The Elephant Who Was Fond of Watermelon

  • John William ("Uncle Jack") Dey, The Elephant Who Was Fond of Watermelon, 1970s, enamel on masonite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of David L. Davies, 1992.37.5

Luce Center Label
In this painting, "Uncle Jack" Dey has created a brightly colored, imaginative scene by taking animals from different parts of the world and placing them in the same setting. Despite the somewhat whimsical title, the unusually large crows circling overhead and the elephant charging at the man give the painting an ominous feeling. Dey traced the crows, rabbits, and deer onto the canvas with a template, which accounts for their precise shape and size. The log cabin in the background and tree stumps in the foreground recall the artist's days as a lumberjack in Maine.
The Elephant Who Was Fond of Watermelon
On View
Not on view.
18 3/4 x 30 3/4 in. (47.6 x 78.1 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of David L. Davies

Mediums Description
enamel on masonite
  • Animal – bird
  • Figure male – full length
  • Landscape – plant – watermelon
  • Animal – elephant
  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – house
Object Number
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