It’s been a week of constant organizing at my house. A useful and productive week, perhaps, spent sorting, reading, and filing paperwork, and updating the household accounts. But not much writing.

Of course, the need to sort, repair and organize is not limited to our era. I suspect the Clarks, Turcks, Bonniwells—and their neighbors—spent a good bit of time trying to catch up with their 19th-century chores, like this fellow…

Guy, Seymour Joseph (1824–1910), Utilizing a Spare Moment, oil on canvas, c. 1860-1870. Yale University Art Gallery, public domain (CC0 1.0). Click to open larger image in new window.

Today’s image is an original oil painting from about 1860-1870, by the American artist Seymour Joseph Guy (1824-1910). It comes to us courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery. The Yale curators had this to say about the work:

Painted in warm earth tones, this rustic scene shows a farmer mending a leather bridle, using his knees to secure a simple wooden vice. Nearby an unused cider press, barrels, and other harvesting tools are stored in the barn for the winter, the season when farmers had “a spare moment.” Idealized rural scenes like this one were popular in nineteenth-century America, offering viewers a sense of traditional values in the face of rapid industrialization and political change.

I’m looking forward to some writing time this weekend. Back soon with more documents for our Alfred Bonniwell series.

Until then, be well and thanks for reading.