Thumbnail-size images of copyrighted artworks are displayed under fair use, in accordance with guidelines recommended by the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, published by the College Art Association in February 2015.
Doylestown House - The Stove
Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)
Sheet: 23.8 x 17.1 cm (9 3/8 x 6 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Photograph, gelatin silver print
Not On View
Beginning about 1910, Charles Sheeler rented a small eighteenth-century fieldstone house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as a weekend retreat. The simple house’s unadorned whitewashed walls, cast-iron stove, and narrow wooden staircase appealed to the aspiring modernist, and the images he made of it constitute his first series of “artistic” photographs. In this example, the dark silhouette of the stove is lit from behind and set off against the stark rectilinear forms of a window and door, resulting in a surprisingly avant-garde image of an American vernacular subject. One critic, writing about these Doylestown pictures, saw the influence of Cubism in their stark compositions and sharply focused forms, claiming that Sheeler’s camera had “registered certain effects and qualities hitherto seen only in the works of Pablo Picasso and his ablest followers.”
Purchased by William H. and Saundra B. Lane from Musya Sheeler, wife of Charles Sheeler, at the time of her husband's death in 1965; gift to the MFA from Saundra B. Lane, December 27, 2002.
Gift of Saundra B. Lane in memory of William H. Lane