"Edmund M. Ashe is a rare artist with very few easel paintings available, as he was both a teacher, muralist, illustrator, and even ‘artist-news correspondent’ over the course of his lifetime. His most well-known body of work depicted the rural mountain folk of the Cumberland Mountains in Kentucky during the late 1920’s, very similar in style and composition to this particular piece. I love his treatment of the water frothing with catfish, and his colorful depiction of a ‘slice of life’ during that time period to be quite appealing. "
-Carey Vose, Director
More information about this painting...
Although not specifically located, All in a Day’s Work relates to the paintings Ashe created of the hardworking people of the Cumberland Mountains as well as the residents he encountered during his travels throughout the mid-Atlantic coast during the 1920s and 1930s. Working in the same vein as the earlier Ashcan School as well as the post-Great Depression Social Realists, Ashe found beauty in the commonplace, in this case a pair of figures on an old wooden bridge, observing another straining to net a fish, and in the process crafted his personal approach to genre painting. The piece also demonstrates the artist’s perceptive sense of design; his use of strong diagonals in the foreground carry the viewer in and around the composition, engaging with each figure, while the complementary warm and cool tones unify the whole scene.
Private collection, Needham, Massachusetts