Woman Sewing is typical of the work that Paxton was doing after 1910 when he turned his attention to the middle and servant classes. The model for this was a favorite of Paxton’s who appears in many other canvases. As with Dutch painting of the seventeenth century, which he greatly admired, there are often paintings within the painting that have a common relationship with the subject. Here, the painting on the wall is an earlier work employing the same model.
Artist William McGregor Paxton, American, 1869-1941
  • Woman Sewing
Date ca. 1913
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 30 × 25 inches (76.2 × 63.5 cm)
Framed: 42 9/16 × 37 9/16 × 3 inches (108.1 × 95.4 × 7.6 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Merrill Fund
Accession Number 21.70
Department American Art before 1950
On View American W292, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, upper right: PAXTON
William McGregor Paxton;
1921-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Seventh Annual Exhibition of Paintings by American Artists. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1921, no. 100.

A Visitor’s Guide, Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 83 (ill.).

American Beauty: Painting and Sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1770-1920. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2002, pp. 13-14, no. 6 (ill.).

Crane, Michael. Detroit's Annual Exhibition of American Art: The Foundation of a Collection. www.dia.org/research/online_publications/annual_american_art, 2005.

Faquin, Jane Ward. William McGregor Paxton and Elizabeth Okie Paxton: An Artistic Partnership. Exh. cat., Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Memphis, 2019, pp. 50-51, cat. 16 (ill.).