You are here:

Winding Yarn (Interior of a Nantucket Kitchen)

Winding Yarn (Interior of a Nantucket Kitchen)

1872

Eastman Johnson

(American, 1824-1906)

Oil on board

Framed: 70.2 x 85.4 x 10.2 cm (27 5/8 x 33 5/8 x 4 in.); Unframed: 37.5 x 54.6 cm (14 3/4 x 21 1/2 in.); Former: 52.7 x 69.9 x 5.1 cm (20 3/4 x 27 1/2 x 2 in.)

Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 355.1915

Description

Several of Johnson’s most acclaimed works were inspired by Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, where he summered after acquiring property in the early 1870s. Set in a rustic kitchen interior, this painting depicts a woman who winds a ball of yarn from a coil looped in the hands of a man sitting across from her at a respectable distance. At the time, winding yarn was a common symbol of courtship that carried humorous overtones of a woman ensnaring her suitor. The second woman in the composition is likely a chaperone. The suitor’s unrefined, open-legged pose, coupled with his uncouth action of placing his hat on the floor, adds further comic elements that audiences at the time would have appreciated.

See also
Collection: 
American - Painting
Type of artwork: 
Painting
Medium: 
Oil on board

Contact us

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.