Page 1

The Hudson River Museum

Cattle in American Art 1820 −20 0 0

Lenders to the Exhibition

Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, MO Alexandre Gallery, New York, NY Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA American Illustrators Gallery, New York, NY Janine Antoni Patricia Bellan-Gillen Sean A. Cavanaugh Childs Gallery, Boston, MA Shevlin and Diane Ciral Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH The Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE Richard Deon Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT Frank E. Fowler, representing Andrew Wyeth Leslie Galluzzo Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, CA Red and Lysiane Luong Grooms Richard Haas Gloria Houng Alan Kessler Kiechel Fine Art, Lincoln, NE Susan Leopold

Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY Peter Max The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY The Milton Avery Trust, NY Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI The Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI New Arts Gallery, Litchfield, CT The Old Print Shop, New York, NY Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, NY The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA Private Collections Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND George Rodrigue Patterson Sims and Katy Homans Mr. and Mrs. Edward Byron Smith, Jr. Spanierman Gallery, New York, NY The Staten Island Museum, Staten Island, NY Immi Storrs Arthur Tress The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA Cindy Pettinaro Wilkinson

ISBN: 0-943651-32-8 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress Copyright 2006 The Hudson River Museum 511 Warburton Avenue Yonkers, NY 10701-1899 (914) 963-4550 Catalogue Design by James Monroe

The Hudson River Museum

Cattle in American Art 1820 −20 0 0

June 24 – September 10, 2006

Got Cow? Cattle in American Art, 1820-2000, was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc. 1

Director’s Foreward

Exhibitions that focus on domesticated animals seem easy and accessible. We transfer our affection for the living creatures to the objects on display. But, of course, that is not always the artist’s intention. Got Cow? takes us through the bovine world, and also through the variety of artists’ ideas and methods. The one constant in the work that follows is the subject—the cow (or bull). See how innovative each artist’s approach can be as that self-same cow moves from ornament to metaphor; dominates the landscape, then disappears into it; appears solid, dimensional with texture one moment, and deconstructed and abstracted the next. With Bessie as our guide, we make a virtual tour of American art. No exhibition of this kind would be possible without the cooperation of a large group of lenders who have our grateful thanks. Annette Fortin, the museum’s Registrar, mastered the many complications of getting all of the works together with her characteristic effectiveness. James Cullinane, Chief Preparator, helped organize a well-designed show. Jean-Paul Maitinsky, Assistant Director, Programs and Exhibitions, has contributed a thought-provoking introduction in addition to his duties as the head of the museum’s programmatic and educational activities. But credit for the exhibition’s existence is wholly due to the efforts and insights of Bartholomew Bland, Curator of Exhibitions. He brought together the research and the artwork, and wrote the major essay of this publication. We hope you enjoy Got Cow? as much as all of us have enjoyed working on it.

Michael Botwinick


Introduction: Cow Logic

Among the many animals humans

Jean-Paul Maitinsky Assistant Director, Exhibitions and Programs

Andy Warhol is the fulcrum of this

have domesticated, cows have turned out to

exhibition. Before him lie variations of

be surprisingly remarkable multitaskers:

representational art and after him lie the use

they produce dairy and meat products, are

of cows in what Arthur Danto has called a

working animals, and tickle our senses as

“post-historical” period. Danto’s seminal work,

they graze in meadows. But cows also have a

Beyond the Brillo Box, applies nineteenth-

subtle, unexpected capacity to be imbued with

century German philosopher Friedrich Hegel’s

matters of humanity. They are domesticated

theory of history to the history of art. Danto

mammals of our own making and serve

explicates that when “art gives rise to the

our hubris. We breed them according to

question of its true identity,” it is no longer

specifications such as color, size, texture, and

about the enterprise of solving this or that

temperament, then judge our success in beauty

pictorial problem per se. Warhol’s irreverent

pageants called country fairs. Therefore, it’s

work succeeded in bring this question to our

natural that cows would be especially popular

attention. To be sure, it had been building

among artists.

up throughout the twentieth century and

The very mention of an exhibition

could easily be attributed to other artists of

featuring cows in American art invariably

the time. As Danto suggests, by entering this

elicits a smile, however our bovine companions

post-historical period, artists, and perhaps

are far more than cute and funny (although

museums as well, were liberated to follow a

they are that too). Got Cow? raises some

nonlinear narrative independent of stylistic

serious issues and makes some new discoveries

lines and historical themes.

along the way. It gathers work as far-reaching

Art was no longer possible in terms of a

as Hudson River school paintings dotted with

progressive historical narrative. The narrative

cows signifying the idealized domesticated

had come to an end. But this, in fact, was a

landscape to a stretched cow hide with cut-out

liberating idea, or I thought it could be. It

shapes of leather backpacks, a violent sign of our penchant for consuming the cow. While the subject is alluring, Got Cow? presents serious and sometimes startling juxtapositions. How could it be possible to compare the

liberated artists from the task of making more history. It liberated artists from having to follow the “correct historical line.” It really did mean that anything could be art, in the sense that nothing could any longer be excluded. It was a moment—I would say it was

pastoral landscape paintings of Samuel

the moment—when perfect artistic freedom

Coleman or George Inness to the conceptual

had become real. . . . Everything was permitted,

works of Janine Antonie’s cow hide or Gloria

since nothing any longer was historically

Houng’s melting cows? What forces permitted

mandated. I call this the post-historical period

such divergent works to be brought together?

of art, and there is no reason for it to ever

Enter Andy Warhol and Arthur Danto.

come to an end.1


Danto suggests that when Andy Warhol

nonhistorical lines. This method creates novel

created his now infamous Brillo Boxes in

opportunities for viewers to free-associate and

1964, he achieved the moment in which art

make new interpretations.

had attained full self-consciousness. Warhol’s

Compare Andy Warhol’s cow wallpaper

Cow Wallpaper (1964), a signature image of

and Red Groom’s fanciful sculpture Elsie

this exhibition, follows in the same spirit.

(figure 26), grazing on blades of grass, with

Warhol’s cow is removed from the landscape

the treatment of cows in nineteenth-century

and treated as a decorative motif; against a

landscapes; or a Hudson River School painting

background of pink and yellow, she instantly

with Tom Althouse’s (figure 1) full-scale solid

and unforgettably pops.

oak Cow, whose stomach reveals a digested facsimile of a folk art nineteenth-century idyll. These experiences are a visual feast, facilitating new connections about the cow in American culture, which is arguably one of the most exciting aspects of viewing art in the first place. While Got Cow? owes its inspiration to Mark Tansey’s painting The Innocent Eye Test (1981) and its highly postmodern stance, that the Hudson River Museum has mounted an

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Cow Wallpaper, 1966

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Brillo Soap Pads Box, 1964

Wallpaper, installation of 264 x 132 in. Reproduced by the Andy Warhol Museum © 2006 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York

Silkscreen ink and house paint on plywood, 17 x 17 x 14 in. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.709 © 2006 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York

exhibition dedicated to the cow in art should come as no surprise. After all, the cow has been among the most popular subjects of Hudson River school artists. Cows signify a desire for nature and innocence; they elicit memory, nostalgia, and reverie; they are soulful and spirited. Got Cow? achieves the dual goal of celebrating the cow’s story in art

Got Cow? illustrates this narrative of art’s development. It presents the lineage of both pre- and post-historical art, tracing


while also raising the question of art in a posthistorical age. Tansey’s monochromatic painting is full

the treatment of cows in nineteenth-century

of innocence and humor. It moves in many

landscape painting, American regionalism

directions and therefore asks us to look at

and folk art, pop art, and contemporary

both our history and our future through the

conceptual works. If Danto is right, then not

actions of its human and bovine subjects.

only artists but also museums can work along

In this painting within a painting, a group

of scientists unveil Paulus Potter’s painting Young Bull (1647) before a cow with obviously swollen belly and udders. The scientists— one equipped with a mop, another in a lab coat taking notes—anxiously await the animal’s reaction. Tansey is testing not only the cow’s but also our own instinct and knowledge. The Innocent Eye Test suggests that art can be pleasurable, ironic, and deeply philosophical in its outlook. The cow serves this enterprise well; she lures us with her warmth and gently takes us to a new realm of seeing.

