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Part of The American Wing
Seymour Joseph Guy (1824–1910)
Date: 1866Accession Number: 1992.128
Eastman Johnson (American, Lovell, Maine 1824–1906 New York)
Date: 1870–71Accession Number: 26.97
John Quincy Adams Ward (American, Urbana, Ohio 1830–1910 New York)
Date: 1865Accession Number: 10.200
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The confluence of charged political and economic events and profound social change during and after the Civil War created such turmoil that many artists chose to examine only small, reassuring slices of the human experience. Some depicted women grappling with the new roles and responsibilities left to them after the loss of so many men in combat. Others portrayed children, thereby expressing a longing for prewar innocence or embracing the commemorative atmosphere associated with the nation's Centennial. As the agrarian basis of American life yielded to urbanization and industrialization, artists who lived, studied, worked, and sought patronage in cities celebrated old-fashioned rural locales and seaside resorts as retreats from urban existence.
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