Genre and Still Life Painting

William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
The Trap Sprung, 1844
Oil on panel, 12 7/8 x 17 1/16 in. (32.7 x 43.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.52

Object-William Sidney Mount, The Trap Sprung

William Sidney Mount, whose subjects were almost exclusively rural scenes and portraits, is considered America’s first major genre painter. His The Trap Sprung shows two boys—one wearing a torn, shabby jacket and the other a thick, velvet-trimmed coat—approaching a closed animal trap. The well-dressed boy carries a rabbit caught in another trap. Commissioned by the Philadelphia book publisher E. L. Carey, the painting was reproduced as an engraving in a popular periodical; it illustrated a short story about a country boy and a city boy searching for a pet rabbit for a disabled girl. Underlying that narrative, however, was a veiled message: Mount’s painting was created a few years after the Panic of 1837, when the conservative Whig Party, symbolized by the rabbit, blamed the opposing Democrats for the nation’s economic troubles in order to “trap” voters for their cause. The Trap Sprung was thus understood as an image of rural life with political resonance.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.


William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
The Trap Sprung, 1844
Oil on panel, 12 7/8 x 17 1/16 in. (32.7 x 43.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.52

Genre and Still Life Painting

Eastman Johnson (1824–1906)
Fiddling His Way, c. 1866
Oil on artist's board, 20 7/8 x 24 7/8 in. (53 x 63.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1999.8
Lilly Martin Spencer (1822–1902)
The Home of the Red, White, and Blue, c. 1867–68
Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2007.1
William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
Fruit Piece: Apples on Tin Cups, 1864
Oil on academy board, 6 1/2 x 9 1/16 in. (16.5 x 23.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.100
Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
Apple Picking, 1878
Watercolor and gouache on paper, laid down on board, 7 x 8 3/8 in. (17.8 x 21.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.7
William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
The Trap Sprung, 1844
Oil on panel, 12 7/8 x 17 1/16 in. (32.7 x 43.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.52
Robert Spear Dunning (1829–1905)
Harvest of Cherries, 1866
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 1/2 in. (50.8 x 67.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.48
Samuel Colman, Jr. (1832–1920)
Ships Unloading, New York, 1868
Oil on canvas mounted on board, 41 5/16 x 29 15/16 in. (105.0 x 76.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1984.4
John George Brown (1831–1913)
Picnic Party in the Woods, 1872
Oil on canvas, 24 5/16 x 44 in. (61.8 x 111.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.1
Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904)
Still Life with Apple Blossoms in a Nautilus Shell, 1870
Oil on canvas, 21 x 17 in. (53.3 x 43.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1999.7
Thomas Waterman Wood (1783–1872)
The Yankee Pedlar, 1872
Oil on canvas, 28 x 40 in. (71.1 x 101.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.3
George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879)
The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1877–78
Oil on canvas, 26 1/16 x 36 3/8 in. (66.2 x 92.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.15
John Haberle (1853–1933)
One Dollar Bill, 1890
Oil on canvas, 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2015.4
Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
The Whittling Boy, 1873
Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 22 11/16 in. (40.0 x 57.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.12
John Frederick Peto (1854–1907)
Old Time Letter Rack, 1894
Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 25 1/4 in. (76.5 x 64.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2015.5