October

  • John Whetten Ehninger, October, 1867, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1971.290

Luce Center Label

John Whetten Ehninger captured the clear atmosphere and brilliant colors of the harvest season. Golden light reflects off of the trees and fields, suffusing the soft clouds above with a comforting glow. A scene like this, evoking community, peace, and plenty, was especially powerful after the Civil War. Ehninger’s image recalls a “golden day” when the nation was innocent and its fields had not been torn by cannon fire. In the year this painting was made, a poet acknowledged the nostalgic power of the harvest with the words, “What calls back the past, like rich Pumpkin pie?/Oh!---fruit of loved boyhood!---the old days recalling.” (Harper’s Weekly, November 23, 1867)

Title
October
Artist
Date
1867
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
32 1/4 x 54 1/8 in. (82.0 x 137.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape – season – autumn
  • Animal – cattle
  • Landscape – farm
  • Occupation – farm – harvesting
  • Figure group – male and female
  • Landscape – plant – pumpkin
Object Number
1971.290
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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