One-Room Schoolhouse

In the 1870s, the American school system was undergoing change as the country’s population was growing and becoming more concentrated in cities. Schooling was more readily available, female teachers outnumbered male teachers by two to one, and there was a movement to improve the quality of education. Schools were seen as vital to the political and economic systems of the country and became common subjects for genre paintings of the late nineteenth century. In his schoolhouse paintings, Homer celebrates the relative simplicity and autonomy associated with the rural one-room schoolhouse.

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