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Open Content Program

The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at See detailed instructions for specific work types below.

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The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to spark the creativity, imagination, and liveliness of Birmingham by connecting all its citizens to the experience, meaning, and joy of art. The Museum understands that by sharing images of works online without restrictions, the BMA collection becomes more accessible to a larger audience.

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Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
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Inside a Barn

Enoch Wood Perry


Born in Boston, Enoch Wood Perry, Jr. moved to New Orleans with his family as a teenager, where he worked as a store clerk from 1848 until 1852.  For two years, Perry studied painting in Germany at the Düsseldorf Academy with Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868), best known for his canvas Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851, Metropolitan Museum of Art).  He subsequently spent time in Paris, Rome, and Venice, serving as U.S. Consul to the latter city from 1856 until 1858.  Returning to America, he settled briefly in Philadelphia, but returned to New Orleans, where he painted Jefferson Davis in 1861 (State of Alabama Dept. of Archives & History, Montgomery).  In 1862, Perry set off again and over the next four year painted in California, Hawaii and Utah.  In 1866, he settled in New York, become a full member of the National Academy of Design three years later.

Perry achieved wide popularity with his genre scenes like Inside a Barn, which shows the influence of the William Sidney Mount (1807-1868), whose work Perry would have seen in New York.  The painting also relates to popular post-Civil War iconography, which cast the Union veteran as a latter day Cincinnatus, beating his sword into a plowshare, and his gun into a reaping hook.  Moreover, though, Perry’s composition presents a nostalgic view of the American farmer, well after Cyrus McCormick’s reaper had revolutionized agriculture.