Artwork Details

Mathias J. Alten
American

1871–1938

The Striped Skirt
1917
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
45 1/4 x 55 1/4 inches
Location
Level 2 Changing Exhibition Galleries
Accession Number
1995.1.9
Credit
Gift in Memory of Eleanore Alten Gilleo by her Family

About the Artwork

Painter Mathias J. Alten is one of Grand Rapids’ most esteemed and beloved figures. In the early to mid-20th century, Alten was nationally recognized for his landscapes, still lifes, and portraits that drew on traditional European painting as well as more contemporary styles, like Impressionism. Alten emigrated to Michigan from Germany as a young man, settling with his family in Grand Rapids in 1889, where he lived for the rest of his life.

The woman in the striped skirt at the center of this composition is Alten’s daughter Eleanore. His daughter Camelia is seen at the far right while the middle figure is unidentified, but may be Alten’s youngest daughter, Viola. This painting hung over Alten’s fireplace mantel in his Fulton Street home.