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I Know'd It Was Ripe

Thomas Hovenden

American Art

I Know’d It Was Ripe is one of a number of single-figure compositions of African Americans completed by the Paris-trained Thomas Hovenden during the early to mid-1880s. These works and their titles appear highly stereotypical to the contemporary viewer, although there is little doubt that Hovenden was sympathetic to blacks, given his marriage in 1881 to Helen Corson, the daughter of activist Quaker abolitionists whose farm had been an antislavery meeting place and a stop on the Underground Railroad. In the larger social framework of the period, however, this painting and others like it contributed to the trivialization of the lives of freed blacks.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1885
DIMENSIONS 21 15/16 x 15 7/8 in. (55.7 x 40.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Thomas Hovenden (American, 1840–1895). I Know'd It Was Ripe, ca. 1885. Oil on canvas, 21 15/16 x 15 7/8 in. (55.7 x 40.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.825 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.825_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 32.825_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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