Mark Tansey (1949–) The Innocent Eye Test, 1981 Oil on canvas, 78 x 120 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Partial and Promised gift of Jan Cowles and Charles Cowles, in honor Williams S. Lieberman, 1988 (1988.183) Photograph © 1984 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jean-Paul Maitinsky

1. Arthur C. Danto, Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1992), 9.


Portrait of Bessie: The Cow in American Art Consider the cow, one of the most ubi-

represented by cattle was most famously

quitous figures in the history of art. From

expressed in Edward Hick’s The Peaceable

the drawings of cattle depicted in the caves

Kingdom series, in which different variations

of Lascaux through the sliced-up bovines

and combinations of cattle appear in dozens of

floating in Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde,

canvases, each scene illustrating the biblical

the cow has consistently proved compelling

parable that “the lion shall eat straw like the

subject matter for the broadest possible range

ox.” Despite the stylization, Hicks managed to

of artists. Why is this? The cow lacks both the

capture animal personalities. His cattle appear

noble magnificence of the horse and the overt

healthy, and each animal painted by Hicks is

affection of the dog, probably the only two

recognizable as an individual, like each face

other animals that rival its artistic popularity.

in a group portrait by a minor Dutch master.1

Instead, the cow represents a simple kind of

Cow and Baby Calf (c. 1850) (fig. 62), by an

soothing domesticity, an earthiness—and

unknown painter who was a contemporary of

despite its various guises, its common touch

Hicks, reflects the famous artist’s style, but

is the secret of its enduring artistic appeal.

also suggests a greater degree of animation

The exhibition Got Cow? explores some of

than is found in The Peaceable Kingdom series.

the many different ways cattle, both bulls and

The mother cow looms almost absurdly large

cows, have been portrayed in American art.

on the landscape, suggesting the centrality

Some of the broad archetypes include: a tool

of the animal in American agricultural life.

to achieve economic independence; a beast of

While sheep graze placidly in the foreground,

burden toiling for the betterment of mankind;

the cow displays a strong protective feeling

a subordinate and sometimes subtle figure

toward her calf, encircling it with her body,

that suggests the hand of civilization in the

echoing the way that the fence protectively

American landscape; an erotic or mythological

encircles the paddock. The charming picture

muse; an innocent stooge or foil for sharp

and the “baby” of its title suggest the not-

wits; a mother figure and source of comfort; an

so-subtle anthropomorphizing of motherhood

abstracted pop canvas for modernist patterns

in many images that include cows, and the

and designs; a memento mori for the small

work depicts a degree of tenderness unusual

farm in the modern world; a mocked symbol

in folk animal painting. Cow and Baby Calf

of artistic conservatism; an innocent victim of

bears a striking similarity to an Edward Hicks

brutality; and steak on a plate—a reliable food

painting entitled Pastoral Landscape with

source for a hungry populace.

Two Cows, underscoring that this unknown

The cow’s close connection to the “common man” can be seen in its frequent appearances


Bartholomew F. Bland Curator of Exhibitions

artist was influenced by Hicks’s work.2 Alan Kessler’s Cow Painting and Shelf

in American folk art of the second quarter of

(1983) (fig. 39) serves as a late twentieth-

the nineteenth century: the stylized tranquility

century comment on the American folk art

tradition. The piece—an elaborate trompe

dairy cow drinks from a pond. The English

l’oeil—includes both the real and the unreal.

proverb of the title, which suggests the endless

Folk art has often been celebrated for its

labor necessary to make a living from the land

honesty, sometimes considered earnest art

and the central role played by the cow, dates

of the people, and Kessler’s carefully carved

to the 1670s, but was popularized in America

wooden “objects” and faux-naïve bull painting

by Benjamin Franklin, who first published it

fool viewers into believing they are in the

in his Poor Richard’s Almanac of 1747.3

presence of “authenticity.” The bull’s simple,

This artistic tradition of the beast of

central image in the painting suggests the

burden, an economic engine that could

degree to which cattle have become a modern

be literally harnessed for improving and

visual shorthand for folk art.

transforming the human condition, has

During the first half of the nineteenth

contemporary counterpoints. Norman

century, as the market for genre scenes

Rockwell’s The Peace Corp in Ethiopia (1966)

and landscapes developed, the cow evolved

(fig. 55) forgoes the cuteness that runs through

as a symbolic instrument necessary to achieve

much of Rockwell’s popular illustration

the agrarian ideal popularized by Thomas

and makes a striking pendant with He that

Jefferson. This symbolism is artistically

by the plough would thrive. . . . Like much

summarized in depictions of cattle as beasts

of Rockwell’s later work, The Peace Corps

of burden. Representing the toil embodied

in Ethiopia shares a sense of middle-class

in the American Protestant work ethic, oxen

postwar American optimism (in this case

(castrated bulls), yoked and pulling plows

illustrated by the Kennedyesque central figure

for farm work, were frequently subjects for

literally bathed in light from the upper –left-

painters. The toil of the ox is often depicted

hand corner of the picture). The cattle are

in sharp contrast with the life of intact bulls

harnessed to modern plow technology, leading

or dairy cows, usually shown peacefully

to the betterment of the developing world.

grazing in the fields. He that by the plough would thrive—

Created only three years after Rockwell’s Ethiopia canvas, Neil Jenney’s study for Beasts

Himself must either hold or drive (c. 1825–

and Burdens (c. 1969–1970) (fig. 37) signaled

1850) (fig. 2) is an exceptionally fine example

the contemporary art world’s renewed interest

of this genre. The picture is a veritable

in elements of folk, common, “outsider,”

panorama celebrating humankind’s progress

or plain style art. Lacking Rockwell’s overtly

through agricultural pursuits. In the distance

inspirational message, Jenney’s ox is shown

the stumps of felled trees, the by-product

alone in profile, a dark, somewhat anonymous

of clearing the land, are burned while in the

mass representing the arduousness of

middle ground, the plowing is under way.

farm work. The presence of nearby laborers

The work and sex of the cattle mimic the

is suggested by the straw hat and red cloth

gendered division of human labor on pioneer

hanging on the temporarily abandoned plow.

farms as two men, one holding, one driving,

With its thick, streaky strokes and bold

work a team of oxen through the center of the

simplified color palette that suggests finger

picture, while in the foreground a dairy cow

paint, the study for Beasts and Burdens is as

is milked by a bonneted woman and a second

evocative, in its simple and stolid depiction


of animal toil, as is He that by the plough

dramatic low perspective just in front of the

would thrive.

oncoming oxen—suggesting that the viewer is

In Sodbuster Study (1979)(fig. 38), another artist working in the late twentieth century,

Cattle were not uncommon subjects for

Luis Jimenez, makes an overt connection

Tiffany, and Study for Family Group with Cow

with the labor often depicted in regionalist

(1888) (fig. 59) shows the artist working in a

art of the 1930s. Although Jimenez’s final

more “feminine” aspect of the cattle theme.

monumental sculpture uses kitschy colors to

In contrast to surging and agitated oxen,

make a bold artistic statement, the coloration

his pretty white dairy cow, which reappears

in this pastel is more muted. Ironically,

in other of his canvases, is as quiet and gentle

this tribute to the American agrarian hero

as any household pet—a suitable playmate

was originally commissioned as a public

for mothers and young children. This softly

sculpture for a shopping mall in Fargo, North

rendered pastel of Tiffany’s family in a

Dakota. Sodbuster is now recognized as one

lovely domestic scene carries echoes of French

of Jimenez’s major accomplishments. The

eighteenth-century pastorals. Tiffany’s

sculpture is brutal in its representation of

white cow would have been at home in Marie

animals straining to turn the heavy sod of the

Antoinette’s hamlet.

prairie with almost demonic determination.

