Thomas Hovenden was an Irish-American artist popular during the late nineteenth century. He was known for painting narrative subjects from history, literature and contemporary events. He was especially sympathetic to African Americans, which was made even more evident by his embracing the political ideology of his anti-slavery Quaker in-laws.
Hovenden was notorious for depicting family, love and closeness in his works. In this piece, Contentment, he depicts an older couple enjoying each other's company after a family meal. They are shown in their own house, denoting a sense of personal success and status.
Contentment, painted in 1881, was gifted to the Museum in 1993 on behalf of Dr. Philip L. Brewer in honor of the late Dr. Delmar Edwards. Dr. M. Delmar Edwards was the first African American to practice surgery in Columbus, Georgia.