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The Flute Player

n.d. Edwin Willard Deming Born: Ashland, Ohio 1860 Died: New York, New York 1942 oil on canvas 20 x 28 in. (50.8 x 71.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Victor Justice Evans 1985.66.362,047 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 12B


Luce Center Label

Edwin Willard Deming grew up among the Winnebago Indians and devoted his career to picturing Native Americans as peaceful and noble figures. This scene shows the mythical “Indian Orpheus” charming wild animals with the sound of his flute. The brightly colored leaves blanketing the ground and the wide eyes of the animals create a magical kingdom far from the nation’s urban centers. With the onset of industrialization, imaginary, romantic views of Native American life were widely collected by comfortable, middle-class Americans.

Keywords

Animal - bear

Ethnic - Indian

Figure male

Landscape - tree

Performing arts - music - flute

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Edwin Willard Deming

Born: Ashland, Ohio 1860 Died: New York, New York 1942

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Edwin Willard Deming

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