The Gossip

Media - 1991.205.10 - SAAM-1991.205.10_1 - 11368
Copied William Penhallow Henderson, The Gossip, ca. 1922, oil on canvas, 16 1420 14 in. (41.351.4 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Arvin Gottlieb, 1991.205.10
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Gossip
ca. 1922
16 1420 14 in. (41.351.4 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Arvin Gottlieb
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure group — female
  • Landscape — New Mexico — Taos
  • Recreation — leisure — conversation
  • Architecture Exterior — domestic — house
Object Number

Artwork Description

In The Gossip, William Penhallow Henderson focused on the distinctive shapes of the southwestern landscape. The outlines of the women’s forms echo the swelling hills and rounded Pueblo architecture. Henderson was a noted modernist painter who drew inspiration for his intensely colored canvases from the postimpressionist and cubist styles that he first saw in Paris. The dark values and edgy colors in The Gossip help to evoke the isolation and claustrophobia of communities scattered throughout the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico.