The Oak Tree

Abernathy--The Oak Tree.jpg
AbernathyInez - The Oak Tree.JPG

Dublin Core



On a purely aesthetic level, this portrayal of rural farm life in autumn is quite clearly done in a painterly matter: quick brushstrokes with a specific choice to omit most detail. It can be assumed that the light-handed application of paint was a specific technique chosen to represent the image’s literal depiction of a calm day in autumn. In the context of its allocation to a tuberculosis sanatorium, the oak tree itself can be analyzed as a symbol of strength--a diagnosis of the disease in the 1930’s meant a slow death.

About the Artist: Abernathy, Inez. (1873-1956) Born in Summerville, AR, Abernathy studied at the Art Academy in Cincinnati and later in Europe. She supported herself by teaching art and elocution at Belmont College (TN), Stanford Female College (KY), Columbia Female Institute (TN), the University of Arkansas, and the Florida Female College. At this last institution, when a fire broke out Abernathy guided her students to safety rather than saving her own art and equipment; the Florida legislature passed a special bill to help compensate her loss (The Weekly True Democrat 29 Sept 1905: 1). She studied art for a period in Paris, and her painting “Reverie” was shown at the 1902 Salon des artistes français, described by one reporter as “the full-length figure of a girl seated, with a background of dull blues and yellows. A springtime freshness pervades the picture” (San Francisco Chronicle 26 Oct. 1902: 6). Her works were exhibited at the Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, and the National Academy of Design. Two more digital images from FAP.


Abernathy, Inez, 1873-1956








Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil painting

Physical Dimensions

20.5 x 16 in.