Skip Navigation

Thanksgiving Day--Hanging Up the Musket

Winslow Homer

American Art

With the long Civil War finally over, veterans could hang up their guns as trophies of battle. Following some controversy, President Johnson signed a bill in spring 1865 allowing soldiers to retain their firearms, recognizing that ownership of these guns was a source of pride. In this engraving by Winslow Homer, the grandfather’s broken gun of 1776, symbolizing the shattered promises of the Revolutionary War, hangs above the new firearm of the most recent war. The image accompanied an article that declared, "Now we have peace smiling over all the land, and its promise for many years to come."

Regarded as one of the great American Realists of the nineteenth century, 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.
MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1865
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm) Frame: 22 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (57.8 x 42.5 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS American Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1998.105.93
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). Thanksgiving Day--Hanging Up the Musket, 1865. Wood engraving, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.93 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.105.93_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1998.105.93_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.