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Mary Hackabout’s wake is a cold, sham affair. The undertaker dallies with a woman by the window, while the parson uses his hat to conceal what his right hand is up to. Mary’s son winds a top, and a woman behind the coffin cries—not in sorrow, but for a pricked finger. The only true lamentation comes from the woman in the right foreground, who was likely Mary’s “bawd” (pimp) and who mourns her lost percentage.
William George Sullivan; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.