Humans of the Art Museum – “You don’t often see women’s names”

Angelica Kauffmann, British, born in Switzerland, 1741–1807

Pliny the Younger and his Mother at Misenum, 79 A.D., 1785

Oil on canvas

103 x 127.5 cm (40 9/16 x 50 3/16 in.) frame: 140.5 × 116 cm (55 5/16 × 45 11/16 in.)

Museum purchase, gift of Franklin H. Kissner



I spoke with Annie, a young woman who I found admiring Angelica Kauffmann’s painting, “Pliny the Younger and his Mother at Misenum.” (1785)

Is this your first visit at the art museum?


And what led you here?

I’m just visiting a friend who studies here, and he suggested that I come and see it.

Where are you and your friend from?

I’m from London – I think he’s from Baltimore, but he studies here.

And how did you two meet?

We met on a Yiddish study program in Paris last summer.

What is interesting to you about this piece?

I studied Latin at school, and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius is a feature of the text that I studied, so I was just interested. And also, I was drawn to this because it’s by – it seems to be by a female artist. I don’t actually know very much about art at all, so I was just drawn to it because you don’t often see women’s names.

I’m a tour guide here, and she’s the only female artist I get to feature on my tour! Do you tend to go to art museums a lot?

Yeah, I study history, so I’m really interested in paintings and art in general from the period that I study, which is the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries. And I just like wandering around looking at art. I like sketching, but I don’t really have time today – I just came in at the last moment to wander around and have a look.


Post by Isabel Griffith-Gorgati ’21.

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