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A Temperance Meeting

Winslow Homer, American, 1836 - 1910

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
1874

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
20 3/8 x 30 1/8 inches (51.8 x 76.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 116, American Art, first floor

Accession Number:
1956-118-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with the John Howard McFadden, Jr., Fund, 1956

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nhd 1861 to 1877 rural [x]  


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Label:
Homer's painting cleverly refers to the rising American temperance movement, a crusade against drinking alcohol, by depicting a stout milkmaid pausing while a farmhand drinks from her ladle. Swaying under the weight of her pail and squinting into the sun, she presents the ideal of natural womanhood. Her powerful presence, marked by broad shoulders, muscular arms, and sunburned skin, counters the farmhand's relaxed stance and shaded face, visually reversing traditional gender roles. Far from flirting, the two figures awkwardly avoid each other's gaze, modeling rural wholesomeness and rectitude.


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