Great Women of the Bible, "Jesus in the house of Mary and Martha", Head of Christ
20 3/4 x 25 3/8 in. (52.7 x 64.5 cm)
Medium and Support:
Charcoal, white heightening on paper
Gift of the Violet Oakley Memorial Foundation
Label from American Originals: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection, La Salle University Art Museum, December 16, 2015 through March 4, 2016:
Oakley was born in New Jersey, studied at the Art Students League of New York in 1892, and then traveled in England and France. Upon her return to Philadelphia, she studied briefly at PAFA in 1896 before joining Howard Pyle's illustration class at Drexel Institute. She was a successful illustrator and muralist whose work reflected the influence of English pre-Raphaelite artists. She was the first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of Honor from PAFA in 1905. Oakley completed 43 murals in the Pennsylvania State Capital. The mock-ups and sketches in La Salle University Art Museum’s collection, including Head of Christ, were made as preliminary designs for Oakley’s Great Women of the Bible murals at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Philadelphia, executed from 1945-1949.