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American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: Eastman Johnson, American, 1824–1906

Cranberry Pickers

ca. 1878–79

Oil on canvas

27 × 54 1/8 in. (68.6 × 137.5 cm)
Bequest of Christian A. Zabriskie
1970.56.1

“I was taken with my cranberry fit as soon as I arrived,” wrote Eastman Johnson from his vacation home on Nantucket Island in 1879, “and have done nothing else.” An industry that was barely twenty years old and of serious economic importance to the island, the annual cranberry harvest created a sense of community, bringing together generations: an old man works beside a child; a young couple leans toward one another; a baby sleeps. Johnson’s view of a community at home on the land would have appealed to urban audiences.

Geography: 
Depicted Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Bibliography: 

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 250–51, no. 142, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.