In notifying me of Amherst College's Mead Art Museum show that opened in April, "Portraits of American Tragedy," Miyoko Davey speculated that there might have been a "secret love" between portraitist Kyohei Inukai and one of his subjects, Lorna Bowen. Davey is an art collector who contributed Inukai's works to the show.
Today only a few art aficionados will recognize the name. But Inukai (1886-1954) was a renowned society portrait artist in New York in the 1920s and 1930s, who, one critic noted, created something different from "the followers of the Sargent-Chase School." Among the notable people who commissioned him for their portraits was Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM.