In a Quandry, Mississippi Raftsmen Playing Cards

Claude Régnier, French, active 1840 - 1866
after George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811 - 1879



Hand-colored lithograph on wove paper

Image: 14 5/8 × 18 5/8 in. (37.1 × 47.3 cm)

Sight: 21 3/4 in. (55.2 cm)

Sight: 19 in. (48.3 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Julia L. Whittier Fund



Goupil et Cie, Paris, France


Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Printed, lower center: IN A QUANDRY. / MISSISSIPPI BOATMENT PLAYING CARDS.; printed, lower center below image: Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1852 by W. Schaus in the clerk's Office in the district Court of the United State for the Southern district of New York; printed, lower center margin: Published by GOUPIL & Co [superscript]; embossed, lower center: GOUPIL & CO / EDITEURS / PARIS; printed, lower left below image: Painted by GEO C. BINGHAM.; printed, lower right below image: Lithographied by RÉGNIER; printed, lower right: To Major James S. Rollins of Missouri, this print is Repsectfully Dedicated / by his most Obedient Servants, / Goupil & Co.


In this print based on a painting by George Caleb Bingham, a quartet of raftsmen hovers over a game of cards, taking a respite from the day’s work. The man seated to the right pulls a card from his hand, contemplating his move while his confident opponent looks on intently. The onlooker’s rapt attention emphasizes the importance of his choice.

Such raftsmen as these navigated flatboats up and down the Mississippi River and its major tributaries, transporting primarily agricultural products from farms to markets and ports. Bingham’s print puts the American West on display for a predominantly East Coast and European audience. Portrayed by popular culture as a wild frontier, the West was the epicenter of a mounting battle over Native American lands. Countering this perception, Bingham has domesticated the contested landscape. His image of boatmen lazily gliding down a river advertises the West as civilized and safe for settlement.

From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art

Exhibition History

American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 20 -September 15, 2020.

New Selections from the College Collection, Carpenter Galleries, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, February 23-June 30, 1979.

Nineteenth Century American Prints, Carpenter Galleries, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 25-June 12, 1977.

The American Scene: Views of Everyday Life, 1840-1890, Harrington Gallery Teaching Exhibition, ArtH50, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 27-September 6, 1998.


John Wilmerding, Washington, DC; sold to present collection, 1974.

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