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Artemisia Castiglioni [active 1930s]



[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

Artemisia Castiglioni [active 1930s]

Woman Waiting in a Chair


oil on canvas / 26 inches by 35 inches

During the winter of 1935-1936 Phyllis Tabor enrolled as a part-time evening student at the Art Institute of Chicago. Among the eight or ten fellow students in her painting class, she met and was befriended by Chicago native Artemisia Castiglioni.

One of the class assignments was an exercise involving pairs of students, each required to paint a portrait of the other, which led naturally to extended conversations on topics far beyond the fundamentals of painting in oil. It is likely that the work we know as “Woman Waiting in a Chair” is the product of that exercise and that the hazy dark-haired subject is Phyllis Tabor herself.

Castiglioni’s work compares well with another piece in the collection, an Impressionist work by Antonio Aspettati, both in style and subject matter: an indistinctly rendered woman sits alone in what may be the corner of a painting studio, as though waiting for someone who may never arrive; Aspettati’s woman sits alone in a park.

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