Art/ Collection/ Art Object

New York Daily News

Artist:
William Michael Harnett (1848–1892)
Date:
1888
Medium:
Oil on wood
Dimensions:
5 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (14 x 19.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of William L. and Charlotte B. McKim, 1973
Accession Number:
1973.166.1
Not on view
Working on a very small scale, Harnett depicted with rich color and convincing impasto a ceramic beer mug; the New York Daily News for April 3, 1888; a meerschaum pipe; two biscuits; and a variety of crumbs, matches, ashes, and tobacco flakes. In a published interview, he described his early dependence on objects of this sort: “I could not afford to hire models as the other students did, and I was forced to paint my first picture from still life models.” The catalogue of Harnett’s estate sale, which included an extensive collection of pipes, attests to his lifelong interest in such typically masculine possessions.
Signature: [at lower right]: WMH [monogram] ARNETT / 1888

Inscription: [on the back]: 7 /88
John Hedges, Philadelphia, by 1892; probably with Frost and Reed, London, 1940; with M. Knoedler and Company, New York, 1940; Mr. and Mrs. William L. McKim, New York and Palm Beach, 1940–1973
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