Curtain

The American Scene Textile
Length of furnishing fabric

American
1930s
Designed by Ruth Reeves (American, 1892–1966)


Dimensions

Height x width: 85 x 42 in. (215.9 x 106.7 cm)

Accession Number

2007.42

Medium or Technique

Block printed cotton plain weave; lined with cotton plain weave

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Textiles and Fashion Arts

Classifications

Block

Panel depicting scenes of modern American country life including vignettes showing figures working, playing sports, and dining. Labeled: “Designed by Ruth Reeves for W. & J. Sloane”


In her work dating from the 1930s, Ruth Reeves was often inspired by the technology of modern life, but also had a deep understanding of historical textiles. American Scene is organized in a way that recalls traditional toiles, described by Reeves as a “cross between a Persian primitive painting and a medieval tapestry.” The design celebrates modern American country life with vignettes of figures at sports, work, and dining who were drawn from family and friends in the artist’s circle. The woman at the table with the Siamese cat on her lap is a self-portrait.

Provenance

MFA purchase from Cora Gingsburg, LLC on January 24, 2007.

Credit Line

Alice J. Morse Fund, Lucy A. Morse Fund in memory of Kate Morse, and Helen Carpenter Moseley Fund