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Maker(s):Duncanson, Robert Seldon
Culture:American (1821-1872)
Title:Maiden's Rock, Lake Pepin
Date Made:1862
Materials:oil on canvas
Measurements:canvas: 12 1/8 x 21 3/4 in.; 30.7975 x 55.245 cm; frame: 14 1/2 x 24 1/8 x 1 7/8 in.; 36.83 x 61.2775 x 4.7625 cm
Narrative Inscription:  seascapes
Accession Number:  AC 1950.8
Credit Line:Gift of William Macbeth, Inc.
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
Duncanson painted Maiden’s Rock during the US Civil War (1861–65) after taking a sketching tour up the Mississippi River. The site is known for a legend about a young Dakota woman. Duncanson represented Native Americans in several works, including paintings completed on the same trip. Unlike most landscapes of the era, Maiden’s Rock shows a Black man, who is seated in the boat, leisurely adrift in the lake.

For much of his career Duncanson was based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and by the 1850s he was recognized as one of the preeminent Midwestern landscape painters. He was influential in Canada and acclaimed by English critics. Although Duncanson was denied access to the same resources and artistic training as his White counterparts, as a free African American he found support among patrons and peers.

Lisa Crossman, 2020

landscapes; painting; seascapes; boats; African American; water

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