Calling all art sleuths!

By the Archives
August 31, 2010

This photograph of a tea party in an artist’s studio has long remained a mystery at the Archives of American Art. Can you help us identify the woman between Holty and Miró, and the two men on the far right? Do you know whose studio this could be?

Photograph of Carl Holty and Joan Miró with others at a tea party in an artists studio
Carl Holty (left) and Joan Miró (center), with others at a tea party in an artist’s studio, 1947. Photographer unknown. Carl Holty papers, circa 1860s-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Here are the clues:

  • American painter Carl Holty (1900–1973) is on the far left.
  • Spanish painter Joan Miró (1893–1983) is in the center.
  • In 1947, Miró borrowed Holty’s studio in New York while he worked on a mural for a restaurant in Cincinnati.
  • The Museum of Modern Art exhibited Miró’s mural before it traveled to its final destination in Ohio.
  • Nothing is written on the back of the photograph that indicates the guests’ identities.

Leave a comment or tweet us at @ArchivesAmerArt if you know something about this photo!


I'm wondering if the gentleman to the far right (suit and cigarette) is Leonard Bernstein. I'm not convinced, though, and a LB authority should weigh in.

Is that Francis Criss with the beard? Perhaps his studio? To the right...Jeno Juszko?

Judging from the dress, I should think that the man wearing the shirt, I think he has the kind of artist's temperament, so I think it would definitely be him.

May be it is worth to post the question on the Yahoo Answers?
There are a lot of experts there who can help identify these people correctly.

this definitely beats me but perhaps popularizing this picture ( along with the question ) on some highly visited photography forums might solve this one out!

this is interesting...anyone knows...would like to hear some news also...

What is the answer here... would love to know

Still no positive IDs here, but thank you to all of you who have commented. The curatorial staff at the Archives has been researching your excellent input.
Vin's suggestion of Leonard Bernstein was very good, since Bernstein would have been in NY around that time, and because the figure in the photo certainly looks like him and appears to be someone important. After carefully reviewing some <a href="; rel="nofollow">1947 photos from the Library of Congress</a>, however, curatorial staff decided it was not him (hairstyle, nose and overall carriage-yes; shape of ear, jawline, and wristwatch-no.)
We also have negative IDs by our curator for Francis Criss and Jeno Juszko. The mystery lives on, but we will keep on searching!

Have you thought that the artist could be doing a self portrait? Have you thought that the drawing of the lady on the easel could be the artist herself? I am intrigued.

I don't know whose studio is that but i'm sure somebody say us.

Great article, can I use this photo for my photography lectures?

What an intriguing mystery! Fascinating!

Awesome old pic.