About this artwork
William Sidney Mount’s scenes of everyday life provide insight into the complex social and racial divisions of antebellum America. The central figure in this tavern is a homeless wanderer who literally dances along a line in the floorboards and, as a result, walks a symbolic line between class and race. The color of his skin unites him with the more prosperous men who urge on his drunken revelry, but his poverty makes him an outcast like the African American man in the shadows, who smiles and looks on but is not an integral part of the group.
Currently Off View
- American Art
- William Sidney Mount
- Bar-room Scene
- Long Island
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower left: "W. S. Mount/1835"
- 57.4 × 69.7 cm (22 5/8 × 27 7/16 in.)
- The William Owen Goodman and Erna Sawyer Goodman Collection