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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The True American

Enoch Wood Perry (1831–1915)
ca. 1874
Oil on canvas
11 7/8 x 16 1/8 in. (30.2 x 41 cm)
Credit Line:
Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
This painting was included in a collection of Perry’s works and memorabilia in 1944. It resembles other works by him in technique, but the satirical subject and the unusual monogram signature at the lower left are atypical. All the heads in the picture are hidden, including those of the dog on the right side of the porch and the horse on the stud card tacked to the clapboard wall of the building, which is identified as the “National Hotel” in the sign partially visible in the upper left corner. The work’s title comes from the abolitionist newspaper seen to the left of center, which was published with this masthead in Lexington, Kentucky, from 1846 to 1849. The artist’s intentions, like the painting’s date, are unknown.
Signature: [at lower left]: EWP [?] [monogram]
Charles Grand, New York, 1944; with The Old Print Shop, New York, 1944–1945; with Edwin Hewitt Gallery, New York, by 1950–1955
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