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American Paintings and Sculpture
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Charles Sheeler, American, 1883–1965

American Interior

1934

Oil on canvas

33 1/4 × 30 1/4 in. (84.5 × 76.8 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Paul Moore
1947.424

Charles Sheeler based American Interior on a photograph, which he had taken from above, of the living room of his former home in South Salem, New York. He designed the painting with the eye of a photographer, using a cropped composition, an oblique view, precise contours, and contrasts of light and dark. He interwove this modernist vision with his response to the purity of forms and patterns in handmade objects from the American past, such as the simple Shaker designs in the box, textiles, and chair.

Geography: 
Made in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Mrs. Paul Moore, to 1947; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Charles Brock, Charles Sheeler: Across Media, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2006), 15, fig. 6.

Kristina Wilson, “Ambivalence, Irony, and Americana: Charles Sheeler’s “American Interiors”,” Winterthur Portfolio (2011): 255, fig. Fig. 4.

Jessica Todd Smith, “Charles Sheeler: Views of Home,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2015): 110, fig. 1.

Donald Albrecht et al., Charles Sheeler Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form, ed. Kirsten M. Jensen, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: James A. Michener Art Museum, 2017), 49, fig. 3.2.

James H. Maroney, Jr., Fresh Perspectives on Grant Wood, Charles Sheeler, and George H. Durrie (Leicester, Vt.: Gala Books, Ltd., 2019), 170, 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.