Detail View

Telling the Bees
Date: 1891
Culture: American
Dimensions: image: 21 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (55.2 x 45.1 cm) frame: 30 1/4 x 26 1/4 x 2 3/4 in. (76.8 x 66.7 x 7 cm)
Medium: watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Upjohn Dalton
Label Text: In 19th century New England, many farmers kept their own beehives to provide honey for family needs and to sell. An old folk tradition concerning the bees was observed until the early years of this century. When a member of the family died, someone had to tell the bees about the death and drape the hives in black cloth. Otherwise the bees would leave the hives and not return. Although in this piece one can see the box-like hives in the background and the girl who carries the message, Hassam is as much interested in color and light effects as he is in telling the story.
Object Number: 1972/3.39
Currently not on view