The cozy, domestic, and “safe” cow

The popular conception of this agricultural

appeared frequently in barnyard genre

labor as central to the prairie experience

scenes of the nineteenth century, such as

can be seen in the rejection of Jimenez’s first

John Whetten Ehninger’s Farmyard Scenes—

idea for the site (a group of square dancers

Milking the Cows (1855) (fig. 21), which shows

and a fiddle player).4 Jimenez’s work is

the cattle literally lying down on the job.

extremely informed by his Mexican roots,

The farm family spends a moment of relaxation

but his empathy for the working class is not

with the animals: the woman turns from

necessarily related to any single geographic

her milking and rests, and the plow and yoke

locale, and his final sculpture acknowledges the universality of the artist’s agrarian hero.

have symbolically been cast aside to the 5

An American artist whom the general

margins of the picture. In Amon’s Orchard (1964) (fig. 64), artist

public may not readily associate with this

Neil Welliver goes one step further and

beast of burden archetype is Louis Comfort

actually makes the cow part of the nuclear

Tiffany. While his stained-glass windows

family. His cow’s orange and white patterning

represented the pinnacle of bourgeois refine-

pointedly mimics the contented tabby cat in

ment and fin-de-siècle glamour in the late

the foreground of the picture. This overriding

nineteenth century, his painted canvases often

cozy quality of many cow depictions certainly

dealt with more varied subject matter.

risks falling into kitsch—witness the many

Two Oxen (1889) (fig. 60) shows cattle tossing

big-eyed cow figurines and “country” kitchen

and pulling their heads, constrained by

curtains sold every year.

the yoke, against a cloudy sky that suggests


in danger of being tilled under with the soil.

The idea of the cow as gentle, innocent,

the animals’ balkiness portends an oncoming

and therefore a suitable companion for delicate

storm. Tiffany paints the scene from a

womanhood was popular in the nineteenth

century, as can be seen in George Inness’s

Blithely chomping on daisies, she may offer

Woman with Calf (1886) (fig. 36), a pairing

little protection, so Rockwell leaves it to the

of two young, innocent figures cocooned in

barnyard fowl to raise the alarm.

the protected safety of a meadow. Inness

The cow is not always the innocent,

frequently painted cows, and, unlike many of

how-ever, and may represent grave danger,

the Hudson River school painters, preferred

sometimes in disguise, although it is more

gentle landscapes to rugged and grand

often the bull that is depicted as cunning and

terrain. Cows were a perfect accompaniment,

dangerous, as in Paul Manship’s The Flight of

and Woman with Calf is as a much a study

Europa (1928) (fig. 44). The sculpture, of which

of pastoral greens and their infinite tonal

there are a number of variations, is one of

variations as it is a depiction of the figures of

the artist’s most important works. It depicts

the title. The young white calf (white being a

the abduction of a princess who, according to

color of innocence) stands with a young woman

Greek myth, became intrigued by the docile na-

in the shady meadow, but, tellingly, the calf’s

ture of a bull (who was actually the god Zeus in

face can be seen while the woman’s face is

disguise) and climbed on his back. The moment

obscured by her bonnet. Everything the viewer

Europa mounted, the beast sprang into the

knows about her is conferred through her

water and carried her away to the island

interaction with the calf. The woman acts as

of Crete, where Zeus took Europa as his lover.

an accessory to the scene, and the viewer does not question her activities.


Questionable activity can be found in

Manship sculpted two versions of this tale. The first was completed in 1923 and was overtly sensual, with Europa affectionately

Norman Rockwell’s study for Travelling

grasping the bull’s head. Two years later

Salesman (1964) (fig. 56). This work on paper

he did the more stylized version, in which

is typical of Rockwell’s Americana, reflecting

Europa sits serenely on the bull’s back. What

stereotypes that flirt with kitsch. The innocent

is remarkable about this representation, which

milkmaid and her cow are visited by a dashing

reflects both Manship’s classicizing tendencies

traveling salesman, carpet bag and ledger book

and a certain prim reluctance of early

eagerly in hand, although it is unclear if the

twentieth-century American artists to fully

salesman’s bow and doffed hat are an amorous

engage the more brutal aspects of classical

gesture or a polite opening to a sales pitch.

mythology, is Europa’s calm demeanor atop the

Either way, the milkmaid does not appear

racing bull, in marked contrast to portrayals of

pleased to see him, turning away with a look

a terrified woman being dragged away in

that is more sullen than coy. The illustration

other artistic representations of the myth.

also serves as a study of the differences

Europa’s noble poise is reflected in

between city and country—the polished

J. C. Leyendecker’s Goddess Diana (1929)

clothes of the salesman versus the gingham

(fig. 41), which was originally painted for a

dress and bare feet of the milkmaid. The

Thanksgiving Saturday Evening Post cover.

cow is the central figure in this illustration,

Despite the title traditionally given to the

acting as a physical barrier between the

painting, the goddess depicted is probably not

maid and the salesman’s advances. Like her

Diana. She and her accompanying cows, their

mistress, the cow appears to be an innocent.

yokes laden with wreaths of plenty, suggest the


“domestic” Greek goddess Demeter (known to

echoed in the photograph View of Trevor

the Romans as Ceres), rather than the wildness

Property and River—Summer House and Cow

associated with Diana, the huntress. The

on Lawn (c. 1880)(fig. 13), the area surrounding

torch the figure carries presumably refers to

Glenview, the home of the of the Trevor family

Demeter’s search for her daughter, Persephone,

estate, where dairy cows were kept to provide

when the latter was abducted to the under-

fresh milk. Fittingly, the estate is the current

world. For a magazine cover celebrating

home of the Hudson River Museum.

