James Aiken Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, transferred from the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Aiken's watercolor paintings are usually landscape scenes painted en plein air (French for "in the open air"), which is traditionally a characteristic of Impressionist works of art that refers to the act of painting outdoors. This work captures the essence of the style by focusing on the natural light and cast shadows of the composition's objects. Using short broken brushstrokes Aiken depicts a woman washing clothes by hand in front of small cottage with a clothesline stretching across to a nearby tree. The area is surrounded by natural vegetation that the artist highlights with splashes of color.
Catalogue of the Second Annual Exhibition in Peale's Baltimore Museum, of the Works of American Artists, including Sculpture, Painting, Architecture, Drawing, Engraving, &c. Likewise, a Selection from the various Cabinets of Old Masters, in this city and its vicinity. Price of Catalogue 12 1/2 cents. Admittance 25 cents.--Children Half Price.