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Copy after Thomas Cole's "Dream of Arcadia"

Robert Seldon Duncanson

American Art

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.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1852
DIMENSIONS 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)
SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower center
CREDIT LINE Gift of Charlynn and Warren Goins
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION 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)
IMAGE 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.
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Robert Seldon Duncanson (American, 1821-1872). <em>Copy after Thomas Cole's "Dream of Arcadia,"</em> 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)