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Neighboring Pews

1883 John Rogers Born: Salem, Massachusetts 1829 Died: New Canaan, Connecticut 1904 plaster 17 5/8 x 17 x 12 1/8 in. (44.9 x 43.2 x 30.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Fred D. Bentley, Sr. 2004.33.1 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 16A


Luce Center Label

Scenes of everyday life frequently inspired the work of John Rogers. In Neighboring Pews, a gentleman flirtatiously directs a young woman to the correct page in her hymnal as an older lady looks on with an expression Rogers called "[indignation] at the preference shown." It seems that no one pays attention to the ceremony at hand—a young boy in the front pew tries on the man's hat and gloves, oblivious to the scene unfolding behind him. Rogers sent pictures of his work to newspapers with the hopes that they would write articles to promote his art. This often worked, and he was one of the first artists to use images to sell his work. Neighboring Pews was first released in time for Christmas 1883, and newspapers advertised it as an excellent gift, especially for pastors.

Keywords

Figure group

Recreation - church

sculpture

About John Rogers

Born: Salem, Massachusetts 1829 Died: New Canaan, Connecticut 1904

More works in the collection by
John Rogers