Here’s Why the Met is a Treasure


“Seeking to assuage the sorrow brought on by the war and to heal the nation’s fractured spirit in its wake, painters turned away from martial and political content. Responding to the assertion of women’s responsibilities after the loss of so many men in combat, artists depicted them in new roles and grappled with issues surrounding their new options. Expressing a longing for prewar innocence and the commemorative atmosphere associated with the nation’s Centennial, many painters portrayed children. And, as the agrarian basis of American life gave way to urbanization and industrialization, artists who lived, studied, worked, and exhibited their paintings in thriving cities looked to the countryside for their subjects. Painters of this era were, however, likely to show rural locales as temporary or nostalgic retreats from urban existence rather than sustainable habitats.” Weinberg and Barratt, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Follow this link for more insight into  American Scenes of Everyday Life 1840-1910. The online exhibit allows you to notice beautiful details and gain better understanding of the artists and citizens of the day and it’s just plain beautiful!

6 responses to “Here’s Why the Met is a Treasure”

    • I wonder if we don’t all tend to set up cages for ourselves sometimes. There are those people who seem to thrive in almost any environment.

      It’s like when they have those reality shows where people live like they did in 1870. There’s nothing real about it. The people complain and do everything wrong and are shocked about every chore or social system, but if you just grew up in that world it would seem perfectly normal. Maybe you would have escaped to the wild west!


    • Well, since the women in the picture commissioned the portrait (or someone in the family di), I guess the artist was just pleasing the sitters. 🙂

      Women set high standards for themselves.


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