The County Election
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One of the leading American genre painters of the mid-nineteenth century, George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) created some of the most memorable views of American small town life. Bingham was fascinated by the democratic process and by the ways in which it permeated everyday existence in communities far removed from the big cities. Inspired perhaps by scenes he had witnessed personally, Bingham depicted the days when ballots were handwritten and politicians addressed the local public from soap boxes or tree stumps. In "The County Election," Bingham created another quaint scene which conveyed the ideal of the simple and modest life of 19th-century American communities. While some men seem to cluster in important debates regarding the election at hand, others sit on the outskirts of the scene, lazily observing the commotion. Again, children and pets play in the dust of the unpaved street, seemingly oblivious of the election and the excitement it induces. Nostalgic and sentimental, Bingham's views were perhaps not fully realistic visions of small town American life in the 19th century, but they did represent the ideal of a rural, innocent, and peaceful existence for which so many late 19th-century Americans longed - especially on the eve of the Civil War. Still, Bingham's subtle and splendid engravings offer a glimpse into a time when the democratic system was still, in many ways, a grassroots movement and when all Americans felt eager to participate. Bookseller Inventory # 002215
Title: The County Election
Publisher: Line and mezzotint engraving by John Sartain
Publication Date: 1854
Binding: No Binding
Book Condition: Very Good
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Arader Galleries of Philadelphia, PA
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