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Image of Entrance to Germantown

Benton Murdoch Spruance
American, 1904–1967

Entrance to Germantown


Object Type: Print
10 in. x 14 in. (25.4 cm x 35.56 cm)
Medium and Support: Lithograph on paper
Accession Number: 1991.0003.0007

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.

This moody scene of an abandoned, winding road with neatly-kept, traditional-style houses on either side captures the “tenor” of the subjects that the Federal relief agencies sought from artists who worked within the WPA programs during the Great Depression. Somber, yet peaceful, the bare trees and cemetery headstones suggest the sorrow and suffering that encompassed society wrought by the Depression. The road is “winding,” yet in the distance the clouds appear to lift, showing a brighter, better future.

A lifelong Philadelphian, Benton Spruance studied at the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Art, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He is recognized as one of the premier printmakers who worked in the movement associated with the American Scene, a naturalist style of painting popular in the first half of the 20th century.

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