Although Maria Oakey Dewing had shown an interest in figure painting early in her career, she turned her attention to flower painting following her marriage in 1881 to the artist Thomas Dewing. Her floral subjects were painted both indoors and outdoors in the garden she and her husband maintained at their summer home in Cornish, New Hampshire. Irises and Calla Lilies is remarkable for its fusion of intensely observed detail with decorative compositional elements, showing her awareness of Japanese art
Artist Maria Oakey Dewing, American, 1845-1927
  • Irises and Calla Lilies
Date between ca. 1890 and 1905
Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions Unframed: 16 1/2 × 13 1/2 inches (41.9 × 34.3 cm)
Framed: 21 3/4 × 18 3/4 × 1 15/16 inches (55.3 × 47.6 × 4.9 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Fund
Accession Number 1991.112
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W285, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, lower right, on verso: Maria Oakey Dewing
Stanford White.
associate of Stanford White.
descendant of August Belmont.
1962, George Guerry.
1968-1987, Mr. and Mrs. George J. Arden (New York, New York, USA);
1987, Berry-Hill Galleries (New York, New York, USA);
1991-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
American Flower Painting, 1850-1950. Exh. cat., ACA Galleries. New York, 1978, no. 26. [as Iris]

Foshay, Ella Milbank. Nineteenth-Century American Flower Painting and the Botanical Sciences. Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University. New York, 1979, p. 287, no. 50.

American Painting V. Berry-Hill Galleries. New York, 1988.

American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Volume II. New York, 1996, pp. 64-66 (ill.).