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Circle of: Benn Pitman (active Cincinnati, Ohio)

Date: 1875-1885
Medium: Wood, metal (probably brass)
Overall: 24 7/8 x 7 5/8 x 13in. (63.2 x 19.4 x 33cm)
Credit Line: 75th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of Robert Tuggle.
Object number: 2011.1
Label Text
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Cincinnati was famed for its woodcarvers, many of whom were women. Its location on the early Western frontier afforded the city vast nearby hardwood forests. The Aesthetic Movement, a reform initiative rooted in the teachings of Englishman John Ruskin, heavily influenced Cincinnati's art community. The city's potters and woodworkers embraced the movement's anti-industrialization ideals and shared the belief that art and labor should be united in the production of utilitarian wares, and that well-designed, hand crafted goods brought society towards spiritual and moral enrichment.

Stylistically, many objects created during the Aesthetic period rely on nature and medieval England for decorative motifs, and Cincinnati-made furnishings in particular are known for their depictions of natural forms. The clock face features a sunflower motif at center and shallow incised carving of oak leaves and acorns. Sunflowers are also depicted in the carved cove and leaves, fruits and nuts are carved into the side panels of the case.