A Game of Croquet Artist: Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900

During the 1860s, Winslow Homer undertook the earliest sustained treatment of croquet to appear in fine art. The game was a recent English import. Immediately popular, it provided women with a rare socially acceptable opportunity to compete on equal footing with men in an outdoor sport. The object of the game is to hit one’s ball, using a mallet, through a succession of wickets, while trying to deter one’s opponents from doing the same by "croqueting" their balls, launching them farther afield. The playfully vindictive nature of the game imbued the sport with a flirtatious ingredient that further enhanced its popularity.


Oil on canvas


23 3/4 × 34 5/8 in. (60.3 × 87.9 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Accession Number



19th century


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 records is ongoing.



Stephen Carlton Clark (1882–1960), New York, by 1944; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1961
  • Kristina Wilson, The Modern Eye: Stieglitz, MoMA, and the Art of the Exhibition, 1925–1934, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009), 122, no. 55, ill
  • Victor Andrade de Melo, Esporte, Lazer e Artes Plasticas: Diálogos (Rio de Janeiro: Apicuri, 2009), pp. 108, ill
  • 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), 318, 324, no. 202, ill
  • Nils Bu¨ttner, Gemalte Ga¨rten Bilder aus zwei Jahrtausenden, exh. cat. (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2008), 144, fig. 75
  • Nicholas Fox Weber, The Clarks of Cooperstown: Their Singer Sewing Machine Fortune, Their Great and Influential Art Collections, Their Forty-Year Feud (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), ill
  • Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), 160, 184, 237, 239, 316, 330, fig. 176
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

figures (representations), genre (visual works), human figures (visual works), landscapes (representations)


Signed lower left "Homer/1866"

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

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