Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Summer of 1941

  • Artist:

    Bouche, Louis

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1896–1969

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions:

    38 1/2 x 27 1/2 in.

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Roland P. Murdock Collection

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

In February 1940 Mrs. Navas purchased for the Wichita Art Museum two paintings from Kraushaar Galleries:  FOG AMAGANSETT, by Guy Pиne du Bois and PROMISE LAND by Louis Bouchй.  Two years later she saw another Bouchй at Kraushaar that she thought superior.  She wrote to the City of Wichita, technically the owner of the Murdock Collection, requesting permission to exchange it for the “more important” SUMMER OF 1941, which would, she wrote, “make a better representation of Mr. Bouchй, who is one of our most important contemporary artists.  Such a procedure is not unusual in contemporary work, and is one followed by other museums.”

Upon the new painting’s arrival in Wichita in the summer of 1942, Mrs. Navas wrote the following for a press release.  It is based heavily on a letter to her by Bouchй in which he explained the genesis of the painting.

This picture is a record of a day spent in the country by the painter and his family.  It was in 1941, before the country was at war, and presents the effect of pleasure and relaxation of an American family.  The maid is present, and so are the dogs.

Bouchй has a strong sense of design, delighting in interesting relations of form and color.  He has a wonderful eye for freshness of color and pattern in the most obvious subjects.  It is the tact and discretion in the use of color which make particular impressions; it appears never to be used lavishly or wantonly, but to have a definite relation in the building up of design and enhancement of the pictorial idea.