Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager
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13.2 Maine Rustic/Farm, 1860s—Figures in Interiors

In the nineteenth century, attitudes towards work changed, especially in the northern states of America. Although some artists made fun of “country bumpkins,” in general, farm work and farmers began to take on greater prestige and admiration. During the 1860s, Johnson returned to his birthplace in Maine to make studies of maple sugar production and also to seek out subjects of a rural life far removed from slavery. Barn interiors and home interiors show the families of farmers husking corn, winnowing grain, of taking a smoke. Exteriors show farmers at harvest time, loggers cutting trees or simply relaxing. In choosing scenes of rural white America Johnson was following in the tradition of Francis William Edmonds, George H. Durrie, Tompkins H. Matteson, and William Sidney Mount—a tradition popularized by the prints of Currier and Ives. —PH

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Hills no. 13.2.1
Study from Life, "Down East"
Alternate titles: likely Down East; Man Smoking Pipe by Fireplace; Study from Life Down East
1860
Locale: Maine
Oil on canvas
17 7/8 x 14 in. (45.4 x 35.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower right: E. Johnson/1860
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Record last updated October 13, 2021. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "Study from Life, "Down East", 1860 (Hills no. 13.2.1)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?SystemID=131 (accessed on May 26, 2022).