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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, April 12, 2014

the widow

thanks wikimedia commons (PD:US)

Frederick Dielman (German-American, 1845-1935) was a number of things in his lifetime: a draughtsman for the US Army Corps of Engineers, director of the art schools at Cooper Union, president of the National Academy of Design, and an illustrator for luxe book editions, just to name a few.  
His genre pieces were particularly successful.  Here's one, The Widow (exact date not known, but sometime from the 1860's to 1890's).  I'm fascinated by this much-reproduced color lithograph, created to appeal and to sell.  Yes, it's obviously the forerunner of all today's masses of cat imagery/memes, an instant cuteness grab, but it is so odd.  Why an Elizabethan collar?  Why The Widow?  Is that title the only reason why I think this creature looks melancholy?  What was this successful, clearly canny man thinking when he made this, and who was the real widow?

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