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Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: December 12, 2022

Skating on the Ladies Pond
Winslow Homer, 'Skating on the Ladies Skating Pond in Central Park, New York', 1860, wood engraving, 13 11/16 x 20 1/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1959.<br>

This print depicts some of the 50,000 people a day who skated at New York's Central Park during the skating craze of the 1850s and 1860s. Skating broke down class barriers as it was popular with people from all walks of life, rich and poor. Homer was an illustrator before he began painting. This illustration appeared in the January 28, 186 issue of Harper's Weekly. The magazine captured most of America's newspaper readers. It had a circulation of 200,000 in 1860 with an estimated five readers per subscription. Skating was a fashionable subject for a popular magazine to illustrate. Homer depicts what one contemporary observer described as thousands of skaters "going to and fro, jostling one another" in Central Park.