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Indian Summer in the White Mountains


Sanford R. Gifford (American, 1823 - 1880)

Sanford Gifford was part of the second generation of landscape painters who followed in the footsteps of Thomas Cole. He and his peers, such as Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt, were quick to capitalize on the popular demand for paintings that depicted America’s natural splendor. Gifford became one of the foremost figures in a group that has come to be known as the “Luminists”: artists who favored panoramic horizontal formats and who sought to capture the effects of light and atmosphere that were unique to the places that they chose to paint.

Recently, a long debate about the authorship of this painting was settled when conservation work uncovered Gifford’s signature below that of his peer, Jasper Francis Cropsey. The finding confirmed the suspicions of an expert on Gifford’s work, who had identified a preparatory sketch by the artist for The Mint Museum’s painting and had made compelling arguments that the style of the painting was much closer to Gifford’s than to Cropsey’s. Cropsey’s signature was probably added to this painting sometime between his death in 1900 and the 1930s, when it likely entered into the collection of the family that ultimately donated it to the Museum: a period during which Cropsey appears to have been held in higher regard than his colleague Gifford.

Place object was created: United States

oil paint, canvas

Measurements:    frame height: 25.5 inches    frame width: 39.625 inches    frame depth: 3.25 inches    canvas height: 16 inches    canvas width: 30 inches

Gift of the Estate of Miss Elizabeth Boyd 1945.3

Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN