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The Innkeeper

Beth Clark-McDonal

Channahon, United States

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Artist's Description

During the 18th century, some women refused the married life or through the death of a husband, started and ran businesses of their own. Many early American inns/taverns were run by women and much admired by the men of their communiites. Inns were much more than just places to lodge and eat. With this piece I have included many symbols representing the many aspects of the innkeeper’s livelihood. The rooster she is holding is the symbol for cockfighting which was a big past-time in 18th century society. It also represents the largely male clientele that frequented the inn as well as the sexual aspect ot that. Although women were largely unwelcome at the inn, (most travelling women managed to stay with nearby friends or family), the occasional prostitute did accompany a client to the inn for a night or even sometimes a secret rendevous between two lovers. The bottle of Madeira and the mugs is obvious, the keys represent the lodging aspect and the horse on the sign behind her symbolize the part of the business that not only would stable horses for the night but also have some for hire. Her dress is green, the color of money, and the minature portrait around her neck reminds us that she is still a woman that makes time in her life for someone special.

Artwork Comments

  • stephanie allison
  • Beth Clark-McDonal
  • MoonSpiral
  • Beth Clark-McDonal
  • annepickersgill
  • Beth Clark-McDonal
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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