Charles Sheeler
Doylestown House - Stairway, Open Door, ca. 1917

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.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Doylestown House - Stairway, Open Door
Artist name
Charles Sheeler
Date created
ca. 1917
gelatin silver print
9 7/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. (24 cm x 17.5 cm)
Date Acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of the Susie Tompkins Buell Donor-Advised Fund of the Marin Community Foundation
Permanent URL
Artwork Status
Not on view at this time.

Other Works by Charles Sheeler

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