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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lillian Wald

This 1919 portrait of Lillian Wald (1867-1940) by William Valentine Schevill hangs in the National  Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
 "Lillian Wald grew up in an affluent German-Jewish community, attending private schools and destined for a life of ease. A chance meeting with a nurse opened 'a window on it new world' and a lifelong career. While teaching home-nursing to immigrants in lower Manhattan, she underwent another life­changing experience after visiting a student's home and seeing the poverty and filth of the tenements firsthand. In 1895 Wald established the 'Nurse's Settlement House' and then a visiting nurse service, both becoming nationally known. During the first decades of the twentieth century, Wald became a spokesperson for reform, including women's issues and race relations. She joined pacifists to keep America out of World War I, thus incurring the wrath of patriot groups, but continued her work, serving with the Red Cross and as chairman of an emergency council for curbing the 1918 influenza epidemic. According to friends, this portrait captured Wald with remarkable accuracy." -- National Portrait Gallery

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