"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lillian Moller Gilbreth

This 1929-30 portrait of Lillian Moller Gilbreth by Frank Herring hangs in the National Portrait  Gallery in Washington DC.
"Lillian Gilbreth had twelve children during the course of her marriage. That did not prevent her, however, from obtaining a doctorate in industrial psychology. Nor did it stop her from taking an active part in the consulting business started by her husband Frank, a pioneer in efficiency engineering. With Frank's death in 1924, Lillian took over the business, and by the 1930s she was the country's leading authority in applying workplace efficiency to home management. Among Gilbreth's most lasting achievements were her efforts to devise ways for the physically handi­capped to lead more independent lives.

Gilbreth posed for this portrait around 1930. Later her daughter Ernestine purchased the picture with royalties from Cheaper by the Dozen, the best-selling memoir that she and her brother had written about their life." -- National Portrait Gallery
Cheaper by the Dozen The Gilbreth Family

This 1948 painting by Andrew Loomis also hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
"Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their twelve children were the topic of the popular book Cheaper by the Dozen (1948). The Gilbreths were both professional efficiency experts who studied time and motion to improve and simplify innumerable human functions, from manual labor to household chores. Naturally, their own home in Montclair, New Jersey, became a discovery lab for better and more economical ways of doing things, from washing dishes to raking leaves. Two Gilbreth children, Frank Jr. and Ernestine, wrote the lighthearted family memoir and took the title from a favorite saying of their father, who would explain his profuse progeny as cheaper by the dozen.

This painting by Andrew Loomis was commissioned for the January 1949 issue of Ladies' Home Journal to illustrate excerpts from the new book." -- National Portrait Gallery
Engineer Girl says of Lillian Gilbreth:
"Lillian Moller Gilbreth is known as the Mother of Modern Management and America's First Lady of Engineering. She was the first female to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering."
Alexandra Lange in Slate called her "the woman who  invented the kitchen." Gilbreth is credited with the invention of the foot-pedal trash can.

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