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The Straw Ride

Winslow Homer

American Art

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.

Here, Homer illustrates an excursion in a farm wagon. Trips in old-fashioned vehicles gained in nostalgic charm as rapid transit by railroad replaced earlier forms of transportation. Holiday recreation in the countryside was extolled not only for health benefits, but also for opportunities to enjoy a social latitude, celebrated here in the informal proximity of young men and women. An ironic reference is also made to waning distinctions between "city folks" and “their country cousins” through fashion information provided by widely read periodicals such as Harper's Bazaar.
MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1869
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 9 3/16 x 13 7/8 in. (23.3 x 35.2 cm) Frame: 16 3/4 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (42.5 x 57.8 x 3.8 cm)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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