The Allen Sisters

Wayman Adams

About 1934

In this group portrait, Adams depicts Willie, Beff, and Ruth Allen, three unmarried sisters who operated Birmingham’s Margaret Allen School, a preparatory academy for girls. Established in 1903, the school operated at 2144 Highland Avenue from 1906 to 1934.

Adams, one of the leading American portrait artists of the early 20th century, painted U.S. presidents, captains of industry, socialites, and educators. His instructors included William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri, whose Laughing Boy is nearby.