BARTON, Mrs Vanderbilt

Full-length of a lady with a closed parasol, the handle of which is in the shape of a bird, wearing a hat, standing in a garden looking at a statue of the God Pan. Signed and dated ‘Muller Ury 1915’ lower right.

Present Whereabouts Unknown.


The sitter, who died in Paris on September 22, 1939, had been Jessie Agnes Cluett of Troy, NY, the daughter of J.W.A.Cluett of Cluett Coon & Co, Troy, NY. She married Cornelius Vanderbilt Barton, son of Samuel Barton of New York at Christchurch, Troy on the evening of Wednesday, 5 October 1892. Samuel Barton’s mother was a sister of Commodore Vanderbilt. Samuel Barton, a broker and director of many of his uncle’s ventures, died in 1895. According to the New York Times, 6 October 1892, which reported the marriage, the couple were to reside in Lake Worth, Florida.  He died on July 14, 1943 in New York City.

A letter in the artist’s papers, and written from 1, West 72nd Street, New York on May 21, 1915 is relevant:

‘My dear Mr. Muller Ury,

It is with great pleasure that I am sending you these lines to tell you again how very much indeed my husband and I like your portrait of me. No work of yours that we have seen do we consider better than “The Duchess in the garden.”

It really is a beautifully painted little picture, very interesting, and a splendid likeness. Every one praises it very highly.

Thank you for the gray print photograph of the picture. As we have the original, and Van has the subject, I have given the print to my sister who is most happy to have it.

We were sorry not to be able to attend the Artists’ reception on May 9th but as it was on Sunday, we could not manage to go.

Van joins me in many kind regards, hoping you will have a delightful summer. We leave on Thursday of this week.

            Very sincerely yours, Jessie Cluett Barton.’