By John Boudreau, Communications Intern
One of the great things about visiting Winslow Homer: Making Art, Making History is that everyone who looks at Homer’s works will react to them in a different way. They evoke different emotions, stories, and sentiments from every viewer. With Your Favorite Homer, we’ll ask some of the Clark’s employees to share their reactions to their favorite work of art in the exhibit.
Dana Audia, Snap-the-Whip (1873)
This particular print, which ran in the September 20, 1873 edition of Harper’s Weekly, has always caught Dana’s eye. “We played this growing up, though in Texas we called it Crack the Whip,” she said. It’s a game familiar to generations of children: a line of players join hands and run in a zig-zag motion, trying to “snap” the last person off of the line. “The main thing,” Dana said, “is that if you’re the second to last person in the chain, you don’t want the last person to fall off—because then you’re the one on the end!”
“I think Homer shows the motion and the movement of the game really well,” she continued. “He shows every part—the running, trying to hold on—and I can just see it happening.”
Though the print was published just after the Civil War ended, Dana was struck by the timelessness of the image. “I was playing the same game a hundred years later,” she said. “It could be happening outside right now.”
Dana was also interested by the absence of adults in the piece. “Maybe Homer didn’t put parents in the print because they didn’t have to be close—this is a fairly restrained game for the time, I guess.”
“Although today,” she added with a laugh, “their parents would probably make them wear a helmet.”
Dana Audia is events manager at the Clark. Originally from Amarillo, Texas, she completed her graduate work at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and worked for many years in the hospitality industry. She started at the Clark in February after a stint working for the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.