Thanksgiving, Leyendecker probably felt that

works as Landscape and Cattle (fig. 15), an

reserved for the horse, was a more appropriate

example of the numerous prints produced

animal to accompany Demeter than her

by Currier and Ives that would have been

traditional, sacred snake and pig. Similarly,

available to families of moderate means who

the cow’s stately progression through Susan

could not afford fine art. Ironically, these

Leopold’s fragmented architecture in the

cow-filled scenes were often most popular

elegant Cows in Kutch (1990) (fig. 40) suggests

in the rapidly urbanizing cities where the

the dignity achieved by the cow in nations

daily connection to agrarian life was already

where it is a revered animal.

beginning to fade, making them sentimental

While Norman Rockwell’s The Peace Corps

memories of the farms left behind. Images

in Ethiopia represented the mid-twentieth-

of cows were thought suitable for the entire

century desire to export American agricultural

family, and “the cow portrait in all its sundry

bounty to the developing world, the landscape

forms was an almost obligatory component

paintings of the nineteenth-century Hudson

of the décor of well-furnished American

River school represented the cultivation

dining rooms and parlors during the Gilded

of American soil in that century. Looking North

Age. Horse portraits, on the other hand, were

from Ossining (c. 1867) (fig. 14) by Samuel

commissioned for hanging in tack rooms

Colman is a good example of this visually

or, somewhat later, chambers set aside for

soothing presence. The cows in the sunlight

masculine activities.”7

soften the hills of the valley—without them,


Cow images were popularized in such

the cow, here given a noble magnificence often

Thomas Hewes Hinckley’s beautiful

the empty land would appear more ominous

Landscape: Cattle, Woman, Boy and

and heavy in shadow. In Hudson River school

Newfoundland Dog (1850) (fig. 31) is a fine

paintings, the railroad is frequently contrasted

example of this Victorian predilection. Today,

with the cow as a machine versus agrarian

Hinckley is considered a rather minor figure in

nature, although both indicate the presence of

American art, but in the nineteenth century

man. In Westchester, cows like those seen in

he was thought one of the greatest interpreters

Colman’s painting produced fresh milk for New

of animal nature. He became “the most

York City’s urban dwellers, regularly brought

successful barnyard portraitist of his time

into the city by “milk trains.”

with a large and affluent clientele of landed

George Hurbery McCord’s Hudson River

gentry. . . . Best of all they liked his portraits of

View (1870)(fig. 46), a scene probably painted in

cattle . . . as the pioneer collector and art critic

Yonkers, shows the presence of cattle opposite

James Jackson Jarves pointed out Hinckley

the Palisades—an artistic representation

could paint animals with the animal left out.”8

Like Hinckley, James M. Hart found

depictions isolated from the greater landscape,

success with the pastoral scenes in vogue

an enduringly popular image that can be

with wealthy collectors, although, in work

seen in such late twentieth-century works as

such as Landscape with Cows (1887) (fig. 30),

Cow Shed in Winter (1977) (fig. 65) by Andrew

he gradually developed a softer style, almost

Wyeth and 97, 88, and 79, 1986 (fig. 66) by

exclusively depicting meadows filled with

Jamie Wyeth.

cows, which reflected the growing American

The popularity of both animal painting

affinity for French Barbizon painting. Hart

and landscape during the nineteenth century

once described the soothing qualities he

aside, not all artists who included the cow met

wanted his cows to convey, saying, “I aimed

with critical success. The great Philadelphia

at the listless influence of an Indian-summer

painter Thomas Eakins added cows to his

day.” He began to seriously study cattle in

only major large-scale exhibited landscape,

1871 and his finest efforts, such as those in

The Meadows, Gloucester (1882–1883) (fig. 20).

From Shifting Shade (1887) (fig. 29), summon

Compared to the large canvases of Hinckley,

the viewer to wonder, “Who that has seen these

Hart, and Howe, where the cows are the focal

creatures can be indifferent to the steadfast

point of the composition, in Eakins’s canvas

grandeur of their nature?”10

the cows recede into relatively minor figures


A third American artist who specialized

on the landscape, and the resulting void

in the growing nineteenth-century market for

perhaps partly explains the lukewarm critical

cow paintings was William Henry Howe, and

reaction: “The painting, with its fashionable

until the market for cow art suddenly collapsed

French emptiness and lack of incident brought

just after the turn of the century, Howe could

Eakin’s Gloucester series to a close.”13

barely keep up with the demand. Untitled 11

The demand for landscapes with cows

Pastoral Scene (1900) (fig. 35) was painted just

tapered off dramatically in the years after

as this mania for cow paintings was cresting.

1900. Although conservative artists such

Many American artists, Howe among them,

as Edith Prellwitz, who had studied at the

traveled to Holland during the late nineteenth

French Academie Julian with such stalwarts

century, establishing art colonies that they

as William Adolphe Bouguereau, continued

returned to repeatedly; Howe painted in the

painting traditional works like Landscape

town of Laren, in North Holland.

with Cows (fig. 53) into the first decades of

Around the time Untitled Pastoral Scene

the twentieth century, the American art world

was painted, Howe helped found an art colony

shifted in response to the landmark Armory

in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Its attractive rural

Show of 1913.14 Artists of the so-called “ashcan

setting may have reminded the artists of

school” were more concerned with modern

scenic Holland, and the Griswold House acted

life in the nation’s rapidly growing cities than

as a magnet for artists. Howe continued

with pretty rural scenes, and suddenly the

painting cows in Old Lyme, reportedly even

cow in art seemed hopelessly old-fashioned, a

renting them from local farmers as models,

figure literally left behind down on the farm by

which people in the neighborhood called

the thousands of former agricultural workers

“Howe’s Cows.” Despite the vagaries of fashion,

moving to the cities for industrial jobs. By

cows have continued to appear in barnyard

the 1920s, works like Alphonso Palumbo’s



California Landscape (c. 1929–1930) (fig. 52)

tension as the farmhand prepares to lasso the

seemed quaint. Nevertheless, the American

angry animal for the camera.

landscape and the cow continued to fascinate an array of artists, including George Bellows,

Benton presents another archetype of the cow

one of those most associated with modern

in American art—as the ward of the cowboy,

urban concerns in the early twentieth century.

who both protects his charges and drives them

Hudson at Saugerties (1920) (fig. 8) and

on to the slaughterhouse. The small group of

Cornfield and Harvest (1921) (fig. 9) were both

cattle grazing across the West in Wyoming

painted during the summers Bellows spent

Autumn becomes a thundering herd in Richard

living in Woodstock, New York in the years

Haas’s contemporary Chisholm Trail Study

immediately after World War I. Bellows had

(1985) (fig. 28), as the cattle approach their

become “a more contemplative man seeking

slaughterhouse destination. The contemporary

something more profound, more universal

mural was commissioned to commemorate the

than the crowded streets and shifting light of

Chisholm Trail of the late nineteenth century,

a fast moving city.”15 He found serenity in the

used to bring cattle safely and quickly through

countryside and was clearly charmed by the

Texas and open Indian territories to the

abundance of the region; and Cornfield and

railroad hubs in Kansas for shipment east.

Harvests, which depicts cows hungrily grazing

Haas’s use of cattle imagery for a

near ripened crops, is, in fact, “a sly visual

contemporary public commission has historic

pun suggesting disorder in order (the cow’s

roots. Cows appear in public murals from

in the corn).”16

the 1930s, favored by regionalist painters as

Bellows’s landscapes of the 1920s

signifiers of an area’s historically agricultural

presage a renewed interest in agrarian

roots. John Steuart Curry created one such

life that developed into the widely popular

mural with Study for Kansas Pastoral: The

regionalist art movement that was spurred

Unmortgaged Farm (c. 1936) (fig. 16), for the

on by the Great Depression and, although

Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. The mural, in

scorned by modernists, embraced realism

which Ajax, Curry’s oft-painted bull, appears,

and provided the cow with an entrée back

depicts a peaceful and prosperous-looking

onto the center stage of an art movement.

farm; the title of the painting hints at the

Although Thomas Hart Benton is more closely

problem of many heavily mortagaged farms

associated with horse images, cows do crop

being reclaimed by banks during the Great

up frequently in many of the lithographs

Depression and emphasizes the importance of

based on his paintings. White Calf (1945) (fig.

farmers not falling into ruinous debt.

