Winslow Homer and the mechanics of visual deadpan

Jennifer A. Greenhill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This essay argues for the central importance of the 'gag' to Winslow Homer's early paintings, made during the American Civil War. As his entrée into the New York art world in these years Homer creates a form of visual deadpan that spoke to the 'comical and coffinly' circumstances of the war, resonated with the methods of the period's controversial platform comedians, and answered the critical call for a 'higher sort of humor' that moved beyond the antics of the antebellum comic mode of the 1850s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-386
Number of pages36
JournalArt History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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