Playing Paw (Boys Playing Paw-Paw)

Thomas Mickell Burnham, American, 1818 - 1866


about 1841

Oil on canvas

Overall: 36 × 29 in. (91.4 × 73.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Bequest of Dr. Frank P. Stetz, in loving memory of David Stewart Hull, Class of 1960.



Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


[not signed?]; inscribed, in blue ballpoint pen, on adhesive label on stretcher: July 5, 1973 / On Temporary loan to / Metropolitan Museum / Mr. Howat / by Mrs. Harcourt Amory; two partially removed Kennedy Gallery labels [one includes typed inventory number 9808]; Printed gallery label on stretcher reverse: ALTMAN/BURKE FINE ART INC. / 19 EAST 76 STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10021: typed on same label: THOMAS MICKELL BURNHAM (1816-1866) / Boys Playing Paw-Paw / oil on canvas / 36 x 29 inches; numbered on stretcher, in black marker: I 9808; printed adhesive label (partially adhered) on frame reverse: [barcode] / M269016 0053 000 ; numbered on same label, in ballpoint ink: 3LW46; inscribed on modern hand-lettered, gilded wood frame label, front of frame: BOYS PLAYING PAW-PAW / THOMAS MICKELL BURNHAM / 1818-1866

Course History

English 52.20/African and African American Studies 82.11, Reading Between the Color Lines in 19th Century American Literature, Michael Chaney, Winter 2024

Publication History

Boston Athenaeum, 1841, no. 29 (as Boys Playing "Paw Paw. For sale.)

National Academy of Design, New York, 1842, no. 21 (as Boys Playing Paw. For sale.)

Apollo Association (precursor of the American Art-Union), New York, 1842, no. 17 (as Boys Playing Paw. To H. Jenkins, Hudson, N.Y.)


H. Jenkins, Hudson, N.Y, 1842; Mrs. Harcourt Amory; on temporary loan to Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973; Kennedy Gallery, New York; Altman/Burke Fine Art, New York [it's not clear which gallery handled it first]; Sotheby' online auction, March 21, 2002, to Frank P. Stetz, New York, by 2002; bequeathed to present collection, 2009 [Charlton Hall Auctions and Galleries, Columbia, South Carolina, September 9, 2006, lot 193 (as Rolling Dice), unsold-per AskArt (same painting?)]

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