11) and Photographing the Bull (1950) (fig. 10)


In Wyoming Autumn (1974) (fig. 12),

Curry depicted Ajax as a symbol of virile

beautifully illustrate the contrasting nature

power in a number of paintings, but the bull

of male and female cattle on the farm: the soft,

also ended up making his owner the object

gentle calf (albeit with the strangely porcine

of ridicule. The same year that Curry created

face Benton occasionally gave his cows) sleeps,

Study for Kansas Pastoral, he accepted a

while its mother contentedly munches grass

position as an artist in residence at the

and is milked. Benton’s bull is less docile,

University of Wisconsin. There he met the

and Photographing the Bull is full of coiled

artist Marshall Glasier, a biting satirist

who found regionalist painting superficial and

rendered landscape homages, such as

felt insulted by Curry’s university appoint-

Rackstraw Downes’s delightful Maynard

ment. After Curry’s death, Glasier painted the

Fenwick’s Farm Pond (1973) (fig. 19) , which,

vicious John Steuart Curry and the University

with its soft light and watery surfaces,

of Wisconsin Bull-Breeding Machine (1948)

echoes the luminist vision of Edward Moran’s

(fig. 25), with Curry as “a naïve country yokel

South Beach, Staten Island (fig. 49), painted

mystified by the grotesque, flayed, headless

approximately one hundred years earlier.

seed repository before him. Puzzling with

Lois Dodd’s Cows (1963) (fig. 18) suggests a

brushes in hand he is literally unable to make

more modernist approach, in which the figures

head nor tail out of the surrogate beast.”17

of the cows, though looming large in the

Despite the economic crisis in American

landscape, have been flattened and abstracted,

agriculture during the 1930s, there was still

suggesting Dodd’s greater interest in the

an active market for paintings that depicted

pattern and form of a terrain that succeeds in

the small American farm as postcard perfect.

almost camouflaging the cows. Gloria Houng’s

Molly Luce’s Autumn Farm (1929–1930) (fig.

Another Dilemma for L (2005) (figs. 32 and 33)

43) looks as though it could be a toy farm or a

suggest another type of camouflage—the cow

stage set, with a red barn and contented cows

reduced in scale, literally hidden in a welter

straight from central casting. The painter

of industry. Although Houng has noted the

owes a debt to Grant Wood’s softly rounded

ambiguous nature of her industrial landscapes,

and repeated forms, particularly the perfect

heightened by the veiled, opaque quality of

spherical trees and conic corn sheaves.

her wax method, the produced sensation is of

Compared with Autumn Farm, Milton

an elegiac lament.18 Tyler Fenn’s small Cows

Avery’s Connecticut Cattle (1933) (fig. 6) seems

(2005) (fig. 22) are the diminutive animals that

particularly modern: the simplified planes of

roam through Houng’s landscapes, only

color on the landscape are bold, and the two

here they have been made three-dimensional,

languid cows, one facing the viewer, the other

and instead of roaming an industrial

turned away, fairly quiver with individual

landscape, they are made of industrial steel,

personality. Connecticut Cattle makes an

their rough-hewn edges precluding their

interesting contrast with Seven White Cows

possible use as toys.

(1953) (fig. 5), which illustrates the more

If Gloria Houng sees the cow as a

simplified forms of the artist’s mature work:

shrinking figure on the landscape, literally

the gleaming white cows on the hillside are

dwarfed by modernity, Tom Althouse has

reduced to profiles and the background is even

taken the opposite point of view. No longer a

more simplified, with the strong diagonals

subordinate element, in Cow (1976) (fig. 1),

of the painting suggesting sun and shade on

the bovine has broken free of the picture

the severe landscape.

frame, consuming the landscape in its belly.

Despite the relative decline of realist

In roughly carved oak that suggests a debt

painting in the postwar era, contemporary

to folk art, Althouse’s Cow suggests that

landscapes featuring cows continued to

traditional landscape has literally been turned

have cultural currency. Sometimes cows

inside out. Don Nice is another artist who has

appeared in straightforward, albeit expertly

pulled the cow from its traditional landscape,


in order to focus the viewer’s attention on

subject is cows.” Warhol immediately grasped

the animal while simultaneously suggesting

his spin on the outmoded subject matter and

its displacement. In Longhorn Steer, Western

proclaimed, “New Cows! Fresh Cows!”20 Critics

Series, American Predella #6 (1975) (fig. 50),

noted the lulling effects of Warhol’s wallpaper

the steer is ennobled as Nice consciously

installation. “It is a known fact that dairy cows

adopts the predella format most frequently

are acutely sensitive to their surroundings.

associated with the lives of saints, although

If soft Muzak piped into the barn can increase

here the hagiography is of the American

the production of milk, perhaps humans too

West. Still, the painting is ambiguous—the

can achieve a measure of bovine contentment

rattlesnake and the small landscape are

by wallpapering their bedchambers with

suggestive of where the cow lives, although the

enlarged images of Elsie, the Borden cow.”21

presence of the package of chewing gum and the apple is open to interpretation.19 Likewise, Robert Rauschenburg in

created his famous Bull Series (fig. 42) , which

Calf Startena (1977) (fig. 54), from the artist’s

“was much indebted to Picasso’s series of

Chow Bag series, extracts the young calf

eleven Bull lithographs, in which the bull

from both the landscape and its mother.

moves from relative mimesis to a severely

He then fragments and combines elements

minimal rendering.”22 Lichtenstein continued

drawn from animal food packaging, both

developing this theme of abstracted cattle

real and imaginary, in order to question the

imagery the following year with his painting

relationship between fantasy and reality.

Cow Triptych (Cow Going Abstract).

But rather than ennobling the animal,

Both series systematically simplify the image

Rauschenburg has the calf appear vulner-

and break the cow down into its essential

able and alone—the victim of modern

forms, thereby demonstrating the modernity

farming practices.

of an animal strongly associated with

The most instantly recognizable image of a cow in twentieth-century art is Andy

traditional painting. There is something very amusing in

Warhol’s Cow Wallpaper (1966) (fig. 63), which

Cow Wallpaper that gives the bovine face the

represents the cow’s definitive separation

same iconographic glamour as Marilyn Monroe

from its landscape. Warhol’s initial theme was

and Elizabeth Taylor, and the cow’s funny side

a pink cow on a yellow background.

has been highlighted by many modern artists.

It first appeared in 1966 in an installation in

Red Grooms’s sculpture Elsie (2001) (fig. 26)

Leo Castelli’s gallery. Five years later,

is a wonderfully comic cow displaying much

Warhol returned to this image, reproducing the

of Grooms’s trademark wit. Her brilliant white

ordinariness of the cow in yellow and blue.

teeth razoring emerald green grass, her yellow

Like many of Warhol’s designs, the

and brown spotted hide and brilliant pink

inspiration for Cow Wallpaper came quickly.

udder, all underscore the animal’s cartoon

Ivan Karp, one of Warhol’s close friends,

quality—she seems possessed of a quickness

remembered that in the 1960s he said to the

and determination not to be found in her more

artist, “The only thing that no one deals with

placid sisters.

now these days is pastorals. My favorite


Warhol was not the only pop artist to embrace the cow. In 1973, Roy Lichtenstein

Arthur Tress’s Fish Tank Sonata Piece

(1988) (fig. 61), part of a large series utilizing

contemporary artists engage with the issue

fish tanks in different environments, playfully

of cow as both food source and consumable

explores the stereotype of the cow as a placid

product, in a variety of different ways that

animal and the horse as a traditional military

all recognize the cow’s sacrifice to people.

