In the realm of women in American painting at the turn of the century, Emmet stands as one of our finest in terms of technical ability and having a serious career. We only have a handful of women artists from this time frame with Mary Cassatt being the prominent. Both Emmet and Cassatt were at their best in pastel and were highly proficient in this medium. Emmet had early instruction from William Merritt Chase at his Shinnecock Hills class. She went on to paint murals in the Women's Building at the Worlds Fair Columbian exhibition in 1893. Cassatt went on to work with the major French Impressionists in Paris and Emmet went to Giverny and worked under Frederick MacMonnies. She trained as well with Bouguereau, Robert Fleury and Collins but it was with MacMonnies that she was ensconced in that circle artists and influence.
Always much in demand, the portraits of Lydia Field Emmet brought the then princely sums of $2000-$2500 in 1912. Emmet's reputation as a portraitist of children would become her legacy.
Private Collection, Newtown, CT