Artwork of the Week: June 28, 2021
LeConte Stewart (1891-1990), Western Gingerbread, 1937, oil on board, 15 7/8 x 19 3/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1984.
Leconte Stewart captured true-to-life views of rural Utah throughout his long career. He often created his paintings on-site so as to capture the sensation of the place, as with this stocky Depression-era home in Riverdale. Stewart’s image exudes the atmosphere of a summer afternoon, with the amber light and long shadows of the telephone poles raking across the dirt.
The title, Western Gingerbread, may refer to the cinnamon tones of earth and house, or cleverly allude to the modest home’s low eaves as a modern version of the gingerbread style houses popular in the 19th century. It may also be a reference to the intricate network of telephone shafts and wires that adorn the view as the home’s decorative lacing.