accompaniment. Here, a small figurine riding

The poet Griffen Hansbury has described

a rearing horse, based on Jacques-Louis

this essential relationship: “Sisters, forever

David’s painting of Napoleon at St. Bernard,

offering up your bodies for hamburger,

tries to rally his “people” (a herd of cow

bone china, Jell-O, and glue, we love you.

creamers), to no avail. As Tress writes of

How closer can we get than this?”25

petty tyrants, “Generals rallied their people

The approach to cow as food source

to war, and set out to settle old scores. But the

includes political condemnations of meat

people didn’t give a care, being bored with

eating, such as Peter Max’s Cindy Woo (2002)

the general’s old wars.”23

(fig. 45), a hagiographic portrait of a white

Many artists have infused their cows with

cow that the artist rescued after it escaped on

a sense of fun. Janet Fish combines traditional

its way to the slaughterhouse. Less obliquely,

landscape with humor in her clever trompe

Diana Michener in her black-and-white Head

l’oeil painting Cows (1990) (fig. 23), in which

photographs (1985–1986) (figs. 47 and 48) turns

a translucent glass pitcher decorated with a

an unflinching eye on the slaughterhouse and

cow becomes part of a “real” herd. Immi Storrs

gives a nobility and sculptural magnificence

plays with the concept of the Bull Box (1989)

to the dead cows, seeing their slaughter as

(fig. 58), reinterpreting it to hold not only bulls

one of many things from which people flinch

but also the landscape, fossils, and houses. Her

and noting, “If we can allow ourselves to

boxes suggest the hidden depth and layering

not turn away and not close our eyes, we will

of history; they are filled with surprises that

come to meet this unknown.”26

link her work to that of such artists as Joseph

Gloria Houng’s Untitled (2003) (fig. 34)

Cornell. George Rodrigue’s Tee George and

seemingly pictures cows as innocents and

the Bull (1996) (fig. 57) ironically combines

as symbols of victimization—being blindly

patriotism and portraiture as the artist’s

being led to slaughter, although the artist

young self rides a huge, yellow-eyed, and

has noted that perhaps they are moving to

staring blue bull, an apparent close cousin of

destruction of their own accord.27 Richard

Rodrigue’s whimsical and haunting blue dog.

Deon’s Death in the Long Grass (2001) (fig. 17)


Leslie Galluzzo wittily comments on the

shares the same sense of ambiguity about the

cow’s relationship to food in Cow and Ice

cow’s victimhood. Deon has noted that cattle

Cream (2005–2006) (fig. 24), while Janine

are the perfect transition from foreground

Antoni’s unnervingly funny yet beautiful

to background, between civilization and

2038 (fig. 3) implies a role reversal in the

wilderness, and here the Hollywood leading

relationship between humans and cows. 2038

man wearing primitive garb prepares

ironically suggests that cows take nourishment

an obscure ritual that seems to require the

from humans, and Antoni’s Bridle, also from

cow’s sacrifice.28

2000 (fig. 4), confronts the viewer with the visual evidence of consumption. Indeed, many

This same ambiguity can be seen in Patricia Bellan-Gillen’s Totem (1998) (fig. 7)


and Didier Nolet’s The Two Individuals (1981) (fig. 51). Both dreamlike works impart an unease ameliorated by a sense of whimsy. In the nearly monochromatic Totem, the huge cow stands precariously, wobbling on tiny jack-o’-lanterns. The applied cow hide and the presence of the tiny lamb would suggest Christianity being contrasted with paganism, but the unusual cropping of the cow and the sense of imbalance “reminds us of the significance and ceremony in the struggle for civilization.”29 The backdrop of The Two Individuals suggests a surreal stage set of a barn or manger. It is unclear if the small child is leading the cow or the reverse, although there would appear to be elements of the Christ child in the figure’s precociousness. Both are gentle beings under the ominously stormy skies, but the brown spotted cow engages the viewer with a cheeky gaze that almost invites the question, “How now?”30 “What now?” might be a better question, for what place does the cow hold in art today? Its many appearances in American art underscore its continuing appeal to both artists and the public at large. Part of the reason for this may be that the cow’s size and shape make it an ideal canvas, as the many “Cow Parades” that have been staged in cities around the world attest. In fact, the “Cow Parades” have proven to be the literal response to Andy Warhol’s ironic commentary on the public’s embrace of kitsch. But whether a subordinate element on the American landscape or freed from the countryside to become a subject in its own right, the cow remains a populist animal, full of nuance, yet understood by all. Bartholomew F. Bland

1. Oto Bihalji-Merin, Modern Primitives: Masters of Naïve Painting (New York: Abrams, 1959), 85. 2. J. Lee Drexler, “Appraisal of American Primitive Folk Art Painting” (unpublished appraisal for The Hudson River Museum, November 21, 1985). 3. Charlotte Emans Moore, catalogue entry in Addison Gallery of American Art 65 Years—A Selective Catalogue, by Susan C. Faxon, Avis Berman, and Jock Reynolds (Andover, MA: Addison Gallery of American Art, 1996, 316. 4. Janna Q. Anderson, “‘Sodbuster’ Pays Earthy Tribute to This Region,” The Forum of FargoMorehead, September 17, 1982. 5. Online Wichita State University Sculpture Tour, http://webs. sodbuster/ (accessed May 1, 2006). 6. Adrienne Baxter Bell, George Inness and the Visionary Landscape (New York: National Academy of Design, 2003), 58. 7. Mary Sayre Haverstock, An American Bestiary (New York: Abrams, 1979), 150. 8. Ibid., 152. 9. James M. Hart, quoted in All That Is Glorious Around Us: Paintings from The Hudson River School on Loan from a Friend of the Museum of Art, by John Paul Driscoll (University Park, PA: The Palmer Museum of Art, 1981). 10. Jeffrey H. Pettus, ed., Roads Less Traveled: American Paintings, 1833–1935 (Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1998), 27. 11. Annette Stott, Holland Mania: The Unknown Dutch Period in American Art and Culture (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1998), 56.

16. Marjorie B. Searl and Ronald Netsky, Leaving for the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock (Rochester, NY: Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, 2003), 74. 17. Robert Cozzolino, With Friends: Six Magic Realists 1940–1965 (Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of WisconsinMadison, 2005), 58–59. 18. Gloria Houng, phone interview by Bartholomew Bland, May 2, 2006. 19. John Driscoll, Don Nice: The Nature of Art (San Francisco: Pomegranate, 2004), 77. 20. Patrick S. Smith, Warhol: Conversations About the Artist (Ann Arbor, MI: U.M.I. Research Press, 1988), 217. 21. Haverstock, An American Bestiary, 211. 22. Ruth E. Fine, catalogue entry in The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection 1945–1955 by Mark Rosenthal (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1996), 113. 23. Arthur Tress, Fish Tank Sonata (Boston: Bullfinch Press, 2000), 52. 24. Ronny Cohen, Two Decades of Sculpture by Immi Storrs (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2006). 25. Griffin Hansbury, “Stepping in the Cow: Looking at Damien Hirst’s ‘Some Comfort Gained . . .’ (1996, glass, steel, formaldehyde, two cows) at the Brooklyn Museum of Art,” La Petite Zine 8 (2001), GriffinHansbury.htm (accessed April 1, 2006)). 26. Diana Michener: Photographs (Lynchburg, VA: Maier Museum of Art, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, 1999).

12. Ibid., 77.

27. Gloria Houng, phone interview by Bartholomew Bland, May 2, 2006.

13. Marc Simpson, “The 1880s,” in Thomas Eakins, ed. Darrel Sewell (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2001), 112.

