Accession Number


E. E. Cummings

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on cardboard

14 9/16 in x 18 3/16 in (36.99 cm x 46.2 cm);8 9/16 in x 14 5/16 in (21.75 cm x 36.35 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Laurence and Nancy Goldstein

Label copy
March 28, 2009
e. e. cummings, noted American poet, essayist, and playwright, is perhaps best known for his unorthodox use of punctuation, capitalization, and syntax in verse. He is less recognized as a visual artist. Painting served to stimulate his literary work, however, providing him with another perspective for looking at language. In turn, many of his paintings imitated his style of poetry, integrating a freedom of form with his abiding themes of love, nature, and death.
In this painting, with just a few abbreviated and freely executed brushstrokes, cummings creates the impression of a nightscape. The seemingly amorphous shape in brown evokes the form of a tree, while a quick brushstroke of pure white punctuating the composition is used to suggest the moon.

Subject matter
E.E. Cummings is better known for his poetry but was also a visual artist. He spent a great portion of his time painting and he also produced notes concerning his own aesthetics of painting. This work is an abstracted landscape scene at night with an organic form in brown, evoking the shape of a tree, on a dark blue background and a bright white, swirling brushstroke to the right representing the moon. The expressive brushstrokes are characteristic of his style. 

Physical Description
An abstract painting with a low horizon line, deep blue above the horizon and dark greenish-brown below. There is a brown cloud-like abstract form left of center, and bright white, swirling brushstroke right of center.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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Abstract (fine arts style)
landscapes (environments)
modern and contemporary art

& Author Notes

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