John George Brown (American, 1831-1913)
oil on canvas, Framed - h:98.00 w:120.00 d:11.00 cm (h:38 9/16 w:47 3/16 d:4 5/16 inches)
Unframed - h:80.00 w:101.60 cm (h:31 7/16 w:40 inches). Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 905.1972
John George Brown's preference for rural subjects in a time when the United States was undergoing rapid industrialization suggests a nostalgia for the past. In The Boat Builder, a man pauses from his work and looks over his spectacles towards the viewer. This image of the worker as a kind, elderly craftsman peacefully working on his own, offered a comforting alternative to the brutal reality of modern factory life.