Collection Artwork
Chantal Joffe (Saint Albans, Vermont – 1969)
Esme with a Guinea Pig
oil on board
frame size: 17 x 13 x 1 3/4 in.
board size: 15 7/8 x 11 3/4 in.
Gift of Adam Sheffer in honor of Jane Greenberg '81

Object Label

“Looking is an obsession…It’s a brilliant human experience. So for me painting is always a part of that looking…it’s also about sensing how people are.” —Chantal Joffe

In Esme with a Guinea Pig, the artist’s daughter, Esme, looks directly toward us with a striking vibrancy. Since her birth in 2004, Chantal Joffe’s daughter has become one of her most painted subjects. As a figurative painter, Joffe explores the intimacy of portraiture and the intricacies of looking. As viewers, can we know the artist and her daughter’s vulnerability through our viewing?

—Evan Little ’22, Research Assistant

From the exhibition: Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy (July 9 – December 18, 2022)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.
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