Kenyon College

The Return


Artist: Paul Sample
Title of Work: The Return
Year: c.1946
Dimensions: 44″ x 58″
Material: Oil on canvas
Photo Line: Charles Hood Collection (c/o Hood Museum of Art)
Collection Credit: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Charles Hood Collection

A lone soldier wanders down a snow-covered road, returning to the home he left behind for war. This image presents the rural village as an idyllic respite from the horrors of war. With memories of World War II fresh in the minds of many Americans, Maxwell House appropriated Paul Sample’s painting The Return to embody the spirit of a nation returning to business as usual. The tagline on the advertisement to the right, “and it’s Maxwell House wherever you go,” plays on the emotions of viewers, linking ‘the rural’ to nostalgic feelings of home. It suggests no matter how far you travel from your small mountain hometown, the sense of comfort you get with a good cup of Maxwell House coffee will always deliver the comfort of rural return.

–Sophia Yablon ‘12, Gund Gallery Associate