industrious worker, Harnett produced some 250 canvases in his seventeen-year
career. While not accepted by critics into art's highest echelon (many of
whom considered his work machinelike, lacking artistic inspiration), his
paintings were immensely popular with the public, who usually encountered
them not in museums or galleries, but in saloons, department stores, and
hotel lobbies. By the time William Harnett died at age forty-four in 1892,
he was a commercial success.