Object Record

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Object ID Number SAM 1949.3
Object Name Painting
Artist Sheeler, Charles
Title Massachusetts Barn
Date 1948
Culture American
Credit line Museum Aquisition Fund
Exhibit Label Charles Sheeler was born in Philadelphia and attended the School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He was strongly interested in the underlying structures of objects, which led him to a reductive, precisionist style that moved towards abstraction. However, his subject matter remained steadfastly American with a concentration on the built environment, or the new American landscape of warehouses, machines and factories. Sheeler strove to reduce the elements of each structure to its essentials of line and geometric shapes, looking for beauty in the simplicity of rectilinear forms.

In this painting, we see Sheeler at his most iconic, working with the rural image of a barn but reducing it to simple planar shapes. The flat intersection of eaves and walls become abstract through the artist’s precise rendering. Even the sky is divided into sharp planes of color, framing the structure below.
Medium Tempera Paint
Material Paper/Board
Image size 6 5/8" H x 9 5/8" W
Signed Name "Charles Sheeler - 1948"
Signature Location Lower Right Corner
Currently on view Yes
People Sheeler, Charles
Subjects Farm
Geometric Abstraction