"Problems in American Realism: Art, Life, and Time in a Painting by William Sidney Mount"
Rebecca Zurier Colloquium


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  • Host Department: History of Art
  • Date: 04/13/2012
  • Time: 4:00PM

  • Location: 180 Tappan Hall, 855 S. University, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Oknooning
  • Description: Since it was painted in 1836, "Farmers Nooning" has been described as charmingly diverting, vividly lifelike, a popular scene of everyday life in the Jacksonian era, or the ideological thinking of New York's rising merchant class. This paper re-examines this well-known picture, as well as its artist and patron, to ask what has been at stake in the idea of it being a real representation. A closer look at this image of black and white field hands on a mid-day break reveals both first-hand observation and elaborate art historical reference, reportage and meditation on race, work and leisure, art and life. How the image moved from entertainment to American icon is part of the story.