Wilton Lockwood - Peonies, about 1913

Wilton Lockwood (Wilton, Connecticut, 1862 - 1914, New York)

Peonies, about 1913

Oil on canvas, 60 x 71 cm (23 5/8 x 27 15/16 in.) canvas

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Object details

Accession number

P11n15

Provenance

Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the Wilton Lockwood exhibition at the Books Reed Gallery, Boston for $250 on 8 January 1914.

Marks

Inscribed (lower left): WILTON LOCKWOOD
Inscribed (on a label affixed to the frame): Sold / Frost & Adams [an artists' supply firm in Boston, established 1869]

Bibliography

"The Lockwood Pictures: Exhibition to be Extended in Time - Collection Going to Worcester - Purchase by Mrs. Gardner." Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, 15 January 1915).
Exhibition of Paintings by Wilton Lockwood. Exh. cat. (Worcester: Worcester Art Museum, 1915), pp. 1-2. (one of the several paintings entitled "Peonies," nos. 17-22, 24-26)
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), p. 200.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 71.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), p. 137, ill.


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Commentary

While violets were Isabella's favorite flowers, peonies must have been a close runner-up. She cultivated the pretty plants in her extensive gardens at her home in Brookline and won first prize from the Massachusetts Historical Society for her "vase of [peony] blooms on long stems, arranged for effect."

Her enthusiasm for peonies even informed the artists she patronized. Wilton Lockwood cultivated peonies on Cape Cod, and his paintings of the flowers became his most popular subject. Isabella purchased this painting in 1914 at a Boston art gallery, and it was later exhibited at the Worcester Art Museum, along with 27 other Lockwood paintings (12 entitled Peonies).

In Massachusetts, peonies typically bloom in June. Thanks to this purchase, Isabella enjoyed peonies year-round.