Charles Sheeler

American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883 - 1965, Dobbs Ferry, New York)

Doylestown House - Stairway, Open Door

ca. 1917
photograph | gelatin silver print
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Doylestown House - Stairway, Open Door

    Charles Sheeler, Doylestown House - Stairway, Open Door, ca. 1917; gelatin silver print, 9 7/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. (24 cm x 17.5 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase through a gift of the Susie Tompkins Buell Donor-Advised Fund of the Marin Community Foundation;


Sheeler made a name for himself as the painter of the Machine Age, but urban and industrial landscapes were not his only subjects. A native of Philadelphia, he developed an appreciation for the architecture and artifacts of rural Pennsylvania as a young man, and he returned to preindustrial themes throughout his career.

In 1917 he made a series of photographs of his 18th-century stone farmhouse in Doylestown. The mostly interior images of the rough-hewn structure, which would appear in his later paintings, were the first photographs he made without a commission, solely for artistic purposes. Sheeler distinguished his pictures from more conventional, nostalgic images of Americana by experimenting with cropping, dramatic lighting, and disorienting spatial ambiguities.


9 7/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. (24 cm x 17.5 cm)
Acquired 1999
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of the Susie Tompkins Buell Donor-Advised Fund of the Marin Community Foundation
99.482

Tags

interiors, stairs, doors, mirrors, exposed beams, doorways, corners


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.