Step Closer 
Mrs. Kate Moore 
(née Katharine Robinson)
John Singer Sargent -- American painter
Hirshhron Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 
Oil on canvas 
181.9 x 116.2 cm (71 5/8 x 45 3/4 in)
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972
Accession Number: 72.257
Jpg: Local / Hirshhorn
(Click on image to Step Closer)

A millionairess from Pittsburgh, Mrs. Kate Moore (1846 -1917) became one of the leading figures in Paris high society especially among the expatiate Americans. She lavishly entertained. Sargent, no doubt was an invited guest to some. He would paint her a number of times. She was 38 at the time of this painting. Although certainly a good commisssion, from what John wrote to Henry James about her in 1884, it didn't sound like they were very close. 

    I am dreadfully tired of the people here and of my present work, a certain majestic portrait of an ugly woman [Mrs Kate Moore]. She is like a great frigate under full sail with homeward-bound steamers flying" 
Mrs. Katharine Moore



The Artist, Paris

Mrs. Kate A. Moore, Pittsburgh and Paris

Sir Hugh Lane, London, to 1915 (death)

Mrs. Carroll Carstairs, New York

M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1918-1921

Mrs. C.S.J. Carstairs, London, 1921-1923

Estate of Charles S. Carstairs, London, 1923-1930

M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1930-1935

M. Knoedler & Co., London, 1935-1949

Huntington Hartford, New York, 1949-1969

Gallery of Modern Art, New York, by 1969-1971

Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, sale 3185, 7-8 April 1971, lot. 24, ill. p. 81

James Graham and Sons, New York, 8 April-11 May 1971

Joseph H. Hirshhorn, New York, 11 May 1971-6 March 1972

Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972

Exhibition History

M. KNOEDLER & CO., New York. "Sargent-Thayer," December 1918.

M. KNOEDLER & CO., New York. "Twelfth Annual Summer Exhibition of Paintings by American Arists," Summer 1919, no. 21.

CITY ART MUSEUM OF ST. LOUIS, Missouri. "Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists," 14 September-28 October 1919, no. 134, ill.

ALBRIGHT ART GALLERY, Buffalo, New York. "Important works by a number of America's leading painters," 10 January-15 February 1920, ill. p. 2.

PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS, Philadelphia. "The One Hundred and Sixteenth Annual Exhibition," 6 February-27 March 1921, no. 83, ill.

CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM, Ohio. "Twenty Eighth Annual Exhibition of American Art," 28 May-31 July 1921, cat., ill.

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, London. "Winter Exhibition of Works by the Late John S. Sargent, R. A.," 14 January-13 March 1926, no. 589, ill.

ALBRIGHT ART GALLERY, Buffalo, New York. "25th Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists," 26 April-22 June 1931, p. 24, ill.

XIX BIENNALE INTERNAZIONALE D'ARTE, Venice. "Central Pavilion," May-October 1934, no. 25, p. 94.

SOCIETY OF THE FOUR ARTS, Palm Beach, Florida. "John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassat," 7 March-5 April 1959, no. 5, ill. p. 15.

GALLERY OF MODERN ART, New York. "The Huntington Hartford Collection," March-June 1964.

HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. "Inaugural Exhibition," 1 October 1974-15 September 1975.

BROOKLYN MUSEUM, New York. "The American Renaissance 1876-1917," 13 October -30 December 1979. TOUR: NATIONAL COLLECTION OF FINE ARTS, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 22 February-20 April 1980; FINE ART MUSEUM OF SAN FRANCISCO, 21 May-10 August; DENVER ART MUSEUM, 24 September-30 November.

GREY ART GALLERY AND STUDY CENTER, New York University. "Giovani Boldini and Society Portraiture 1880-1920," 13 November-22 December 1984, cat. by Gary A. Reynolds, no. 37, ill. p. 63.

WHITNEY MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, New York. "John Singer Sargent," 1 October 1986-4 January 1987, cat. by Patricia Hill, ill. pp. 174, 278. TOUR: ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, 7 February-9 April 1987.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, Washington, DC. "The America's Smithsonian 150th Anniversary Exhibition," 1996. TOUR.


"Summer Exhibition of Americans," American Art News 17 (12 July 1912), p. 2.

"Works by Sargent and Thayer," American Art News 17 (21 December 1918), p. 2.

"Sargent Portraits," American Magazine of Art 10 (February 1919), p. 141, ill, p. 142.

FIELD, HAMILTON EASTER. "The Pennsylvania Academy," Arts (February-March 1921), p. 22.

WATTS, HARVEY M. "The American Salon," Arts and Decorations 14 (April 1921), p. 443, ill.

POUSETTE-DART, NATHANIEL. John Singer Sargent (New York: Stokes, 1924), ill.

DOWNES, WILLIAM HOWE. John S. Sargent: His Life and Work (Boston: Little, Brown, 1925), p. 134.

WATSON, FORBES. "John Singer Sargent," Arts 7 (May 1925), ill. p. 244.

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS. Illustrations of the Sargent Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, 1926 (London: Walter Judd, 1926), ill. p. 26.

CHARTERIS, EVAN. John Sargent (New York: Scribner's, 1927), pp. 157, 258.

UNSIGNED. "La Diciannovesima Biennale: Il Ritratto Ottocentesco," Emporium 79 (June 1934), ill. p. 344.

MCKIBBIN, DAVID. Sargent's Boston (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1956), p. 111.

FRANKFURTER, ALFRED M. "Caviare?--New York's Newest Museum," Art News 63 (March 1964), p. 34, ill.

MOUNT, CHARLES MERRILL. John Singer Sargent: A Biography (New York: Kraus Reprint, 1969; reprint of New York: Norton, 1955), pp. 82, 446.

ORMAND, RICHARD. John Singer Sargent (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), pp. 32, 40, 242, pl. 43.

SECREST, MERYLE. "Hirshhorn: Gift to the Nation," Washington Post (11 March 1972), pp. C1, C5., ill.

LERNER, ABRAM, et al. Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1974), no. 18.

LYNES, RUSSEL. "From a Century Ago to Just Yesterday at the Hirshhorn," Smithsonian (January 1975), p. 46.

COE KERR GALLERY. John Singer Sargent (New York: Coe Kerr Gallery, 1980).

RATCLIFF, CARTER. John Singer Sargent (New York: Abbeville Press, 1982), ill. p. 89.

"Album: John Singer Sargent," Arts Magazine (November 1986), p. 118.

HILLS, PATRICIA. John Singer Sargent (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art and Harry N. Abrams, 1986), p. 152, ill.

THORSON, ALICE. "Simulating A Cultural Force," Kansas City Star (21 April 1996), Arts section, pp. J1, J8, ill.

"America's Attic: on the 150th anniversary......treasure," USA Today (July 1996), p. 25, ill.

  Created 1/4/2002