mater, and provided illustrations for Century, McClure’s and American magazines concurrently. In 1913, she and her husband made their first trip to Taos, New Mexico, and in 1919, they relocated there permanently. In the 1920s, Mary returned to Paris to study jewelry making, which she pursued during her time in Taos.

Indianapolis native Louisa Fletcher and Mary Blumenschein were good friends, bound by their mutual interest in the arts. Louisa was the daughter of Indianapolis banker Stoughton Fletcher. She became the wife of Booth Tarkington in 1902. They spent the early years of their marriage in Paris, where they befriended Ernest and Mary Blumenschein. The marriage between Louisa and Booth was dissolved in 1911, a year before Mary created this image. The deftly rendered textures, subtle color graduations, and strong sense of personality reflect her abilities as a portraitist.

Blumenschein, Ernest L., Mary Greene, and Helen Green. The Blumenscheins of Taos. Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona, 1979.