Thursday, October 29, 2009

Homer in the White House

Art critic James Gardner on the Obamas' selection of Winslow Homer's painting Sunset as one of the pieces of art adorning the White House's walls (slide 5 of 9):
This is more like it. We elect our presidents to
hang Winslow Homers on the walls of the White House! This 19th century painter
is thought to embody the rugged, outdoorsy nature of the American character, the
ethos of the frontier. Though reared in the art of Europe, Homer's style and
content are essentially American. The present work is surely one of his better
paintings, very daring indeed in its flirtations with abstraction. It could
almost be a Franz Kline. The Obamas have chosen well.
Homer lived on Prouts Neck in Scarborough from 1883 until his death in 1910, and the Portland Museum of Art bought the artist's studio in 2006.

- John C.L. Morgan

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