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Pilgrims Going to Church

Object Name: Genre
Date: 1867
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall (unframed): 29 x 52 in. (73.7 x 132.1 cm) Overall (framed): 43 1/2 x 67 x 4 in. (110.5 x 170.2 x 10.2 cm)
Description: This composition depicts the Puritans as a small group of God-fearing souls who endured harsh winters to establish a foothold in the New World; this work reflects the influence of the peasant procession paintings by the French artists Jules and Bastien LePage; the outer molding of this frame appears to be of American manufacture, while the inner liner is English, and incorporates a rosette motif found on the frames of paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite artists.
Credit Line: The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart
Object Number: S-117
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Gallery Label:

This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1867, and at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Purchased in 1868 by Robert L. Stuart.

Bibliography:

"The Exhibition of the Royal Academy: Third Notice," Times, London, May 14, 1867, p. 6.

"Fine Arts: Royal Academy," Athenaeum, May 25, 1867, p. 697.

"Boughton's Puritans," Harper's Weekly, April 25, 1868, p. 265.

"George H. Boughton", The Portfolio: an artistic periodical, Vol. 2, 1871, pp. 67-70.

Baldry, A.L., "G.H. Boughton, P.A. His Life and Work," The Christman Art Annual of the Art Journal, Devember 1940, pp. 30-1.

"Plans are Being Completed for D.A.R. Pageant," Oil City, PA., Blizzard, November 28, 1941, n.p.

"Pilgrims Going to Church by George Henry Boughton," The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 24, 1968, Rotocomic Section.

Koke, Richard J., American Landscape and Genre Paintings in the New York Historical Society, Vol. I, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1982, pp. 76-9.

"Imagine You hear a strange sound in the woods," American Girl, November/December 1994, p. 49.

Glesmann, Amanda J., Sentimental Journey: Envisioning the American Past in George Henry Boughton's Pilgrim's Going to Church, (M.A. Thesis, University of Delaware, 2002), pp. 3, 7, 31-4, 70.

Vedder, Lee A. "Nineteenth-Century American paintings." The Magazine Antiques 167 (2005): 146-155.

Herrmann, Luke, "Van Gogh's favourite English artist George Boughton (1833-1905), British Art Journal, Vol. 6, Winter 2005, pp. 37-40.

Keck, Michaela, Walking in the Wilderness: The Peripatetic Tradition in Nineteenth Century American Literature and Painting, Heidelberg: Winter, 2006, pp. 71-7.

Exhibitions:

"American Art and the Quest for Unity, 1876-1893," Detroit Institute of Arts, August 22–October 30, 1983.

"Images of the Pilgrims," Plimoth Plantation, May 1–November 30, 1985.

"Restored Visions: Recently Conserved Paintings from the Collection," New-York Historical Society, November 5, 1992–January 3, 1993.

"Treasury of the Past," New-York Historical Society, May 1–December 1, 1995.

"Reproducing the Past: The Colonial Revival Movement," Fraunces Tavern Museum, February 13–August 31, 1997.

"Image and Memory: Picturing Old New England," National Museum of American Art, April 2–August 22, 1999.

"Selections from the Collection of The New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, September 21, 1999–November 15, 2000.

"The Luman Reed Gallery: A History of Art Collecting in 19th Century New York," New-York Historical Society, March 16, 2004.

"Nature and the American Vision," The New-York Historical Society, Martch 13, 2005–January 25, 2008.

"Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy," New-York Historical Society, November 11, 2011–September 9, 2012; Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH, September 20, 2013–January 12, 2014; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA, February 13, 2014–May 19, 2014; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, February 27, 2015–June 7, 2015; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA, March 5, 2016–June 19, 2016.

"The Works: Salon Style at the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, June 20, 2014–February 8, 2015.

"Collector's Choice: Highlights from the Permanent Collections," New-York Historical Society, August 19, 2016–June, 2017 (ongoing).