Charles Sheeler (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1883–1965 Dobbs Ferry, New York)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 19.5 x 24.5 cm (7 11/16 x 9 5/8 in.)
Sheet: 20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift, 2005
Not on view
A realistic painter and photographer, Sheeler sought to uncover the harmonious coherence in the forms of indigenous American architecture. This work, one of the groundbreaking photographs of the era, was made near the Doylestown, Pennsylvania, farmhouse that Sheeler rented from 1910 to 1926. The spare geometry of the board-and-batten barn proved an irresistible subject for an artist eager to explore with a camera the radical formal ideas that had impressed him in the paintings of Cézanne, Picasso, and Braque. A severely cropped, yet elegantly balanced photograph, Bucks County Barn (alternately titled Side of White Barn) is a testament to Sheeler's clarity of vision and ability to distill a scene to its essence-a salient feature of the artist's work in all media.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on print verso, TC: "TOP [underlined with a half-circle]"; Stamped by Museum of Modern Art, CR (upside-down): "CHARLES SHEELER RETROSPECTIVE // EXHIBITION: Paintings, Watercolors, // Photographs and Industrial Design // Oct. 4, 1939 - Nov. 1, 1939 // The Museum of Modern Art // 11 West 53 St., New York"; Adhesive paper label with black typeface affixed to BR (upside-down): "BUCKS COUNTY BARN, 1915 // Original Photograph by Charles Sheeler // Lent by the Artist"
[Marlborough Gallery, New York, April 5, 1977]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sight Unseen: Photographs from the Gilman Collection".
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Charles Sheeler: Paintings, Drawings, and Photographs," October 4, 1939–November 1, 1939.
Montclair Art Museum. "Precisionism in America 1915-1941: Reordering Reality," November 20, 1994–January 22, 1995.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ""Our Future Is In The Air": Photographs from the 1910s," November 10, 2010–April 10, 2011.