Skip to main content

Making a Train

Seymour Joseph Guy (American (born England), 1824–1910)
Alone in an attic, a little girl dreams of turning her everyday clothing into something grown-up and magnificent—perhaps a ball gown or wedding dress. Seymour Guy's daughter Anna was likely the model for this painting. The warm, soft glow of an oil lamp evokes the innocence of her childhood. At the same time, shadows fall across her torso to hint at her imminent transformation into a young woman, and a doll lies abandoned in the cabinet to her right to suggest that soon such playthings will be forgotten. After the Civil War (1861-65), nostalgic visions of childhood like this one gained enormous popularity.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.