Eastman Johnson, 1824–1906
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Gerald and Inez Grant Parker Foundation, 1977:9
Eastman Johnson created intimate scenes of daily life that contribute to our understanding of the American cultural landscape during his lifetime. Born in Lovell, Maine, Johnson lived mostly in New England, and this painting is likely one of the many works that were inspired by the landscape of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Women figured prominently in Johnson’s work, and he frequently painted them alone and often engaged in tasks that were popular activities for women in the late 19th century, such as reading or walking outdoors.
View a discussion of Woman Reading by Dr. Amy Galpin, Associate Curator, Art of the Americas.