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Kiss Me and You'll Kiss the 'Lasses
Accession # 70.26
Artist Lilly Martin Spencer
Title Kiss Me and You'll Kiss the 'Lasses
Date 1856
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 29 15/16 x 24 15/16 in. (76 x 63.3 cm) frame: 43 3/4 x 38 3/4 x 4 in. (111.1 x 98.4 x 10.2 cm)
Signed Signed lower right :"Lilly M. Spencer / 1856"
Credit Line A. Augustus Healy Fund
Location American Identities: Everyday Life / A Nation Divided

Curatorial Remarks: As the title implies, this bold young woman promises a dose of molasses to the person advancing to kiss her while she makes fruit preserves. The painting’s subject was as uncommon at the time as its independent female artist.

Lilly Martin Spencer was a wife and mother as well as a professional painter and family breadwinner. Her great accomplishment was in representing homemakers who combined ideal domesticity and a more liberated, playful self-assertion. This spirited figure also acted as the artist’s own voice in a male-dominated art world.