Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
An old man tumbles upside down through the top of a doorway, while a young man looks at him in surprise.

A smiling old man is tumbling upside down through a doorway toward us. The bottom of the door is a closed panel, and the top of the door is open to the outside. To the old man’s right is a young man who is moving away in surprise. The old man’s head, upside down, is at the bottom of the opening in the door. He is bent at the waist, and his feet, with the soles of his shoes facing us, are above his head, as he flips through the door with his hands clenched. The young man’s face is in profile to the left, with his mouth open as he sees the old man. His body is twisted so that his torso swivels to the left as his legs move to the right. He is wearing a vest with black-and-white polka dots.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Peter Sheaf Hersey Newell, American (Bushnell, IL 1862 - 1924 Little Neck, NY)
Old Father William Turning a Somersault, from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Five Illustrations for "Alice in Wonderland"
Series/Book Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Work Type
c. 1901
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper
28.2 × 18 cm (11 1/8 × 7 1/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black ink, u.r.: Peter Newell


Recorded Ownership History
Philip Hofer, Gift to Fogg Art Museum, 1929.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Philip Hofer
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Publication History

  • Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Harper and Brothers Publishers (New York, NY and London, England, 1901), reproduced facing p. 68

Related Articles

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at