In 1911 the department store was a relatively new and important urban institution, and The Shoe Shop depicts the activities of female employees and their customers. Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones rendered this modern subject in a rapid, painterly style, paying particular attention to effects of light and atmosphere. Her early work often represented women in the modern city: nursemaids at home, women strolling in the park, shoppers, and store clerks. Strongly influenced by artist William Merritt Chase, Sparhawk-Jones’s painting constitutes a highly personal vision that drew from both Realism and Impressionism.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
The William Owen Goodman and Erna Sawyer Goodman Collection
Extended information about this artwork
Judith A. Barter et al., The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 78.
Anna O. Marley, “Von Cassatt zu O’Keeffe – Der Aufstieg professionaller Künstlerinnen in den USA,” in Es war einmal in Amerika – 300 Jahre US-amerikanische Kunst [Once Upon a Time in America: Three Centuries of American Art], eds. Barbara Schaefer and Anita Hachmann (Cologne: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud/Wienand Verlag, 2018), 132, fig. 14 (ill.).
Art Institute of Chicago, The Twenty–Fourth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, Nov. 14–Dec. 27, 1911, cat. 343.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Annual Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Feb. 4–Mar. 24, 1912, cat. 125.
Chicago, Charles A. Stevens Store, Mar. 27–May 27, 1956.
Shanghai Museum, Pathways to Modernism: American Art, 1865–1945, Sept. 28, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019, cat. 43.
Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones (1885–1968), c. 1911; to William Owen Goodman (1848–1936), Chicago, by Feb. 1912; given to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1939.
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