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Bar-room Scene

In a beige room, a group of light-skinned men of various ages and a young boy clap as a figure in tattered clothing at center, his back to the viewer, dances and holds a tin cup in the air. At dark figure in shadows looks on from the far-right corner.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • In a beige room, a group of light-skinned men of various ages and a young boy clap as a figure in tattered clothing at center, his back to the viewer, dances and holds a tin cup in the air. At dark figure in shadows looks on from the far-right corner.

Date:

1835

Artist:

William Sidney Mount
American, 1807–1868

About this artwork

William Sidney Mount specialized in scenes of everyday life, known as genre paintings. He was one of the earliest American artists to do so, and his compositions, including Bar-room Scene, were rich in narrative and humor and engaged with the complex cultural, political, and racial circumstances that defined antebellum society. Here Mount portrayed a boisterous group of patrons in a country tavern. The seated men encourage the drunken dance of the central figure, whose tattered clothes and inebriated state suggest a less fortunate position. Standing in the back corner is an African American figure, who, as a free black man in 1830s New York, was able to frequent the public tavern, but, as Mount makes clear visually, did not participate fully or equally in this community.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 172

Artist

William Sidney Mount

Title

Bar-room Scene

Origin

Long Island

Date

1835

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, lower left: "W. S. Mount/1835"

Dimensions

57.4 × 69.7 cm (22 5/8 × 27 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

The William Owen Goodman and Erna Sawyer Goodman Collection

Reference Number

1939.392

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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