28. Peter Dudek, The Paintings of Richard Deon: Paradox and Conformity (Dover Plains, NY: Deon, 2006).

14. Ronald G. Pisano, Painters of Peconic: Edith Prellwitz and Henry Prellwitz (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2002), 12.

29. Paul Krainack, Patricia Bellan-Gillen: (not really) Animal Stories (Edinboro, PA: Bruce Gallery of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2005), 7.

15. Virginia M. Mecklenburg, “Bellows Before Woodstcock,” in Leaving for the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock by Marjorie B. Searl and Ronald Netsky (Rochester, NY: Memorial Art Gallery of the University of 16

Rochester, 2003), 18.

30. Lanny Silverman, Didier Nolet: Dreams of a Man Awake (Chicago: City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, 1990), 12.

Exhibition Images


Tom Althouse (b. 1925) Cow, 1976 Oak and acrylic 42 1⁄ 2 x 80 x 15 1⁄ 2 in. Collection of the Allentown Art Museum Gift of Robert W. and Nancy B. Lockwood, 1992 (1992.07)

Anonymous He that by the plough would thrive— Himself must either hold or drive, c. 1825-1850 Oil on canvas, 34 3 ⁄4 x 84 1/8 in. Collection of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA, Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Evelyn L. Roberts


Figures 1-2

Janine Antoni (b. 1964) 2038, 2000 C-print Artist’s proof, 20 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, NY

Janine Antoni (b. 1964) Bridle, 2000 Full Tri-color Hide 117 X 98 X 14 in. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, NY

Figures 3-4


Milton Avery (1885-1965) Seven White Cows, 1953 Oil on canvas, 28 x 43 in. Collection of Sean A. Cavanaugh © 2006 Milton Avery Trust / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Milton Avery (1885-1965) Connecticut Cattle, 1933 Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. Collection of the Milton Avery Trust © 2006 Milton Avery Trust / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York


Figures 5-6

Patricia Bellan-Gillen (b. 1952) Totem, 1998 Acrylic, oil, fake fur on canvas 95 x 112 in. Collection of the artist

George Wesley Bellows (1882- 1925) Hudson at Saugerties, 1920 Oil on canvas, 16 1⁄ 2 x 23 3 ⁄4 in. Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio Museum purchase, Howald Fund, 1947.095

Figures 7-8


George Wesley Bellows (1882- 1925) Cornfield and Harvest, 1921 Oil on masonite, 17 11/16 x 21 5/8 in. Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio Museum purchase, Howald Fund, 1947.096

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) Photographing the Bull, 1950 Lithograph, 11 3/4 x 16 in. Courtesy of Kiechel Fine Art 22

Figures 9-10

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) White Calf, 1945 Lithograph, 10 x 12 3 â „4 in. Courtesy The Old Print Shop, Kenneth M. Newman

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) Wyoming Autumn, 1974 Lithograph, 17 x 23 1/4 in. Courtesy of Kiechel Fine Art

Figures 11-12


James C. Colgate (attributed) View of Trevor Property and River—Summer House and Cow on Lawn, c.1880 Black-and-white photograph on mount board, 6 1⠄4 x 8 3/8 in. Collection of the Hudson River Museum A Gift from the Colgate Estate 37.46 d

Samuel Colman (1832- 1920) Looking North from Ossining, New York, 1867 Oil on canvas; 16 3/8 x 30 3/16 in. Collection of the Hudson River Museum Gift of the Estate of Miss. Sarah Williams, 44.100 A


Figures 13-14

Currier and Ives Landscape and Cattle, n.d. Lithograph, handcolored, 9 9/16 x 16 7/8 in. Courtesy The Old Print Shop, Kenneth M. Newman

John Steuart Curry (1897-1946) Study for “Kansas Pastoral: The Unmortgaged Farm”, c. 1936 Graphite on paper, 23 x 58 in. Courtesy of Kiechel Fine Art

Figures 15-16


Richard Deon (b. 1956) Death in the Long Grass, 2001 Acrylic on canvas, 58 x 37 1â „ 2 in. Collection of the artist

Lois Dodd (b.1927) Cows, 1963 Oil on linen, 72 x76 in. Courtesy of Alexandre Gallery


Figures 17-18

Rackstraw Downes (b. 1939) Maynard Fenwick’s Farm Pond, 1973 Oil on canvas, 23 x 46 in. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Byron Smith, Jr.

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) The Meadows, Gloucester, 1882-83 Oil on canvas, 31 15/16 x 45 1/8 in. Philadelphia Museum of Art Gift of Mrs. Thomas Eakins and Miss. Mary Adeline Williams, 1929 Photo by Graydon Wood

Figures 19-20


John Whetten Ehninger (1827-1889) Farmyard Scenes— Milking the Cows, 1855 Wash on Bristol board, 11 1⁄4 x 15 1/8 in. Collection of the Staten Island Museum, A1968.24.1

Tyler Fenn (b. 1968) Cows, 2005 8 flame cut mild steel statuettes, each approx. 8 x 3 x 4 in. Courtesy of New Arts Gallery 28

Figures 21-22

Janet Fish (b.1938) Cows, 1990 Oil on canvas, 56 x 50 x 1 in. Collection of The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, MO. Purchased with funds from the William T. Kemper Foundation Art Š Janet Fish/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Leslie Galluzzo Cow and Ice Cream 2005-2006 Silver gelatin prints, 20 x 30 in. Collection of the Artist

Figures 23-24


Marshall Glasier (1902-1988) John Steuar t Curry and the University of Wisconsin Bull-Breeding Machine, 1948 Oil on masonite panel, 19 5/16 x 25 1â „ 2 in. Collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum Gift of Gimbel Bros., Milwaukee, M1959.50

Red Grooms (b. 1937) Elsie, 2001 Painted aluminum, 15 x 28 x 7 in. Collection of the artist and Lysiane Luong Grooms


Figures 25-26

Richard Haas (b. 1936) Chisholm Trail, Sundance Square, 1989 Silkscreen, 29 1⁄ 2 x 27 in. Collection of the artist

Richard Haas (b. 1936) Chisholm Trail Study, 1985 Pastel on paper 20 1⁄4 x 45 3 ⁄4 in. Collection of the artist

Figures 27-28


James M. Hart (1828–1901) From Shif ting Shade, 1887 Oil on canvas, 36 x 54 1/4 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant, in memory of his mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, 1990 (1990.197.3) Photograph © 2006 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

James M. Hart (1828–1901) Landscape with Cows, 1887 Oil on canvas; 21 x 16 1/4 in. Purchased by exchange 54.31.1


Figures 29-30

Thomas Hewes Hinckley (1813-1896) Landscape: Cattle, Woman, Boy and Newfoundland Dog, 1850 Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 48 1/8 in. Courtesy of the Childs Gallery

Gloria Houng (b. 1970) Another Dilemma for L, I, 2005 Acrylic and wax medium on board 9 x12 in., Collection of the artist Figures 31-32


Gloria Houng (b. 1970) Another Dilemma for L, III, 2005 Acrylic and wax medium on board, 9 x12 in. Collection of the artist

Gloria Houng (b. 1970) Untitled, 2003 Wax, gauze, heat lamp, dimensions variable Collection of the artist


Figures 33-34

William Henry Howe (1846-1929) Untitled Pastoral Scene, 1900 Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. Collection of the Florence Griswold Museum

George Inness (1825-1894) Woman with Calf, 1886 Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in. Private Collection

Figures 35-36


Neil Jenney (b. 1945) Beasts and Burdens (Study), c. 1969-70 Oil on canvas, 28 x 58 in. Collection of Patterson Sims and Katy Homans

Luis Jimenez, Jr. (b. 1940) Sodbuster Study, 1979 Pastel on paper, 31 x 40 1⁄ 2 in. Collection of the Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND. Gift of Kenneth S. Umbehocker, 1982.023.0001 © 2006 Luis Jimenez / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alan Kessler (b. 1945) Cow Painting and Shelf, 1983 Oil paint on wood 30 x 40 x 11 in. Collection of the artist


Figures 37, 38, 39

Susan Leopold (b. 1960) Cows in Kutch, 1990 Handmade paper, acrylic paint, Xerox, 33 x 40 in. Collection of the artist

J.C. Leyendecker (1874-1954) Goddess Diana, 1929 Oil on canvas, 28 x 21 in. Painted for Saturday Evening Post cover – Nov. 23, 1929 Courtesy of American Illustrators Gallery Š 1929 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved.

