Elmer Novotny

The Artist and His Wife

(Cleveland, 1909 - 1997)


Oil canvas

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Purchased in memory of Docent Chair Carol Boyd with funds from the Akron Art Museum docents and gifts in memory of William Bishop and gift of Karen Novotny Tischer


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Elmer Novotny was already an established portraitist when he created this image of himself and his wife Virginia. Both were 29 years old, depicted in his studio in their home in Kent Ohio. He is about to paint her portrait, preserving forever her youthful beauty. Novotny taught at Kent State University for almost 40 years. He and Virginia remained married for over 50 years until their deaths in 1997. This work was purchased in memory of Carol Boyd, an enthralling tour guide and beloved chair of the Akron Art Museum docents. Boyd volunteered hundreds of hours annually at the museum in the decade following her retirement as a music, arts and humanities teacher. She was a vibrant individual who shared her passion for the arts with such warmth and enthusiasm that it was inevitably contagious to everyone around her.

Self portraits
Oil painting
Cleveland School