Watcher at the Window

August Robert Birmelin, American, born 1933



Acrylic on canvas

Canvas: 36 3/16 × 48 1/4 in. (91.9 × 122.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Hassam, Speicher, Betts and Symons Funds, 2014

© A. Robert Birmelin



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


The brightness of the outside draws our attention. Some of the people on the street appear to be fighting; some lay on the ground. Signs are visible, but none are held aloft. We get the sense of a protest turned violent. Our attention is drawn to the most detailed and in-focus element of the painting: the fingers on the window frame. Is the hand opening or closing the window, or is it simply resting?

This painting is part of Birmelin’s series “The Revolution of the Future,” which in Birmelin’s own words, examines “‘The Watcher’ who observes from a position of privilege and safety as others act and are acted upon.” How does our perspective from behind the Watcher inform our understanding?

From the 2023 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 113, On View: Windows in Art, curated by Leigh Smith '23, Erbe Intern

Exhibition History

The Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, March 6-April 12, 2014.


The artist, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; given to the present collection, 2014.

This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.

We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: