Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

George Ault, born Cleveland, OH 1891-died Woodstock, NY 1948  Search this
oil on canvas
19 5/8 x 25 in. (49.9 x 63.4 cm)
Exhibition Label:
The radiant light at Russell’s Corners forms the center of the mysterious world Ault painted there. His wife Louise chose a quotation from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to describe her husband: “Unless there be chaos within, no dancing star is born.”
To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America, 2011
Luce Center Label:
George Ault made a series of paintings of Russell's Corners in Woodstock, New York. These images of lonely farm buildings symbolized traditional farm life and reflected Ault's desire to isolate himself from others (Louise Ault, Artist in Woodstock, 1978). He often incorporated religious imagery into his works, and here, a single bright light marks the center of a cross formed by the power lines (Lubowsky, George Ault, 1988). But the bleak landscape and vast expanse of darkness threaten to overwhelm, and this painting perhaps reflects the artist's depressed state of mind.
Landscape\road  Search this
Landscape\time\night  Search this
Architecture Exterior\domestic\house  Search this
Architecture Exterior\science\power lines  Search this
Landscape\New York\Woodstock  Search this
Architecture Exterior\farm\barn  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lawrence
Object number:
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum