Art: Gentle Portraitist

Portraits often mirror the artist as much as their subjects. On the walls of the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass., last week, hung a collection of portraits that were animated with gentle strength of character, aglow with love of children. They depicted many famous men—Philosopher William James, Pablo Casals, Richard Harding Davis, Robert E. Sherwood (as a small boy). But what they described with even greater certainty was their creator, Ellen Emmet Rand, who plainly painted with malice toward none.

The collection showed 90 works of an artist who eagerly started to draw at four, and still eagerly painted at 66, when...

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