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Cat from a Ball Toss Game

ca. 1920 Unidentified (American) painted canvas with leather, wood and metal 14 1/2 x 7 5/8 x 6 in. (36.9 x 19.5 x 15.2 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.287 Not currently on view

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Ball-toss games are a traditional part of carnivals and fairs. The artist designed this piece to land upright when thrown, reflecting the saying that a cat always lands on its feet. Visitors to fairgrounds won prizes by throwing a ball like this to knock down cans, pass through holes, or land within targets.


Animal - cat


folk art

animal parts - leather

fabric - cotton

metal - iron