Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager
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© 1991 Christie’s Images Limited
13.3 Maine Rustic/Farm, 1860s—Outdoors

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. 13.3.8
Baur no. 133
Preparing Breakfast
Alternate titles: possibly Before Breakfast; possibly Reading the News; possibly The Early Breakfast; Catching Up on the News; Getting Breakfast; Morning on the Farm; Reading the Newspaper
c.1862
Locale: Maine
Oil on board laid down on panel
9 1/2 x 13 in. (24.1 x 33 cm)
Signed lower right: E. Johnson
Private collection
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Record last updated May 27, 2022. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "Preparing Breakfast, c.1862 (Hills no. 13.3.8)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?id=140 (accessed on December 4, 2022).