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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dorothea Dix

This portrait of Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887) by Samuel Bell Waugh hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"In 1861, Dorothea Dix was appointed superintendent of women nurses in Washington, D.C., a title she would hold without salary for the next five years. On the brink of sixty, dour in temperament, and disciplined in her work, Dix was totally dedicated to her task. The qualifications she set were harsh even by the standards of her day: 'All nurses are required to be plain looking women. Their dresses must be brown or black, with no bows, no curls, no jewelry, and no hoop-skirts.' And she would consider no woman under age thirty. 
Dix worked throughout her life to improve conditions for the mentally ill. Her pioneering efforts established many institutions, such as St. Elizabeth's in Washington, D.C., the hospital that commissioned this portrait. " -- National Portrait Gallery
Dorothea Lynde Dix
1802 - 1887

S.B. Waugh. 1868.

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