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Stump Speaking

George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811–1879
Oil on canvas
Place made
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 337
42 1/2 x 58 in. (108 x 147.3 cm)
framed: 54 1/8 x 69 5/16 x 4 7/16 in. (137.5 x 176.1 x 11.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Bank of America
Public Domain
Object Number
"Stump Speaking" presents a view of two politicians campaigning in a rural town. In a letter to a friend, George Caleb Bingham described the candidates, writing: “In my orator I have endeavored to personify a wiry politician, grown gray in the pursuit of office and the service of party. His influence upon the crowd is quite manifest, but I have placed behind him a shrewd clear-headed opponent, who is busy taking notes, and who will, when his turn comes, make sophisms fly like cobwebs before the housekeeper’s broom.” Their audience is made up of men of various social standings, some of whom listen closely to the speaker, while others gather around a watermelon wagon, converse, or struggle to stay awake. This work is part of Bingham’s Election Series, which illustrates different stages of the American political cycle.
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