Copy after Thomas Cole's "Dream of Arcadia"
Robert Seldon Duncanson
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Imagining the New Nation’s Landscape, 1800–1880
The African American painter Robert S. Duncanson was a leading practitioner of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Dream of Arcadia is based on an 1838 painting by the school’s “founding father,” Thomas Cole. It typifies the style in its naturalistic details and romanticized vision of nature as symbolic of America’s national destiny. Its subject—the classical paradise of Arcadia—perhaps reflects hopes for a world free of the prejudice and strife of pre–Civil War America.
Duncanson settled in the Cincinnati area about 1841. Cincinnati was then a hotbed of abolitionist activity, and home to a large population of free African Americans.
Oil on canvas
frame: 34 1/8 x 52 x 4 in. (86.7 x 132.1 x 10.2 cm)
24 x 42 in. (61 x 106.7 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated lower center
Gift of Charlynn and Warren Goins
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 fill out our online application form
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Seldon Duncanson (American, 1821-1872). Copy after Thomas Cole's "Dream of Arcadia," 1852. Oil on canvas, frame: 34 1/8 x 52 x 4 in. (86.7 x 132.1 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Charlynn and Warren Goins, 2020.13.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, L2011.4.1_PS9.jpg)
overall, L2011.4.1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2018
"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.
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.