Helen M. Turner
American, 1858 – 1958
Coral, 1919
Oil on canvas
44 × 34 in. (111.8 × 86.4 cm.)
50 1/4 × 40 1/8 in. (127.6 × 101.9 cm.) (Frame)
Gift of the artist 1943.6

An Intimate Setting
A young girl sits alone in her room, her eyes downcast as she reads a book. On the dressing table beside her rest silver accessories and other personal items, including a blue and white “powder doll” (a porcelain and fabric figurine designed to hold loose face powder). The girl is so absorbed in her reading she seems unaware that her white gown has slipped off her shoulder to reveal the upper portion of her breast, a detail that underscores the intimate mood of the painting. During the 1910s and ’20s, American Impressionist Helen Turner often painted interior scenes of women involved in quiet activity. This painting derives its name from the coral necklace the girl wears.