John Koch was born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His first medium was charcoal drawing, and he supported himself as a young art student in Paris by drawing portraits. After five years in Paris, he moved to New York City, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1939 he joined the Kraushaar Galleries, where he enjoyed many solo exhibitions. During World War II, he was a member of the United Service Organizations, drawing portrait sketches in veterans’ hospitals.
How would you want your bedroom to look in a painting?
The model for this painting is believed to have been Felicia Marsh, the wife of painter Reginald Marsh. She poses in Koch’s studio, which overlooked the Queensboro Bridge in New York City. Although he built his reputation as a painter of wealthy New Yorkers in their elegant interiors, Koch painted this simple scene for his own pleasure. He later recalled, “It was a picture I sweated out, but the finished canvas looks fresh.”
Museum purchase, Mildred Anna Williams Collection