Benson’s portrait of his eldest daughter, Elisabeth, eloquently summarizes the artist’s interests during the early twentieth century—the exploration of outdoor light and the depiction of lively, radiant, young womanhood. Although Benson used a camera in his working process, he idealized his subjects when he transferred them to canvas. The images of his daughters in outdoor light remain the quintessential vision of American womanhood at the turn of the century.
Artist Frank Weston Benson, American, 1862-1951
Title
  • My Daughter Elisabeth
Date ca. 1914
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 44 × 37 inches (111.8 × 94 cm)
Framed: 55 3/8 × 44 3/8 × 4 inches (140.7 × 112.7 × 10.2 cm)
Credit Line Detroit Museum of Art Purchase, Special Membership and Donations Fund with contributions from Philip, David and Paul R. Gray, and their sister Mrs. William R. Kales
Accession Number 16.31
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W292, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, lower left corner: F. W. Benson
until 1916, the artist, Frank Weston Benson;
1916-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Burroughs, Clyde. “Annual Exhibition.” Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art, 10, 8 (April 1916): p. 9.
______________. “The Second Annual Exhibition.” Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art 10, 9 (May 1916): pp. 3, 14 (ill.).

______________. “A Painting by Frank W. Benson.” Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art 11, 2-3 (November-December 1916): pp. 19-20 (ill.).

Second Annual Exhibition of Painting by American Artists. Exh. cat., Detroit Museum of Art. Detroit, 1916, pp. 6-7 (ill.).

American Beauty: Paintings and Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1770-1920. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2001, no. 73, pp. 99-100.