visual artist

The Artist and Her Family on a Fourth of July Picnic

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

   This painting by Lilly Martin Spencer can be seen at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  It was painted around the year 1864 and depicts a scene of relaxation, frivolity, and enjoyment as friends and family gather to celebrate Independence Day. 

   At the center of the picture is the artist's husband, Benjamin.   Apparently his weight has been too much for the tree swing and he lies on the ground.  The artist depicts herself with arms outstretched going to his aid.  A child is trying to help him. 

There are at least two people in this painting who appear to be African-American.  While one of them is dispensing a refreshment of some sort, the other appears to be enjoying the day's festivitivies.   The painting is oil on canvas and measures 49 1/2" x 63."