University Museums

Title: The Lily Pond
Name: Painting
Date: c. 1900
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 71 × 47 in. (180.3 × 119.4 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Phil Allen. In the Farm House Museum Collection, Farm House Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Farm House Museum, Parlor
Object Number: 74.29.1
More Information
Hattie Fitchpatrick’s The Lily Pond depicts the serene image of a young blond girl, dressed innocently in white, cooling her feet in the water of a woodland pond. Evoking images of traditional Victorian ideals like purity, beauty and virtue, this work of art presents an idealistic view of childhood. The girl’s white dress provides a contrast with the dark woods around her and serves to emphasize her youthful innocence.

The Lily Pond was donated to University Museums by Mrs. Phil Allen, a relative of the first family to live in the Farm House. According to one theory, this painting is actually an imitation of an original painting that might have been advertised in a magazine in the late 1880s. It was common practice in the Victorian era for ladies to paint their own "masterpieces" based on famous works, and it is possible this painting was accomplished in that manner.