Snap the Whip

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Snap the Whip
Winslow Homer - Snap the Whip (Butler Institute of American Art).jpg
ArtistWinslow Homer
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions56 cm × 91.4 cm (22 in × 36.0 in)
LocationButler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

Snap the Whip is an 1872 oil painting by Winslow Homer.[1] It depicts a group of children playing crack the whip in a field in front of a small red schoolhouse. With more of America's population moving to cities, the portrait depicts the simplicity of rural agrarian life that Americans were beginning to leave behind in the post-Civil War era,[2] evoking a mood of nostalgia.

Homer spent several summers in New York's Hudson Valley, and is said to have been inspired to paint this scene by local boys playing at the Hurley schoolhouse.[3][4]

Winslow Homer, Snap the Whip (1872).

Homer painted a second version, of similar date, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In this, he retains the schoolhouse but the background hillscape is removed, making the location less regionally specific.[5]


  1. ^ "Winslow Homer 1836". Butler Institute of American Art. Archived from the original on 2015-03-01. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
  2. ^ "Winslow Homer: Snap the Whip". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
  3. ^ "WINSLOW HOMER AND HOUGHTON FARM". Archived from the original on 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  4. ^ "The rose discarded – A plaque along the rail trail running parallel to Route 209 in Hurley notes how the great American artist Winslow Homer spent a series of summers in the 1870s sketching and painting in our area. In the nearby hamlet out in the..." Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  5. ^ "Winslow Homer | Snap the Whip | American | The Metropolitan Museum of Art".

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