Still Life with Peonies

  • James A. Porter, Still Life with Peonies, 1949, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1994.59

Exhibition Label

The softly brushed lines and gently calibrated color of Still Life with Peonies reflects Porter’s thinking about the confluence of the personal and the contextual in the practice of art. The exuberant vase of flowers negotiates with (and against) the vertical rungs and curved handrail. The simple screen and striped wallpaper serve as counterpoints to the energy of the peonies’ petals. Presented as the primary focus of the composition, Porter depicted the flowers carried by his wife, Dorothy, when she was honored at Howard University in 1947, while the painting-within-a-painting represents a canvas Porter completed during a research trip to Cuba and Haiti.


African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012

Title
Still Life with Peonies
Artist
Date
1949
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
40 x 30 1/8 in. (101.6 x 76.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Still life – furniture – screen
  • Still life – flower – peony
  • Still life – furniture – table
  • Still life – art object – painting
  • Still life – other – vase
Object Number
1994.59
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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