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Another Year by the Old Clock

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.

In this New Year’s cover image, Homer concentrated on the bittersweet nature of old age. An elderly couple sits quietly, awaiting the turn of the year. The similarity of the two figures’ poses promotes thoughts of years spent in harmony, while the portrait of the young soldier above the mantel may suggest an absent loved one—perhaps a son lost in the war. New Year’s Eve itself occasions reflection on the future as well as the past, and this sentimental picture evokes the sadly inevitable question of how many more New Years the couple will share.

MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1870
DIMENSIONS Image: 9 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (24.8 x 23.5 cm) Sheet: 15 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (39.7 x 26.7 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)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). Another Year by the Old Clock, 1870. Wood engraving, Image: 9 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (24.8 x 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.144 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.105.144_print_bw_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1998.105.144_print_bw_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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