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Goth, Marie Portrait of Constance Mary McCullough, 1914


Marie Goth was born in Indianapolis and studied drawing under Otto Stark at Emmerich Manual Training High School. She later studied at the Art Students League in New York City under Frank Vincent DuMond, William Merritt Chase, Luis M. Mora, and others. In the early 1920s she moved to Brown County and became a charter member in 1926 of the Brown County Art Gallery Association. According to a Brown County Art Guild brochure, “She loved the quiet peacefulness, the birds, and the beautiful flowers that surrounded her log studio.” She was the first woman artist commissioned to paint a portrait for the Indiana Governors’ Portraits Collection— of Gov. Henry F. Schricker. Wilbur Peat has noted that “Goth’s style is bold, combining skillful brushwork with a good knowledge of color and design.”

  • Portrait of Constance Mary McCullough, 1914
  • 28″ x 22″
  • Courtesy of Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
  • Keywords: paintings, portraits, oil on canvas
  • Subjects: people, children, girls, hands, domestic animals, chairs

The child in this portrait has the appearance of a china doll. Her larger-than-life eyes and cherry-red lips make her appear artificial. She has a primitive quality about her and yet a great deal of care has been taken in the painting of her clothing, the carpet, the chair, and the cat. Her arms and hands, however, do not appear realistic. The use of proportion and perspective is off in the body and in the layout of the room.

Some Points To Consider

  • Tell the class that the art historian Wilbur Peat noted that Goth’s paintings were bold in style and combined skillful brushwork with a good knowledge of color and design. Ask them to find examples of those criteria to determine excellence in this portrait. (Art 4.4.1)
  • Help students consider the nature of this artwork and the reason for the girl’s pose. Ask them how the artist could have posed the girl differently to avoid the proportion and perspective problems. (Art 4.5.2)