During a recent champagne reception, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens unveiled a 1903 oil on canvas portrait by Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860–1920) of James Deering (1859–1925), Vizcaya’s original owner.
The Zorn portrait was a gift in memory of Barbara Strachan Deering Danielson, James Deering’s great grandniece. Also on display were the bust sculptures of Deering’s nieces, Barbara Deering Danielson and Marion Deering McCormick.
“The extraordinary portrait, which captures James Deering’s understated elegance, is a welcome addition to the museum’s collection and will remain on view for visitors to enjoy,” said Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, executive director, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
During his lifetime, Zorn was a successful and popular painter in Sweden, where he was born; France, where he had a studio in Paris for several years; and the United States, which he visited on seven occasions. His first journey to the United States was in 1893, when he curated and exhibited at the Swedish art section of the World’s Fair in Chicago. In the course of this visit, he met Isabella Stewart Gardner and Charles Deering, James Deering’s halfbrother. Zorn became close friends with Stewart Gardner and Charles Deering, and portrayed each of them at least once.
In 1903, Zorn made his fifth journey to the United States. It is likely he painted James Deering’s portrait during this trip while in Chicago, IL. During this time, Zorn was an immensely prosperous painter. In fact, John Singer Sargent was considered his rival for portraiture in the United States. Both Zorn and Singer Sargent painted several portraits of James Deering and his relatives.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that preserves the Miami estate of agricultural industrialist James Deering to engage the community and its visitors in learning through the arts, history and the environment. Built between 1914 and 1922, Vizcaya is one of the most intact remaining examples from this era in United States history, when the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs built lavish estates inspired by the stately homes of Europe.
Vizcaya features a Main House, 10 acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), mangrove shore, the Vizcaya Café and Shop presented by A Joy Wallace Catering, Design and Special Events, and a historic village that will be restored for additional venues for programs and community outreach.
Located at 3251 S. Miami Ave., between Brickell Avenue and Coconut Grove, Vizcaya is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information, visit www.vizcaya.org or call 305-250-9133.