May 1, 2023
Jan 29, 2008
May 1, 2023

Gray and Gold

Gray and Gold


John Rogers Cox

(American, 1915–1990)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 116 x 152 x 12.5 cm (45 11/16 x 59 13/16 x 4 15/16 in.); Unframed: 91.5 x 151.8 cm (36 x 59 3/4 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1943.60

Did you know?

A framed reproduction of this painting is displayed on the living room walls of a farmhouse in the sci-fi film Looper, starring Bruce Willis.


Cox painted Gray and Gold shortly after the United States joined the Second World War, and its image of amber waves of grain threatened by ominous storm clouds likely has symbolic overtones. The painting's foreground features an intersection of two dirt lanes, as well as a telephone pole emblazoned with political campaign posters. The artist seems to imply that American democracy is at a crossroads during this time of combat against the spread of fascism in Europe and Asia. Interestingly the work was inspired by the landscape around Cox's hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, a location nicknamed "The Crossroads of America" due to the junction of major north-south and east-west national highways within its city limits. The museum purchased this painting out of a traveling exhibition entitled "Artists for Victory," which consisted of works by artists who wanted to assist in the war effort. The exhibition opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the first anniversary of the bombing at Pearl Harbor.


Amber Waves of Grain
The Artist
Clouds of War
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.