Provenance: the artist; the collection of William McBride, Chicago; private collection, New York; thence by descent to the current owner.William McBride is listed as lending the painting to the 1978 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He was also a WPA artist from Chicago, friend of Burroughs and an avid collector of works by his fellow artists--he lent 17 works to this 1978 Studio Museum exhibition.
Exhibited: New York/Chicago: WPA and the Black Artist, The Studio Museum in Harlem, November 13 - January 8, 1978.
Illustrated: New York/Chicago: WPA and the Black Artist, The Studio Museum in Harlem.
The Red Hat is one of the earliest known paintings by Margaret Burroughs to come to auction, and is an intimate impressionist portrait. This painting predates Burroughs active involvement in the WPA and pivotal role in founding of the South Side Community Art Center. In 1936, Burroughs was an aspiring artist, art teacher and student in Chicago - according to Daniel Schulman, "she was one of many elementary and high school students who attended evening and Saturday lecture classes at the museum prior to entering the School of the Art Institute." Burroughs had earned her teacher's certificate from Chicago Teachers College in 1936. She also was a member of the art club known as the "Arts and Crafts Guild" founded by the painter George E. Neal. Burroughs with other young painters Eldzier Cortor, Charles Davis, Joseph Kersey, Charles Sebree and Charles White met in Neal's coachhouse studio at 32nd and Michigan Avenues. Schulman p. 47.