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About the Object
The remote North Woods Club in the Adirondacks was a favorite retreat for Winslow Homer. There, he painted over a hundred oils and watercolors and found congenial friends, including 22-year-old Ernest Yalden, son of members of the club and the subject of this painting. Yalden recalled Homer's interest in capturing the play of light flashing off the blades as he paddled his own self-built, light-weight canoe.
The year after Homer painted him in his canoe, Yalden graduated with a civil engineering degree and started a trade school in New York City for uneducated Jewish immigrants. He founded the Mineralogy Club of New York and trained men to be navigators during World War I. An authority on sun-dialing, he became an accomplished amateur astronomer who built an observatory in his back yard.
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]