DEPEW, Mrs Chauncey M. (May Palmer)


Description:
Seated facing right, painted in 18th century costume before a landscape.

Location:
Present Whereabouts Unknown.

Exhibition:
NOE ART GALLERIES, 368, Fifth Avenue (Between 34th & 35th Streets), New York, January 5 – 19, 1903.

Bibliography:
Washington Star, January 1902?
Washington Post, May 16, 1902
Record, Philadelphia, May 27, 1902
Press, Philadelphia, May 27, 1902
New York Press, May 27, 1902
New York Tribune, May 27, 1902
Herald, Baltimore, May 27, 1902
Washington Post, May 27, 1902
Weekly Democrat, May 29, 1902
Washington Star, May 31, 1902
Mirror, Washington, June 5, 1902
Cortland, N.Y. Standard, Thursday evening, September 18, 1902, p. 1 (detail reproduced)
Town Topics, Thursday, November 27, 1902
Vogue, New York, February 26, 1903, p. 287
Town & Country, March 28, 1903
Town & Country, August 22, 1903, ‘A Successful Portrait Painter’, by S. E. L[eisha], p.20 (reproduced)
The World – Sunday Magazine, New York, August 3, 1902 (reproduced, front cover), as ‘The World’s Portrait Gallery of New York Society Women No. 3.’
The World, New York, Sunday, January 17, 1904 (reproduced)

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Notes

A photograph of Mrs Depew circa 1905.

The sitter was born in New York on May 3, 1867 and married Senator Chauncey M. Depew in Nice, France on December 28, 1901 as his second wife. She died in Washington DC on 27 July 1940.

A letter from the artist to James J. Hill of St. Paul dated 8 May 1902 informs us that he was at Corcoran House, Lafayette Square, painting Mrs. Depew.  In the Archives of American Art, is a letter dated May 26, 1902, from Chauncey M. Depew to Crosby S. Noyes, the Editor of the Washington Evening Star which reads in part as follows:

‘My dear Mr. Noyes,

Mr. Muller-Ury has just finished a portrait of Mrs. Depew which I consider excellent. Mr. Muller-Ury will take it to New York to-morrow to finish the details. I should be very glad to have your critic see it before it goes. He could call any time to-day at his convenience…’

The portrait hanging in the music room of Depew’s home, Corcoran House, Washington DC, as reproduced in Town & Country March 28, 1903

An article in Vogue, February 26, 1903, commented helpfully: ‘ Among the portraits which Mr. Ury has recently completed is that of Mrs Chauncey M. Depew. The portrait is somewhat different from Mr. Ury’s usual style, for it is bold and clear, and decisive in detail. Very clearly he has made this a portrait, suggestive of the time of Louis XV, for Mrs. Depew with her hair rolled in a high pompadour, is much like a grand dame of the old court days. The curtain, which forms part of the background, is of a soft gray-blue, repeating in lower tone the color of the girdle and the garniture on the waist of the white gown. The chair has colors of orange and gold, and there is a touch of these hints in the drapery.’

In 1933, according to the Washington Social Register, she lived at 2107 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington D.C.


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