May 6 Art Minute: Evert Pieters, “In the Month of May”

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Evert Pieters (Dutch, 1856–1932), In the Month of May. Mixed media on canvas, 1899. 59 ¼ x 79 ¼ in. Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1912.511. Gallery 33

In this charming celebration of carefree, youthful innocence, six children of various ages and in a variety of poses are completely preoccupied with the making of garlands from yellow wildflowers. One in the circle, already wearing the finished product, has cast aside her wooden shoes; another clutches in her apron her hoard of plucked flowers soon to be woven; while the toddler in the center of the composition is totally absorbed in the simple act of smelling a single blossom.

The Toledo Museum of art’s founder, Edward Drummond Libbey, gave the painting to the Museum in 1912. In a letter of October 10, 1914 to TMA director George W. Stevens, Dutch artist Evert Pieters—successful painter of landscapes, portraits, and interior scenes—included In the Month of May (which he referred to as Golden Midday) in a list of his “most important pictures.”

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