Erie Railroad

  • Unidentified, Erie Railroad, 19th century, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.146

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This painting was created by an unknown artist in Pennsylvania, probably during the mid- to late nineteenth century. Folk art collector Herbert Waide Hemphill Jr. acquired the piece in 1962 and added the unusual frame, which is carved and stained to resemble tree limbs. The Erie Railroad was chartered in 1832, and the first train ran from New York to Lake Erie in 1851, with President Millard Fillmore as a passenger. In this painting, the sweeping track and accompanying telegraph poles emphasize the dramatic growth of transport and communications during the second half of the nineteenth century. The man fishing in the foreground, however, evokes a simpler time when the world moved less quickly.

Title
Erie Railroad
Artist
Date
19th century
Location
Dimensions
18 1/2 x 22 1/4 in. (47.0 x 56.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Recreation – sport and play – fishing
  • Architecture – vehicle – train
  • Architecture – science – power lines
  • Figure male – full length
  • Landscape – water
Object Number
1986.65.146
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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