When artists paint scenes of everyday life from their region and time period they are creating genre work. Edward Lamson Henry was an American genre painter. He grew up in New York and had the opportunity to study art in Paris at the same time as many impressionists. However, unlike the impressionists, he moved back to America and fought during the Civil War. After the war he created numerous genre works.
Detail abounds throughout his works of art. Small flags, feathers on hats, spokes of wheels, and even the backgrounds are complete. Many of his painting are of horse and buggies on roads or in villages.
We have been reading the art book Can You Find It? America: Search and Discover More Than 150 Details in 20 Works of Art (Can You Find It? (Abrams Books for Young Readers)). The book contains around 20 works of art done by Americans. Each work contains a short list of items for children to find "I Spy" in the work. The back of the book contains a short description of each work.
The book contains Henry's North Dutch Church painting. In connection with a unit study to learn about United States geographic regions, we came across this painting. I showed my daughter the painting and asked her where she thought the church was. She said, "Germany," which was a pretty good guess I thought. We used to live in Germany and it does look a lot more like Germany than like the churches in Western Michigan. Anyway, the church was torn down shortly after the painting was completed, but it was in New York. Immigrants settling in America commonly built structures in the style and manner of their homelands. The North Dutch Church in New York, built by immigrants from the Netherlands is a great example.
After reading more about Edward Lamson Henry on the internet we viewed the 5 minute video linked above to see more of his paintings. Then my daughter created her own genre artwork using chalk.