In this work by Horace Pippin, a few trees are seen in front of a row of houses

Horace Pippin

American, 1888–1946

Birmingham Meeting House III, 1941

Oil on fabric board

16 x 20 inches

Signed lower right

 

SOLD

Pippin had little use for those who suggested he seek formal artistic training, preferring to embrace his own methods. After a war injury limited the mobility of his right arm, he used small canvases, which offer an intimate glimpse into the world of his imagination. He built his scenes using very little perspective, resulting in a graphic quality that set his work apart from that of his contemporaries.

Pippin lived outside Philadelphia and drew his subject matter primarily from the activities of small-town life in the region. The present painting is one of four Pippin completed of the Birmingham meeting house. The building held an important place in local and national history. In 1777 American forces under Generals Washington clashed with the British on its grounds during the Battle of the Brandywine. Both sides sheltered their wounded inside the building and buried their dead in its walled graveyard. A critic observed that in these paintings “nature envelops the meeting house in a sober tranquility eerily akin to that popularly associated with Quaker life…. The series then is as much a study of nature as architectural portrait.”

In this work by Horace Pippin, a few trees are seen in front of a row of houses