Oil on canvas
Framed: 98 x 120 x 11 cm (38 9/16 x 47 1/4 x 4 5/16 in.); Unframed: 80 x 101.6 cm (31 1/2 x 40 in.)
Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 1972.905
The object held in the sitter’s right hand is a drawing compass.
Brown's preference for rural subjects in a time when the United States was undergoing rapid industrialization suggests nostalgia for the past. Indeed, Boat Builder, an image of an elderly craftsman working alone with hand tools in a tranquil setting replete with his sleeping dog, offered its contemporary audience a distinct alternative to mechanized factory production.
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