K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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About this illustration

Painting by Sidney E. King, published in New Discoveries at Jamestown: Site of the First Successful English Settlement in America, by John L. Cotter and J. Paul Hudson. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of the Interior, 1957.

Date created
This work is believed to be in the public domain. Users are advised to make their own copyright assessment and to understand their rights to fair use.

In the classroom

  • See our collection of articles on visual literacy for ideas on using photographs meaningfully in the classroom.
Black and white image of painting showing coopers making barrels.

Sizes available: 1024×514 | 712×514

This painting was first published in the National Park Service publication New Discoveries at Jamestown: Site of the First Successful English Settlement in America. The painting, which shows coopers at work, is an artist’s interpretation of life in colonial Jamestown. A cooper is a person who makes barrels, casks, buckets, tubs, and other containers out of staves — thin, shaped pieces of wood. The staves are placed side by side and fastened with a hoop. In this painting, the man on the left in the foreground is making a hoop, and the man on the right in the foreground is making staves. In the background, two men are putting a hoop on a barrel.

The original caption reads, “The Jamestown cooper was a busy craftsman. Many barrels, hogsheads, and casks were needed in the colony, and large quantities of barrel staves were made for shipping to England.”