Dublin Core




A riot of fourteen sunflower blossoms fills the borders of Gubin's composition, in hues of vivid red, orange, and yellow. Combined with their foliage, it takes an effort to locate the flower's container--a warm brown vase possibly incorporating a gourd into its design. The arrangement is set against the clapboard of a house's exterior, completing a vision of informal, everyday beauty.

About the Artist: Born in Kiev, Russia, Gubin immigrated to the US in 1909. She studied art at Hunter College, the Art Students League, and New York University; her teachers included Raphael Soyer, Byron Brown, and John Sloan. Initially she supported herself as an office worker, but in 1933 managed to aquire a hot dog stand on Rockaway Beach that freed up time for her painting (Syracuse Post-Standard 24 Jan. 1973: 28). Gubin’s art was exhibited at the Muncipal Art Gallery (1938), ACA Gallery (1941), and the Woodstock Artists Association (1955). She was recognized with the F. W. Weber award by the National Association of Women Artists. Gubin often is mentioned as a teacher of art; along with private lessons, she managed the summer Timberline camp at Jewett, NY (a progressive hotbed later investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee). In later years she extended her classes to disadvantaged children: “When she wants to motivate them, Miss Gubin paints portraits of the youngsters, as they appear to her in class. Her happiest experience came when she brought a smile to a little girl’s face. ‘Why are you so sad?’ the artist asked her student. ‘My mother told me I was ugly, and mothers always tell the truth,’ explained the girl. Miss Gubin then painted a portrait of a pretty, smiling girl—with a flower in her hair” (Syracuse Post-Standard 11 Feb. 1974: 17). 2 works at Smithsonian American Art Museum. 1 work at Harvard Art Museum. 1 work at Smith College Museum of Art. 2 works at Delaware Art Museum. 7 more images at FAP.


Gubin, Selma, 1903-1974


Federal Art Project




Ritz, Abigail (photography)

Cooper, Ken (biography)


New Deal Gallery, Genesee Valley Council on the Arts

Object #FA18168


jpeg, 1.1 MB


Still image



Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil painting

Physical Dimensions

24 x 36 in.
Condition: surface dirt, peeling