The Blue Thread

Media - 1996.72 - SAAM-1996.72_1 - 65179
Copied Will Barnet, The Blue Thread, 1984, oil on canvas, 38 3872 38 in. (97.483.9 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Frank K. Ribelin and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 1996.72

Artwork Details

Title
The Blue Thread
Artist
Date
1984
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
38 3872 38 in. (97.483.9 cm.)
Markings
lower right in black oil: c (copyright symbol) Will Barnet '84 stretcher bar verso upper left in black marker: TITLE: "Blue Thread" stretcher bar verso upper right in black marker: Will Barnet 1984
Credit Line
Gift of Frank K. Ribelin and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Group
  • Animal — cat
  • Figure group — female and child
  • Occupation — domestic — sewing
  • Recreation — leisure — home life
  • Object — toy
  • Architecture Interior — detail — window
Object Number
1996.72

Artwork Description

Will Barnet has painted several images of mothers and children that capture intimate scenes of family life. In The Blue Thread, the verticals and horizontals of the windows, table, and chair divide the painting into neat rectangles, and Barnet positioned his daughter, her son, and the family cat so that they evoke figures from an Egyptian wall painting. The subdued tones and stylized poses transform a fleeting moment in his household into an image that feels timeless.

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