Hemingway and The Farm

The Farm, Joan Miró, 1921-22

The legend goes that Ernest Hemingway won the right to buy The Farm by rolling dice. . . or with the flip of a coin. Either way, it doesn't matter, since he lost in both cases to the owner of the piece, Evan Shipman, who decided to "give" Hemingway the painting, anyways, at the small price of 5,000 francs. Hemingway bought it as a birthday gift for his first wife, Hadley, bringing it home after he finally paid it off. "In the open taxi the wind caught the big canvas as though it were a sail, and we made the taxi driver crawl along," Hemingway said about bringing the painting home. "No one could look at it and not know it had been painted by a great painter."

Ernest Hemingway in 1924, around the time of his purchase of The Farm

Joan Miró, the artist, 1966. 
A copy of the painting hangs near my desk, so I thought the tidbit about Hemingway would be interesting to share. After Hemingway and Hadley's divorce, she returned the painting to him, where it, presumably, made it through his two other divorces, as well. After his death, his widow, fourth and final wife Mary Hemingway, inherited it. She donated the piece to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

“It has in it all that you feel about Spain when you are there and all that you feel when you are away and cannot go there. No one else has been able to paint these two very opposing things.” - Hemingway about the painting.

To read more about the painting, click HERE.
To read more about the artist, click HERE.

Betting the Farm, Art News
Encounters and Reflections: art in the historical present, by Arthur C Danto


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