Card Rack with a Jack of Hearts

Card Rack with a Jack of Hearts

c.1895

John F. Peto

(American, 1854-1907)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 95.9 x 83.2 x 4.4 cm (37 3/4 x 32 3/4 x 1 3/4 in.); Unframed: 76.2 x 63.5 cm (30 x 25 in.); Former: 95.9 x 83.2 x 5.7 cm (37 3/4 x 32 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.30

Location

Did you know?

Living in a New Jersey resort town, Peto sold some of his paintings to tourists.

Description

Like modern-day bulletin boards, card racks were used to gather newspaper clippings, scraps of paper, and other ephemera in one place. Although it is unclear if the items seen here carry symbolic meaning, they nevertheless demonstrate the human desire to collect and recollect. Their tattered state and frayed edges further evoke a sense of memory and nostalgia. The illusionistic quality of Peto’s pictures makes the objects appear to exist in real space. Even the cigarette butt perched at the bottom looks ready to be plucked from the painting’s frame.

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