Home Views (Expectations), 1892<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Keith-Home-Views.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Home Views (Expectations), 1892<div class="ExternalClass1BBAEEA2D4C94E85942CBC40652B4EA3"><p>​A young woman in a white gown sits casually on the landing of a stairway in a well-appointed Victorian interior in Belle Emerson Keith's <em>Home Views (Expectations)</em>. The woman's attention is fixed on a distant view of open fields seen through a window. The flat prairie landscape outside contrasts with the interior's polished wood, oriental rugs, and potted plants—signs of wealth and gentility that complement the figure's studied idleness.</p><p>Keith referred to this painting as <em>Home Views</em>. It acquired the alternate title <em>Expectations </em>because the model for the woman, Mrs. Dora E. Herrick Loucks, was pregnant at the time she posed. A secretary at Emerson Carriage Company, the manufacturing concern owned by Keith's father, Mrs. Loucks is said to have been visiting the Emerson household on business when the artist asked her to pose. The title <em>Expectations </em>may refer not only to the woman's anticipation of motherhood but also to the promise of the coming season, for the bare fields in view are tinged with the green of early spring. In 1892, Keith's own artistic expectations were likely high. She had just returned from two years of study abroad at a time of burgeoning opportunities for women artists and growing excitement in the region as not-far- distant Chicago prepared to host the great World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.</p><p>Born into one of Rockford's founding families, Keith attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and studied art in Munich and in Paris before her marriage in 1898 to Rockford physician Darwin Keith. Active in local art circles, Keith painted portraits, landscapes, and figural works, but she is also celebrated in her hometown as the founder of Keith School (now Keith Country Day School), a private elementary school.</p></div>GP0|#a501b13c-7b7e-4ecf-bc0e-5f54668a5259;L0|#0a501b13c-7b7e-4ecf-bc0e-5f54668a5259|Belle Emerson Keith;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Painting Oil;#Painting Oil on Canvas;#Oil on canvas, 26 × 37 inches Collection of Rockford Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Edward O. Lathrop (Mary Emerson Lathrop)Oil on canvas, 26 × 37 inches Collection of Rockford Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Edward O. Lathrop (Mary Emerson Lathrop)