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Memories of Childhood

© Estate of Virginia Cuthbert

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Virginia Cuthbert

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Virginia Cuthbert

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Virginia Cuthbert

American, 1908-2001

Memories of Childhood, 1952

oil on Masonite

support: 22 x 36 inches (55.88 x 91.44 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Virginia Cuthbert Elliott, 1994

1994:8.1

More Details

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Virginia Cuthbert is best known for her peculiar depictions of the world around her. Cuthbert moved to Buffalo in 1941 with her husband Philip Elliott when he became director of the Albright Art School, where Cuthbert would also teach painting. Her earliest works closely align with the aesthetic of the Ashcan School: an early-twentieth-century group of painters who sought to portray scenes of daily life in New York’s poorer neighborhoods. However, she later developed an expressive and moody style more closely aligned with that of Magic Realism. Memories of Childhood is a colorful scene but strangely devoid of cheer. A young girl holding two tabby-striped cats, most likely the artist as a child, dominates the foreground. She is seated in the grass while other figures cluster in the background. Yet, no one interacts. Perhaps Cuthbert’s memories here are twofold—nostalgia for a specific moment and a visual recollection of departed loved ones—and only connected through her composition.

Label from Menagerie: Animals on View, March 11–June 4, 2017

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