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Waiting for Calls on New-Years Day

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The custom of being \u201cat home\u201d to receive New Year\u2019s Day callers is featured in this composition, which captures the varying moods of anticipation and boredom displayed by the elegantly attired women. As an 1870 article stated, \u201cThe hospitalities of the day devolve entirely upon the ladies, who remain at home to receive any gentlemen friends that call to pay the compliments of the season.\u201d The dejected aspect of the seated young woman hints that a small domestic drama takes place. The girl is separate from her companions, not only because she is the only one seated, but also because she is the only \u201cHomer type\u201d : her clothing is less elaborate, and she rests in a simple wooden chair that does not match the other formal, upholstered furniture. Such deliberate moves to differentiate the outward character of this one woman are indicative of the creative energy that Homer often invested in his commercial efforts, and demonstrate why his drawings are of such lasting interest.


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