Still Life with Striped Gourd


Otis Dozier ( American, 1904 - 1987 )

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General Description

In Still Life with Striped Gourd, Otis Dozier paints a vibrant assemblage of freshly harvested gourds spilling over a tabletop in a country home. Like many of his Dallas Nine contemporaries active in the early years of the Great Depression, food, or the lack thereof, often served as potent subject matter for the regionalist painter.

The distinctive rounded features and animated pattern of each gourd or squash, paired with its individual striped design, results in a dynamic still life that is far from ordinary. The angularities of the window, wooden tabletop, and checkered, tiled floor accentuate the rounded, curvilinear forms of the tabletop display. By situating this bulbous bounty in the foreground, Dozier revisits a much practiced compositional structure visible in his two other works painted during the same period, Cotton Boll (1985.126) and Maize and Windmill (2007.15.20). In those paintings, the artist renders the harvest flora as if the isolated still life is a scientific illustration—filled with minute detail and imbued with a strong sense of physical realism. Here, Dozier divorces his colorful interior still life from the neighboring farmhouses and barren fields visible through the window, and instead composes an active scene suggesting a successful harvest.

Adapted from

Erin Pinon, Label text, 2016.

Fun Facts

  • Still Life with Striped Gourd was well received by critics and patrons alike, winning a Purchase Prize at the Seventh Annual Allied Arts Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art (then known as the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts) in 1935, and praised a year later at its inclusion in the Texas Centennial Exposition and Art Exhibition (1936).

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