The title of this wonderful oil on canvas work by George Henry Story is "Daydreaming," and that beautifully conveys the feeling of the piece. A pretty young girl is sits on a ladderback chair with a pan of fruit she is peeling resting on her lap. At the right of the painting is a wooden cupboard displaying tableware. At the left the family bible and another book rest on a table which is covered with a flowered cloth. However, it is the window at the far left, and the gaze of the subject, pensively staring through it, that is clearly the important theme of this painting. Although the interior is done in dark tones, Story used the white of the apron, the light from the window on the girl's face, and the exact central positioning of the girl to draw the viewer's eyes to the emotional focal point of the work.
The painting is signed lower left "GH Story 78" and is relined. The condition is quite good, with some scattered inpainting which does not affect the face, hands or body, aside from minor strokes of inpaint in the upper part of the dress. The inpainting is difficult to distinguish even under UV light. The stretchers are original, and the giltwood frame is somwhat later but excellently complements the painting. Sight size is 17 14" by 13", with a framed size of 25 1/2" by 21 1/4".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: George Henry Storer (1835 - 1923),was born in 1835 in New Haven, Connecticut, and his first art experience was three years as an apprentice woodcarver as a youth of fifteen. A year studying in Europe followed, and then he had three years of the study of portrait painting with Louis Bail and Charles Hines.
Upon his return from Europe he worked in a number of cities, including Washington, D. C. While in Washington President Lincoln sat for a number of portraits done by him. Further, was responsible for determining the Presidential pose for Lincoln's first official photograph in office.
Story concurrently held the posts of curator concurrently at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (1889 - 1906) and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (1899 - 1922). In 1904-1905, Story was the acting director at the Metropolitan. He died in New York City in 1923.
George Henry Story was a member of the Artists' Fund Society and the National Academy of Design. His work is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut; and Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma.