I have not posted what I consider rather odd pictures in awhile. So today, I do.
At first glance, I thought the kids were offering Mom a hairbrush. However, research says When Andrews, an itinerant portraitist, painted the children of Nathan Starr in Middletown, Connecticut, he went beyond the traditional “conversation piece” format to offer an intimate view of the family playing an early form of badminton called “battledore and shuttlecock” in a Greek Revival parlor, whose open doors reveal a sweeping view of the Connecticut River. In what appears to be a private narrative, the youngest child in the picture, Edward, holds a hoop in his right hand and a gaming stick in his left, pointed heavenward; his death in 1835 may have been the occasion for the group portrait.
OK, that concludes your art history class for today.