Home & Scenes of Daily Life
This page lets you go deeper into the exhibition by presenting the artworks with thoughtful questions, additional historical and art historical information, and interesting comparisons.
All supplementary material for the “Home & Scenes of Daily Life” is on this page. Scroll to find the image and content you’re looking for.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961), Path to the Village, no date, needlework, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Bryan A. Larson, 1985.
Grandma Moses had little concern for perspective or proportion; instead she focused on the happy memories of her youth.
Grandma Moses was born before the Civil War and died in 1961 at the age of 101. What are some of the changes in American society, major world events, technological advancements, and fashion trends she would have witnessed?
The Pony Express (1860-1861)
First long-distance call from NY to San Francisco (1915)
Public radio transmissions (1900)
Color TV (invented 1946-1950, commercial broadcast 1953)
Email (limited use in 1960s, wide-spread by mid-1970s)
Technology and Innovation:
The Transcontinental Railroad (1869)
Wright Brothers—first controlled sustained flight at Kitty Hawk (1903)
Acquiring and opening of Panama Canal (1903-1914)
Charles Lindbergh—first solo nonstop transatlantic flights (1927)
First American satellite is launched (1958)
The Art Students League of New York founded (1875)
National League of Baseball founded (1876)
Two Centennial Expositions (both in Philadelphia 1876 and 1976)
19th Amendment (1919-1920)
The Great Depression (1929-1933)
Star-Spangled Banner adopted as the national anthem (1931)
Alaska becomes the 49th state and Hawaii becomes the 50th state (1959)
Ulysses S Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
S. Grover Cleveland
William Howard Taft
Warren G. Harding
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
World War I
World War II
Rose Hartwell (1861-1917), Nursery Corner, c.1910, oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 28 1/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1941.
In her early twenties, Rose began studying art under two well-established Utah artists, J.T. Harwood and J. Willard Clawson. With their encouragement, she traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julian, a progressive art school that was the first to enroll female students.
Nursery Corner shows Hartwell’s interest in Dutch genre painting, the influence of Mary Teasdale’s depictions of domesticity and Mary Cassatt’s intimate scenes of motherhood, and her use of dramatic colors allude to her time studying with Spanish colorist Claudio Castelucho.
Rose Hartwell and Mary Teasdale were contemporaries. Both were Utah natives who studied in Paris at the end of the 19th century. Teasdale was the first Utah woman artist to exhibit at the Paris Salon. Hartwell made her debut shortly thereafter; about the time that Teasdale left the Paris art scene. While in Paris, Hartwell befriended Mary Cassatt, an America expatriate.
A colorist is an artist who is concerned with color—pure, intense color, rather than dull, muted colors—to the point of becoming the dominant feature of the work of art.
Colors and color combinations have the power to evoke emotions. Rose Hartwell used intense colors in Nursery Corner.
What are the two dominant colors you see?
What do you think the color red means? How does red make you feel?
What do you think the color green means? How does green make you feel?
Red is associated with energy, confidence, strong feelings or beliefs.
Green is associated with growth, balance, and self-confidence.
Rebecca Campbell (b.1971), Two-Year Supply: Clean, 2016, Windex, tin plated steel, glass, wood, digital projection, 23 13/16 x 30 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
What does someone do with this much Windex?
Cleaning is an enormous, never-ending, and uncelebrated task—one stereotypically relegated to women.
How does the work of art communicate the enormous and never-ending task of cleaning?
The title of the work is Two-Year Supply and since we typically buy one bottle of Windex at a time, it is overwhelming to see a two-year supply of Windex all at once!
When the artist’s mother was going through a rough time in her life, she began cleaning obsessively.
How do we respond to challenges in our life?
What therapeutic value can you find in cleaning?
What feeling or mood do you associate with the color blue?
Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
Do you think the decision to make Windex blue was intentional?
Dorothy Weir Young (1890-1947), Ladies at Dinner, c.1930, oil on canvas on board, 26 7/8 x 31 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
This painting by Dorothy Weir Young alludes to the significant sisterhood that existed among the Weir women. Indeed, at the time this painting was created, the Weir women were “at the forefront of the family’s efforts to protect and perpetuate the Weir legacy.”
The artistic heritage of the Weir family was preserved by the Weir women. They catalogue works of art, organized and archived the family papers, and authored biographies that established the family’s collective ideals, devotion to one another, and their pride in American principles.
Because we cannot conclusively identify the women at the dinner table, we cannot accurately call this a group portrait. But we can imagine a similar gathering of the Weir women in the family dining room of Julian Alden Weir’s (the father of the artist) farmhouse in Branchville, Connecticut.
If this scene represents a dinner of the Weir women, what do you think they might be discussing?
Well-known paintings by J. Alden Weir hang on the dining room walls: (left to right) a full-length portrait of his wife Anna (Dorothy’s mother), possibly a winter scene titled Woods in Snow, and a portrait of the Robert Walter Weir (Dorothy’s grandfather).
Does the setting suggest what the topic of conversation might be?
Dorothy devoted her life to collecting information on her father’s life, his art, and preserving his studio home, and farm. Her work eventually resulted in the biography The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir.
If you could have dinner with anyone in your family (living or deceased), who would it be?
Where would this dinner take place?
What would you talk about?
Can you think of a favorite memory related to a family dinner?
Who was there?
Why was it memorable?
Marie Watt (b.1967), Blanket Stories: Ancestor, Baron Woolen Mill, and Hill People, 2013, wool blankets and cedar base, 144 x 40 x 40 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Curtis Atkisson; and David and Bianca Lisonbee in memory of Rita Palmieri Elkin, 2013.
Blanket Stories, by multidisciplinary artist Marie Watt, is a totem tower of wool blankets donated by community members along with a written statement about their personal connection with the blanket.
Watt used blankets because of their ordinary nature and simply function in our everyday lives. She likes to explore the human stories and memories associated with each blanket.
The physical and emotional connection between giver, receiver, and object itself builds relationships, offer security as a member of a larger community, and weaves shared stories into a unified whole.
What is the function of a blanket?
In some cultures, blankets have traditional meanings. For example, the artist’s mother was Native American from the Seneca Nation and it was a tradition to give blankets as gifts on special occasions (births, coming-of-age, graduations, marriages) and for a rite of passage. Both giving and receiving a blanket was a joy and a privilege.
Do you have a favorite blanket? Why is it special to you? Is there a story associated with this favorite blanket?