Advanced Search
Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III

Amoskeag Mills #2

Artist: Charles Sheeler (1883 - 1965)
Date: 1948
28 1/2 x 24 in. (72.4 x 61 cm)
Framed: 35 3/4 in. × 32 in. × 1 1/4 in.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Promised Gift to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Signed: l.r.: Sheeler - 1948
On View
Label TextCharles Sheeler’s painting depicts a defunct manufacturing facility in New Hampshire that had been the largest cotton textile plant in the world at the turn of the twentieth century. The spare geometry of the mill yard was well suited to Sheeler’s meticulous, hard-edged realism. This American-born art movement, known as Precisionism, was influenced by the simplified, abstracted forms of Cubism as well as the sharp focus and unconventional cropping of photography.

Sheeler took numerous photographs and made a tempera study of the site in preparation for painting Amoskeag Mills #2. With the exception of the five-story Waumbec Mill at left, the buildings are a product of the artist’s imagination, composed of fragments of several other mill structures. They appear as sharpedged forms emphasized by dramatic contrasts of light and shadow.