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A Pair of Spectacles

American Art

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A Pair of Spectacles

Artwork Details


George Cope
American, 1855–1929




Oil on artist's board

Accession #



7 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 304


With this life-sized depiction of spectacles hung casually by string on a nail, George Cope offers a visual metaphor for the act of looking. As the viewer struggles to optically reconcile the flat depiction with the image’s deceptive realism, Cope wittily presents the glasses, should their aid be required.


Purchase through prior acquisition from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, with gifts of the Alan R. Liederman family and Dr. and Mrs. Joel E. Berenson, and with additional funds from Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schwob