Talking It Over

Artist: Enoch Wood Perry (1831–1915)

Date: 1872

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 22 1/4 x 29 1/4 in. (56.5 x 74.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Erving and Joyce Wolf, in memory of Diane R. Wolf, 1980

Accession Number: 1980.361


Perry’s canvases conjured happy memories for urban viewers by celebrating a vanishing way of life. The Yankee farmers portrayed here, however, resemble George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and thus summoned up more than simple nostalgic reverie. By seating the two icons of ideal American citizenry in a barnlike interior, Perry honored rural values in the face of the pressures of massive immigration and the unprecedented industrial and economic growth the nation was then experiencing.