Portrait of Harriet Sarah Walker

1900Robert Gordon HardieAmerican, 1854-1904oil on canvas

Bequest of Miss Mary Sophia Walker


Vermont-born, artist Robert Hardie studied in New York’s Academy of Design and Art Students’ League before moving to Paris where he received training under the academic artist Jean-Léon GérômeHardie exhibited widely there and in the United States, including at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. This posthumous portrait of Harriet Walker (1844–98) references her collecting interests with the fan and Japanese cloisonné vase.  An amateur artist, Harriet also assembled European and American miniature portraits that came to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art with the 1904 bequest of her sister.   

—Laura Fecych Sprague

Mary Sophia Walker and Harriet Sarah Walker

Donors of the Walker Art Building as well as a significant collection of art and antiquities, Mary Sophia Walker (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah Walker (1844–1898) were among the most significant benefactors in the development of the art collection at Bowdoin.