A typeset label verso (or possibly a newspaper clipping) indicates that the design was awarded first prize – accompanied by an award of $10 — in “Mr. J.L.B. Mott’s Competition for the best sketches for three allegorical figures with appropriate attributes of Music, Painting and Sculpture, open to all the advanced classes of the Woman’s Art School.” The juror is given as Mr. F.L.V. Hoppin. The Woman’s Art School was part of Cooper Union in New York City, a university offering programs in art, architecture and engineering. Additional text describes the sophistication of design and technique that earned this painting first prize:
Composition shows superiority over the other designs, because there are three distinct subjects, one for each attribute; each being thoroughly distinctive in itself. The drawing is far better than that of any of the other panels. The color is more evenly laid on, and the modeling of the ornament is particularly well done. The repetition of the three attributes entwined at the corners of the panel shows considerable thought and application.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear, very minor soiling and abrasions. Mounted to board, likely as issued.