Cancelled Envelope (Raeburn)

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

1964

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

35 × 46 in. (88.9 × 116.8 cm)

Inscription

Inscribed on reverse: Cancellation; George Deem / May 1964 / 35 x 46″ / “Cancelled Envelope (Raeburn)”

Credit Line

Athenaeum purchase, 2016

Object Number

UR366

Vermeer Detail 2002

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

2002

Medium

Acrylic and India ink on paper

Dimensions

13 3/4 × 11 3/4 in. (34.9 × 29.8 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2014

Object Number

UR350

Quotations

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

1971

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

15 × 15 3/4 in. (38.1 × 40 cm)

Inscription

Inscribed lower left: G. Deem; Inscribed on reverse: Quotations / “Drawings and Paintings / By George Deem” / April, 1971 Italy / George Deem / 40 x 38 cm / 16 x 15 inches

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2014

Object Number

UR349

Vermeer Detail

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

2003

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

18 x 14 in. (45.7 x 35.6 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2013

Object Number

UR346

A Stool, A Chair, and a Map

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

2003

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Other: 137.2 x 106.7 cm (54 x 42 in.)

Description
George Deem was born in Indiana, trained at the Art Institute of Chicago, and lived for over forty years in New York City. He was fascinated with the methods and compositions of the Old Masters, especially Jan Vermeer, as clearly seen in this painting. The objects depicted here are taken from Vermeer’s famous The Artist in His Studio (The Art of Painting) from 1666–1667. But Deem has eliminated Vermeer’s figures—the artist and his model—in order to concentrate on the basic elements of art-making: form, composition, atmosphere, and light.
Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2012

Object Number

UR342

George Washington and His Portrait (George Washington, George Washington)

Artist

George Deem (1932–2008)

Date

1972

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (60 x 49.8 cm)

Description
Although the American artist George Deem was living in Italy when he executed this painting, his source for it could not be more American:  Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 portrait of the first president, which, due to its having been owned by the Boston Athenæum for over 150 years, is known as The Athenæum Portrait. (The painting is now jointly owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.) Here, Deem ponders art’s relationship to reality by painting Washington-the-man posing in front of Washington-the-portrait. “I followed Stuart’s painting application and color for the ‘portrait’ in my painting,” Deem explained, “But when painting the foreground image, I dulled Stuart’s color, using a gray glaze to produce the appearance of a photographic studio portrait.”  [David B. Dearinger, 2013]
Credit Line

Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2011

Object Number

UR333