File name: 09_03_000052
Title: Kate Field
Creator/Contributor: Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912), artist
Date created: 1881
Physical description: oil on canvas
Summary: The Massachusetts-born artist Millet was best known for his mural decorations and historical genre subjects. Harvard-educated, he began his artistic career in Boston painting portraits and assisting John La Farge on the decorative program for Trinity Church. Later in his career, Millet divided his time between Europe and the United States. Sadly, he died in the 1912 Titanic disaster.
Millet’s painting of friend Kate Field (1838-1896) was shown at the 1881 annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design in New York. Field was a journalist, actress, playwright, author and social reformer. Born in St. Louis, she came to Boston at age 16 to study at Lasell Academy. In addition to writing for several newspapers such as the Boston Post, Chicago Tribune and the New York Tribune, Field was the champion of numerous causes, including the rights of black Americans and temperance. Her extensive list of famous friends included Millet as well as Charles Dickens, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anthony Trollope, and George Eliot. The BPL is home to over 1,500 of her personal letters.
Location: Boston Public Library, Fine Arts Department
Rights: No known restrictions.