What’s in a Name?

Last week, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School) by Arthur John Elsley was installed in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). If the title seems like a mouthful, it’s because it is actually three titles. This painting, completed in 1898, appeared in two magazines, Illustrated London News and Pears Annual, under the aliases Late for School and Any Port in a Storm, respectively. When I think of works of art appearing in magazines today, I assume they would appear under the original title. So, in this case, why the name change? In researching this work of art, we found a digital copy of the 1899 Illustrated London News edition in which Hard Pressed appeared, and we noticed some small differences between the painting in our collection and the image that appeared in the magazine. Perhaps these small differences warranted a title change. What differences can you find in the two images?

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; "Late for School." Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 Nov. 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Images (left to right): Arthur John Elsley, Hard Pressed (Any Port in a Storm/Late for School), 1898, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Kim Jordan; “Late for School.” Illustrated London News [London, England] [27 November 1899]: n.p. Illustrated London News. Web. 24 September 2014. Gale Digital Collections

In the Center for Creative Connections, we focus on learning by doing. In planning for this installation, we designed an activity to build on this painting’s history of multiple titles. We are posing a simple question to our visitors. “What would you title this painting if you could rename it?”

Peruse these title suggestions from the Education team.

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Stop by to view this newly installed painting and participate in the renaming activity.

Jessica Fuentes is the Center for Creative Connections Gallery Coordinator at the DMA.


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