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Painted with small areas of mostly flat color, this horizontal painting shows three dark-skinned figures in the room of a home with pale gray walls and wood floors. To our right, a woman wears slate gray skirt, a white apron and shawl, and a red headscarf with white and black polka dots. She sits in a black wooden chair facing our right in profile, smoking a pipe. A steaming kettle and bright green coffee pot sit on a black wood stove behind and to the right of the woman, with firewood stacked to the right. A clock or timer and an oil lamp sit on a red shelf above the stove and the woman’s head. Beneath her feet is one of three rectangular area rugs with a pattern of green, black, white, and red stripes. A window at the center of the back wall of the room is mostly covered by a dark green curtain. The panes along the bottom are black and lined with white, perhaps suggesting snow or frost. A bucket and pewter-colored shallow bowl sit on a bench on the second striped rug under the window. To our left, a small person standing on the third patterned rug wears short black pants, stockings, and suspenders over a white shirt. That person turns away from us and rests elbows near a lit candle on a table with a red and gray checkered tablecloth. The third person, possibly a young girl, sits on a blanket patterned with yellow, red, black, and green triangles. That young girl wearing a gray dress and black shoes cradles a baby doll and a white dog, perhaps a stuffed animal, sits next to her. A few cracks in the wall near the window expose horizontal bands, perhaps narrow wooden boards under damaged plaster. The artist signed the work with black letters in the lower right corner: “H. PiPPiN.”

Horace Pippin, School Studies, 1944, oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer P. Potamkin, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1991.42.1

The Art of Looking

Horace Pippin, School Studies

  • Friday, February 19, 2021
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Registration Required
  • Virtual Program

By sharing observations, interpretations, questions, and ideas, participants build on their own first impressions and broaden their understanding of Horace Pippin's School Studies in honor of Black History Month. This session lasts one hour and is completely interactive. Gallery educators will facilitate the conversation to create an environment for shared learning. These conversations will encourage you to engage deeply with art, with others, and with the world around you as you hone skills in visual literacy and perspective-taking.

This program is free and open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in talking about art. No art or art history background is required. Ages 18 and over.

Due to the interactive nature of this program, sessions are not recorded.

Live captions (CART) are available in some breakout rooms for this program. Please contact [email protected] to request access or for more information.

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