Butchering Day

Media - 1972.55.1 - SAAM-1972.55.1_2 - 127168
Copied Jennie Cell, Butchering Day, ca. 1955, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Mundis, 1972.55.1

Artwork Details

Title
Butchering Day
Artist
Date
ca. 1955
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
16 1826 12 in. (40.867.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Mundis
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on fiberboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation — farm — animal husbandry
  • Landscape — farm
Object Number
1972.55.1

Artwork Description

Jennie Cell painted simple scenes of everyday life inspired by her childhood on a farm. In Butchering Day a group of people clean, dry, cut, and cook meat, and in Pruning Time, men trim dead branches from the trees to encourage new growth. Cell emphasized the collective spirit of activities like these, which required many hands and were occasions for friends and neighbors to help one another. The bare trees and dull colors hint at the bleakness of farm life, but the cheerful workers suggest that Cell's family supported each other through the hard times.