Figures 40-41


Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) Bull I, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 Color linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull II, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 2-color lithograph/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull III, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 6-color lithograph/silkscreen/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull IV, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 5-color lithograph/silkscreen/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull V, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 6-color lithograph/silkscreen/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull VI, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 5-color lithograph/silkscreen/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 100, 27 x 35 in. Bull VII, From Bull Profile Series, 1973 4-color lithograph/silkscreen/linecut on Arjomari paper, ed. 26, 27 x 35 in. Collection of Gemini G.E.L, Los Angeles, CA Š Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Gemini G.E.L.


Figure 42

Molly Luce (1896-1986) Autumn Farm, 1929-1930 Oil on canvas, 28 x 32 in. Courtesy the Childs Gallery

Paul Manship (1885-1966) The Flight of Europa, 1928 Gilt Bronze, 12 in. high Collection of the Muskegon Museum of Art Gift of the Friends of Art, 1944.1

Figures 43-44


Peter Max (b. 1937) Cindy Woo, 2002 Mixed media on canvas 24 x 32 in. Collection of the artist Š Peter Max 2006

George Herbert McCord (1848-1909) Hudson River View, c. 1870 Oil on board; 7 1/4 x 12 in. Collection of the Hudson River Museum Gift of Mrs. Grace Varian Stengel, 43.62


Figures 45-46

Diana Michener (b. 1940) Head, 1985-86

Diana Michener (b. 1940) Head, 1985-1986

Black-and-white photograph, 39 3 ⁄4 x 39 3/8 in. Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery

Black-and-white photograph, 22 7/8 x 23 1⁄4 in. Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery

Edward Moran (1829-1901) South Beach, Staten Island, 19th c. Oil on canvas, 18 x 36 in. Collection of the Staten Island Museum, A1948:3924

Figures 47, 48, 49


Don Nice (b. 1932) Longhorn Steer, Western Series, American Predella #6, 1975 Oil on canvas, 71 x 120 in. Watercolor on paper 4 watercolors each 20 x 28 1⁄ 2 in. Collection of the Delaware Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and contributions

Didier Nolet (b. 1953) The Two Individuals, 1981 Oil on canvas 79 1⁄ 2 x 110 1⁄4 in. Collection of Shevlin and Diane Ciral


Figures 50-51

Alphonso Palumbo (1890-1934) California Landscape, ca. 1920-29 Oil on canvas, 30 x 33 7/8 in. Courtesy of Spanierman Gallery

Edith Mitchill Prellwitz (1864-1944) Landscape with Cows, n.d. Oil on canvas, 21 x 26 in. Courtesy of Spanierman Gallery Robert Rauschenburg (b.1925) Calf Startena (Chow Series), 1977 Silkscreen, 48 1/8 x 36 3/8 in. Printer: Styria Studios, 60/100 Collection of the Hudson River Museum Gift of John Rosenthal, 81.10.2 f Art Š Robert Rauschenberg/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Figures 52, 53, 54


Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) The Peace Corps in Ethiopia, 1966 Oil on canvas, 17 x 25 in. Painted for LOOK Magazine, 14 June 1966 Collection of National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI. Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, IL.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) Traveling Salesman (Salesman: The Milkmaid) – Study, 1964 Tempera and pencil on paper, 15 1⁄ 2 x 15 1⁄ 2 Illustrated for Brown and Bigelow Four Seasons Calendar/ Spring. Courtesy of American Illustrators Gallery


Figures 55-56

George Rodrigue (b. 1944) Tee George on the Bull (Self-Portrait), 1996 Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 in. Collection of the artist

Immi Storrs Bull Box, No. 1, 1989 Bronze, edition 2 of 8, 14 x 18 x 12 in. Courtesy of the artist and Spanierman Gallery

Figures 57-58


Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) Study for Family Group with a Cow, c. 1888 Pastel on paper, 11 x 16 in. Private Collection

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) Two Oxen, 1889 Oil on canvas, 33 x 48 in Private Collection


Figures 59-60

Arthur Tress (b. 1940) Fish Tank Sonata Piece, 1988 Cibacrome print, 16 x 20 in. Collection of the artist

Unknown Cow and Baby Calf, c. 1850 Oil on canvas, 22 1/8 x 30 1â „4 in. Collection of the Hudson River Museum, Gift of Sula and David Kaufman, 85.8.2

Figures 61-62


Neil Welliver (1929-2005) Amon’s Orchard, 1964 Oil on canvas, 80 x 83 1/4 in. Courtesy of Alexandre Gallery

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Cow Wallpaper, 1966 Wallpaper, installation of 264 x 132 in. Reproduced by the Andy Warhol Museum © 2006 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York


Figures 63-64

Andrew Wyeth (b. 1917) Cow Shed in Winter, 1977 Watercolor, 22 1⁄ 2 x 29 1⁄ 2 in. Courtesy Frank E. Fowler Company, Lookout Mountain, TN

Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946) 97, 88 and 79, 1986 Mixed media on board, 16 x 20 in. Collection of Cindy Pettinaro Wilkinson

Figures 65-66



The staff members of many museums and galleries contributed to the successful completion of this exhibition and catalogue. I would like to express my gratitude for their support of this project and their assistance in securing loans and images. At the Hudson River Museum, Michael Botwinick, Director, has provided insight and enthusiasm for the project since it began. Jean-Paul Maitinsky, Assistant Director, Exhibitions and Programs, first proposed a cow-themed exhibition and gave me the support needed to develop a project of this size in a relatively short period of time. Laura L. Vookles, Chief Curator of Collections, provided valuable suggestions, and Brenda Houck, Curatorial Intern, worked diligently preparing loan requests and conducting research. Linda Locke, Director of Public Relations, offered her editorial insights, and James Cullinane, Chief Preparator, skillfully assisted in the design of the installation. I owe my deepest debt of thanks at the museum to Annette Fortin, Registrar, who worked tirelessly under tight deadlines arranging the myriad details of this project. She successfully managed every challenge as it arose and has made my job much easier. James Monroe’s creative graphic design for the catalogue has enhanced the project and Leslie Kriesel copyedited the catalogue text, offering many helpful suggestions. Marie Evans, Olivia Georgia, Gina Greer, Vivian Kiechel, Edward Byron Smith Jr., Kevin Stapp, and Alice Wiedman all proposed artists for inclusion in the show. Finally, I would like to thank A. J. Minogue and Penelope Fritzer, whose cheerful good will meant engaging in many long conversations about cows since the day I began working on this project.

Bartholomew F. Bland

moo. 50


Hudson River Museum Got Cow? Exhibition Catalogue