Rack Picture for Dr. Nones

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1879

Artist:

Attributed to William A. Mitchell
American, 1828–1890

About this artwork

This type of trompe l’oeil (fools the eye) painting simulates an old-fashioned bulletin board that held important, yet ephemeral documents like letters and newspaper clippings under strips of ribbon. Such “rack picture” still lifes functioned as biographical portraits, in this case for Dr. Samuel Smith Nones, the prominent Philadelphia dentist who commissioned this work. Adjacent to the central letter to Dr. S. S. Nones are envelopes addressed to medical colleagues and one to Nones’s brother. The painting’s illusionistic fragments cleverly define the dentist’s professional and personal identity, narrating a rich tale of camaraderie and achievement for an inner circle of viewers. William A. Mitchell, the father of the youngest dentist in the group, likely executed the composition.

On View

American Art, Gallery 173

Artist

William A. Mitchell

Title

Rack Picture for Dr. Nones

Origin

Philadelphia

Date

1879

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

45.7 × 37.8 cm (17 1/4 × 14 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Frederick G. Wacker Endowment; through prior gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge in memory of Abby Louise Spencer Eddy

Reference Number

2000.135

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share