Walter Haskell Hinton: Image Maker for Deere Exhibit

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In 1934, artist Walter Haskell Hinton painted his first calendar image for Deere & Company, the first of many commissions over the next 20 years. Hinton created an ideal world where the sun shines on perfect fields of corn and the smiling family gathers around its new helpmate, the green John Deere tractor. At a time when tractors were replacing teams of horses, Hinton’s work humanized the new machinery and conveyed a vision of the new farm, where modern technology enabled the farmer to work less and earn more. The exhibition will include iconic works from the Deere & Company collection, such as “Boy with Tractor,” examples of printed materials using Hinton’s images, and lesser-known works such as his 12-panel biography of John Deere. Originally created as a calendar, this painted biography portrays Deere’s invention and production of the modern plow as a key element in the taming of the American West and the fulfillment of the country’s “Manifest Destiny.”