Chestnut gathering was a favorite autumn activity of rural children. In 1877 the writer Charles Dudley Warner noted, “One of the best things in farming is gathering the chestnuts, hickory-nuts, butternuts, and even beech-nuts, in the late fall, after the frosts have cracked the husks and the high winds shaken them, and the colored leaves have strewed the ground.” In this illustration by Winslow Homer, the boys climb to pick the nuts, while the girls watch.
Regarded as one of the great American Realists of the nineteenth century, Homer is known primarily for his large body of works in oil and watercolor. However, he also had an early career as a freelance illustrator, making drawings for wood engravings that were reproduced in mass-circulation periodicals such as Harper's Weekly. In 1998, the Brooklyn Museum received a generous gift of more than 250 wood-engraved illustrations by Homer from Harvey Isbitts.
Sheet: 11 3/4 x 8 3/4 in. (29.8 x 22.2 cm)
Frame: 22 3/4 x 16 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (57.8 x 42.5 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower left: "HOMER"
Gift of Harvey Isbitts
This item is not on view
Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). Chestnutting, 1870. Wood engraving, Sheet: 11 3/4 x 8 3/4 in. (29.8 x 22.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.157 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.105.157_bw_SL3.jpg)
overall, 1998.105.157_bw_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2022
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