On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
Weaning the Calf
Winslow Homer American
Not on view
A rare image in Homer’s art of Black and White children together, Weaning the Calf reveals his ongoing interest in evolving race relations following the Civil War. A Black youth attempts to lead a reluctant calf away from its mother, visible in the distance, as two White boys look on. Homer’s composition enhances the scene’s inherent tension, juxtaposing effort with inactivity, tattered clothing against tidy appearances. The theme of a child attempting to subdue an unruly animal aligns with the artist’s many images of humans in conflict with nature across his career. In depicting a Black protagonist, Homer invites us to consider the youth’s agency and self-determination during the era of Reconstruction.