About this artwork
Lilly Martin Spencer positioned women at the center of her vivid portrayals of the everyday activities of white, urban, middle-class households like her own. This Little Pig Went to Market features a mother and child (modeled by the artist and her son William Henry) reciting a playful nursery rhyme. The game celebrates their emotional bond while also hinting at the larger world that the boy will eventually join.
Establishing herself professionally in Cincinnati and relocating to New York in 1848, Spencer supported her large family with her art. One of the most popular US artists of the mid-19th century, she worked hard throughout her career to translate this success into financial security.
- On View, Gallery 173
- Arts of the Americas
- Lilly Martin Spencer
- This Little Pig Went to Market
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- c. 1857
- Oil on canvas
- Signed lower left: L. M. Spencer / pinx
- 61 × 50.8 cm (24 × 20 in.)
- Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowment Fund; through prior gifts of the George F. Harding Collection and the Chicago Normal School Alumni