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Sign for H. Rust
early 20th century
Paint on pine board and moldings, iron hardware
Primary Dimensions (height x width including hardware): 43 1/2 x 23 1/4in. (110.5 x 59.1cm) Other (height x width of sign only): 39 1/4 x 21 7/8in. (99.7 x 55.6cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the heirs of Morgan B. Brainard
Gallery Copy: At first glance, Rust’s sign looks like yet another variation of late 18th- or early 19th-century work. However, the costume of the figure leading the horse strongly resembles artwork on early 20th-century posters and magazine covers. The inscription beneath the horse is believed to be her name and track record, “Lady Madison 2.05.” The signboard, noticeably thicker than most, is likely a fragment from an early building. There is also evidence of an intentional effort to create an illusion of age and weathering through uneven and multi-layered application of paint and varnish.
Description: Images: On side 1, profile of standing horse, with person in riding costume holding lead line. On side 2, eagle based on United States seal. Text: On both sides, in band above the image, "H. RUST', in band below the image "INN / 1820". On side 1, in the image field, above the horse, "POST ROAD", and below the horse, "Lady Madison 2.05". On side 2, in the image field, in banner above the eagle, "E. PLURIBUS UNUM", below the eagle, "POST ROAD". Construction: Thick, single board, grain oriented vertically. Molding strips, mitered in corners, are nailed to the borders of each face. No structural frame, no pediment or skirt.
Technique Note: The handling of paint is not typical of sign painting technique. Letters and numerals are stenciled. There are four paint layers, all gray, brown or green, as well as a brush-applied "grime/patination" layer and evidence of distressing using sandpaper.
Inscription: On both sides, in band above the image, "H. RUST', in band below the image "INN / 1820". On side 1, in the image field, above the horse, "POST ROAD", and below the horse, "Lady Madison 2.05". On side 2, in the image field, in banner above the eagle, "E. PLURIBUS UNUM", below the eagle, "POST ROAD".
Object Number: 1971.30.2
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