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.

Weaning the Calf, Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine), Oil on canvas, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.