1867 John Whetten Ehninger Born: New York, New York 1827 Died: Saratoga, New York 1889 oil on canvas 32 1/4 x 54 1/8 in. (82.0 x 137.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1971.290 Not currently on view
Luce Center Label
John Whetten Ehninger captured the clear atmosphere and brilliant colors of the harvest season. Golden light reflects off of the trees and fields, suffusing the soft clouds above with a comforting glow. A scene like this, evoking community, peace, and plenty, was especially powerful after the Civil War. Ehninger’s image recalls a “golden day” when the nation was innocent and its fields had not been torn by cannon fire. In the year this painting was made, a poet acknowledged the nostalgic power of the harvest with the words, “What calls back the past, like rich Pumpkin pie?/Oh!---fruit of loved boyhood!---the old days recalling.” (Harper’s Weekly, November 23, 1867)
Animal - cattle
Figure group - male and female
Landscape - farm
Landscape - plant - pumpkin
Landscape - season - autumn
Occupation - farm - harvesting
paint - oil
fabric - canvas
About John Whetten Ehninger
Born: New York, New York 1827 Died: Saratoga, New York 1889
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