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Seaweed Gatherers

1898? Edward Mitchell Bannister Born: St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada 1828 Died: Providence, Rhode Island 1901 oil on canvas 25 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (65.7 x 50.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of H. Alan and Melvin Frank 1983.95.149 Not currently on view


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This scene of a worker pushing his wheelbarrow is similar to the paintings of French artist Jean-François Millet, whose landscapes celebrated rural scenes and the nobility of peasant life. Edward Bannister praised Millet as “the profoundest, most sympathetic, and deeply religious artistic spirit of our time.” (Hartigan, Sharing Traditions, 1985). Millet’s scenes of peasant life commented on industrialization by showing hardworking country folk, who embodied the moral values that were swiftly fading from urban centers. In Seaweed Gatherers, Bannister positioned his worker in the center of the composition so that he and his cart take on monumental proportions, heightening the viewer’s identification with him.

Keywords

Figure male - full length

Figure(s) in exterior - rural

Object - foliage - seaweed

Object - tool - rake

Object - tool - wagon

Occupation - farm - harvesting

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Edward Mitchell Bannister

Born: St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada 1828 Died: Providence, Rhode Island 1901

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Edward Mitchell Bannister