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On the Wharf

1977 Keith McDaniel Born: Newark, New Jersey 1948 Died: 1986 acrylic on canvas 32 x 48 1/8 in. (81.3 x 122.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1985.30.43 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"The wharf buildings I chose as the subject derived a certain beauty from their utilitarian nature." McDaniel, Sara Roby Foundation Collection questionnaire, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Luce Center Label

Keith McDaniel was fascinated by the "sparse and unassuming" buildings on the wharf on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. He treated rooftops, windows, and walls as abstract shapes and painted them from unusual viewpoints. Here, the intersecting lines of the roofs dominate the composition, carrying the eye to the top left where an American flag flutters in the breeze. The delicate brushstrokes in the sky emphasize this sense of sweeping movement, so that the whole painting appears animated by the coastal winds.


Architecture Exterior - detail - chimney

Architecture Exterior - detail - roof

Landscape - bird's eye view

Object - other - flag

Waterscape - wharf


paint - acrylic

fabric - canvas

About Keith McDaniel

Born: Newark, New Jersey 1948 Died: 1986

More works in the collection by
Keith McDaniel