Coffee Time in America

Paul Sample, American, 1896 - 1974


about 1947-1948

Oil on canvas

Overall: 34 × 40 in. (86.4 × 101.6 cm)

Frame: 46 × 52 in. (116.8 × 132.1 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Judith D. and Charles H. Hood, Class of 1951



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, lower left; titled, in graphite.


Here, three men gather outside to warm up with the coffee just served by the woman on the left. The cold palette of the backdrop and the men’s coats in neutral colors set the tone for this wintry New England scene. Despite the weather, the men take in the surrounding environment, conversing leisurely outside the cabin. On the nearby path, two horses pulling logs rest beside a cabin, suggesting that these men are loggers who have taken a break.

In all, Sample captures the nostalgic, taciturn nature of rural American life, where coffee serves as a medium for social connection and comforts these individuals amid the austerity of the winter outdoors. Sample’s scene may reflect a longing for simpler times as well as a celebration of the mundane activities of daily life following the chaos of World War II.

From the 2024 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 118, Coffee and Tea in Art: A Brew of Cultural Symbolism, Solace, and Introspection, curated by Jeffrey Liu ‘24, Class of 1954 Intern

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 118, Coffee and Tea in Art: A Brew of Cultural Symbolism, Solace, and Introspection, Jeffrey Liu '24, Class of 1954 Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, May 11 - July 7, 2024


Benton & Bowles (Aderverising Agency), New York [commissioned by the General Foods, Corporation, New York to create a Maxwell Houe Coffee Ad] commissioned the artist, about 1947; private collection; James D. Julia Auction, August 24, 2005; sold to The Caldwell Gallery, Manlius, New York; August 24, 2005; sold to Judith D. and Charles H. Hood (1929-2016), Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, 2005; lent to present collection, 2010; given to present collection, 2017.

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: