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Suicide in Costume

Franklin Chenault Watkins, American, 1894 - 1972


Oil on canvas

36 7/8 × 45 1/16 inches (93.7 × 114.5 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by a group of anonymous donors, 1942

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In 1931, at the age of thirty-seven, Franklin Watkins was suddenly catapulted into the national spotlight when his painting Suicide in Costume won first prize at the prestigious Carnegie International Exhibition. Conservative critics attacked its morbid subject matter, but for Philadelphia modernists such as the artist's former teachers, Arthur B. Carles and Henry McCarter, the success of this painting vindicated their progressive approach to art making.