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The County Election

Election Day

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

In The County Election, the artist presents a raucous voting party as an enactment of democracy, bringing together a variety of residents in a rural community to make decisions for the common good. In this crowded composition, Bingham suggests the inclusiveness of a democracy with representatives of every age and social stratum—except, of course, African Americans, who would not enjoy the right to vote until after the Civil War, and women, whose right to participate would not be recognized for…

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Election Day

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

The County Election pictures the American democratic system in progress. The story takes place in a small Midwestern town in the mid-nineteenth century, when the rituals of voting were still taking shape, particularly on the frontier. George Caleb Bingham, known as “the Missouri artist” for the state where he lived and worked, recognized the responsibilities as well as the rights of citizenship; and because he played an active part in Missouri politics, he gained a personal perspective on the contemporary…

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