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Samuel Colman, Jr., <em>Ships Unloading, New York</em>
Samuel Colman, Jr., Ships Unloading, New York

Cotton, oil, and the economics of history

Lilly Martin Spencer, <em>The Home of the Red, White, and Blue</em>
Lilly Martin Spencer, The Home of the Red, White, and Blue

In the wake of the Civil War, mending the United States, one stitch at a time.

Blythe, <em>Justice</em>
Blythe, Justice

The dubious justice of the anti-immigrant Know-Nothings.

Thomas Hovenden, The Last Moments of John Brown
Thomas Hovenden, The Last Moments of John Brown

Martyr or murderer? John Brown has polarized political opinion from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.

George Caleb Bingham, <em>Country Politician</em>
George Caleb Bingham, Country Politician

Before T.V. and Twitter, politicians talked to voters face-to-face.

Hicks’s <em>The Peaceable Kingdom</em> as Pennsylvania parable
Hicks’s The Peaceable Kingdom as Pennsylvania parable

Living in peace—predator and prey, and Native Americans and settler colonists—but for how long?

William Sidney Mount, <em>Bargaining for a Horse</em>
William Sidney Mount, Bargaining for a Horse

Is there a political message behind this image of two farmers settling the price of a horse?

Richard Caton Woodville, <em>War News from Mexico</em>
Richard Caton Woodville, War News from Mexico

Painted for a divided US, people from North and South could identify with this image—others remain marginalized.

Francis Guy, <em>Winter Scene in Brooklyn</em>
Francis Guy, Winter Scene in Brooklyn

This snowy image of a bygone Brooklyn is sprinkled with farm animals, townspeople... and casual racism.

Winslow Homer, <em>Northeaster</em>
Winslow Homer, Northeaster

The artist eliminated a key element of this innovative painting five years after he finished it.

Winslow Homer,<em> The Life Line</em>
Winslow Homer, The Life Line

Suspended above the sea, the drama of this rescue scene comes from nature, not man.

Winslow Homer, <em>The Fog Warning</em> (or <em>Halibut Fishing</em>)
Winslow Homer, The Fog Warning (or Halibut Fishing)

Homer’s fisherman just wants to bring his halibut safely to his ship—but as usual, nature is ruining everything.

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