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Shepherd and Shepherdess

Decorator:
Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)
Date:
1878
Culture:
American
Medium:
Glazed earthenware, overglaze enamel decoration
Dimensions:
Overall: 36 x 49 1/4 in. (91.4 x 125.1 cm) Each tile: 8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Bequest of Arthur G. Altschul, 2002
Accession Number:
2003.140
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 767
This surprising work by Homer is one of his rare examples of decorative painting on ceramic. It was produced during the artist’s active involvement with the Tile Club. One of many New York artist organizations established after the nation’s centennial, the Tile Club was a self-conscious response to the country’s growing interest in the so-called household art movement, also known as the Aesthetic movement, which called for a marriage of the beautiful and useful. The surround’s pastoral figures evoke both the contemporary work of English artist Walter Crane as well as Homer’s own Houghton Farm watercolors.
The tiles were made for Homer's brother Charles Savage Homer's house in West Townsend, Massachusetts. They were part of the Homer Estate. Arthur Altschul purchased the tiles in 1958.
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