Lady with the Havemeyer Parrot (Miss Dorothy)

Three quarter length standing in a blue dress, a large green parrot on her left arm, a cherry tomato in her right hand. Oil on canvas, 44” x 34”. Signed and dated ‘A Muller-Ury 1924’, re-dated lower left ‘A. Muller-Ury, 1934’.

Private Collection, New York.

The artist, Jessica Dragonette, her husband Nicholas Turner.

DUVEEN GALLERIES, 720, Fifth Avenue, New York, April 6 – 18, 1925, No. 13.
WILDENSTEIN & CO. INC., 19, East 64th Street, New York, April 20 – May 4, 1937, No. 18.

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Muller-Ury standing in front of the parrot cages at Henry O. Havemeyer’s house called Mountainside Farm, Mahwah, NJ, in 1924. A similar photograph is in the Mahwah Museum.

Compositional sketches for the picture. The verso of the paper has the printed words ‘Mountainside Farm, Mahwah’ upon it and another slight sketch for the picture.

In the artist’s papers there is a photograph of this picture annotated ‘Miss Dorothy’. Nadea Dragonette Loftus believed the parrot to be one of those which belonged to H.O. Havemeyer at his farm in Mahwah, New Jersey, a fact confirmed by the fact that three compositional drawings are known on a piece of notepaper for Henry O. Havemeyer’s Mountainside Farm where the artist was a frequent visitor particularly at weekends.  There is a photograph of Muller-Ury standing in front of the parrot cages there in the artist’s scrapbooks. The photograph of the picture is stamped, ‘M. L. Bailey, 1314 So. West Hill (WEstmore 5934)’ indicating it was taken in California, so the artist may have taken it to his new studio probably to display it to his new clientele.

The picture (as depicted in the photograph here) was dated 1924, but later the artist altered it slightly and over-painted some parts and redated it 1934; it has to be said that the over-painting has not improved the picture, and in its uncleaned state lacks the freshness of colour that it must have had previously.