What Shall We Do Next?
Regarded as one of the great American Realists of the nineteenth century, Winslow Homer is known primarily for his large body of works in oil and watercolor. However, he also had an early career as a freelance illustrator, making drawings for wood engravings that were reproduced in mass-circulation periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly. In 1998, the Brooklyn Museum received a generous gift of more than 250 wood-engraved illustrations by Homer from Harvey Isbitts.
In this croquet subject, Homer explored the issue of modernity by contrasting country and city “types.” The more sedate, conservative country girls remain on the porch, dutifully attending to sewing or simply watching their fashionably dressed, more adventurous counterparts. The restlessness of the city girls is emphasized by the caption—”What Shall We Do Next?”—while the restraint and discipline of country life is suggested by the young woman on the left who sits erect in her straight-backed chair, ignoring the visitors from the city.
- Artist: Winslow Homer, American, 1836-1910
- Medium: Wood engraving
- Dates: 1869
- Dimensions: Image: 9 1/8 x 13 3/4 in. (23.2 x 34.9 cm) Sheet: 10 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (26.7 x 41.9 cm) Frame: 16 3/4 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (42.5 x 57.8 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 1998.105.131
- Credit Line: Gift of Harvey Isbitts
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). What Shall We Do Next?, 1869. Wood engraving, Image: 9 1/8 x 13 3/4 in. (23.2 x 34.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.131
- Catalogue Description: Page from Harper's Bazar: A Repository of Fashion, Pleasure and Instruction, July 31, 1869, vol. II, p. 488
- Record Completeness: Best (82%)