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Chapel In-The Fall-Wood

1969 Rev. Maceptaw Bogun Born: New York, New York 1917 Died: New York, New York 1995 oil on canvas 24 x 30 in. (61.0 x 76.2 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.101 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"As I started my first canvas, I felt that if the 'Big Boss' is with me, I might as well go ahead. I know now some angel must have been guiding my hands, putting the ideas of what to do next into the empty canvas of my mind." The artist, quoted in Hemphill, Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists, 1974

Luce Center Label

Chapel In-The Fall-Wood is the first painting Reverend Maceptaw Bogun completed. In this scene, a multicolored path leads to a small chapel nearly overwhelmed by autumn foliage. This combination of nature and religion reflects Bogun's Spiritualist belief that nature is an expression of God. He emphasized certain areas of the canvas, like the end posts of the footbridge and the leafy trees in the hills, by building up layer upon layer of paint, thus creating a richer texture on the picture plane. Bogun included an additional surprise in the star above the chapel's steeple, which is barely visible to the naked eye, by using a paint that glows in the dark. He also added the names of family, friends, and historical figures he admired, including the artist Michelangelo and the Iroquois leader Hiawatha, on a large rock in the foreground.


Architecture - bridge

Architecture - religious - church

Landscape - mountain


folk art

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Rev. Maceptaw Bogun

Born: New York, New York 1917 Died: New York, New York 1995