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Part of The American Wing
William Sidney Mount (American, Setauket, New York 1807–1868 Setauket, New York )
Date: 1840–41Accession Number: 66.126
Thomas Crawford (American, New York 1813?–1857 London)
Date: 1842; carved 1843Accession Number: 97.13.1
Francis William Edmonds (American, Hudson, New York 1806–1863 Bronxville, New York)
Date: 1858Accession Number: 1975.27.1
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Alice-Cary and W. L. Lyons Brown Gallery
During the decades leading up to the Civil War, American artists adopted new modes of pictorial storytelling, primarily in the form of genre paintings featuring narratives that the growing audiences for art could easily understand. The paintings on view in this gallery are characterized by clearly delineated forms and compositions and are often humorous, didactic, or moralizing. Domestic scenes of lower- and middle-class characters were often inspired by Dutch old masters or more recent French and British popular prints. Such universal themes as childhood, marriage, family, and community persisted in paintings by Francis William Edmonds and Lilly Martin Spencer, while the everyday functioning of our democracy—political elections, attitudes toward race and immigration, the frontier as reality and myth—was explored and depicted in works by William Sydney Mount and George Caleb Bingham.
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