Identity Theft focuses on the Mint Museum’s most important Hudson River School painting, Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Indian Summer in the White Mountains. It was, for many years, attributed to Jasper Francis Cropsey and titled Mount Washington from Lake Sebago, Maine. Ila Weiss, a Gifford scholar, questioned the authenticity of its artist. Recently, conservation work revealed a Gifford signature and a date beneath Cropsey’s signature. This amazing turn of events created a wonderful opportunity for the museum to share a number of fascinating issues.
The exhibition features other works by both Cropsey and Gifford to serve as points of comparison and contrast. Along with documented paintings by Cropsey of Mount Washington, and photographs of both Mount Washington and the White Mountains. Compare signatures on the Museum’s painting with those of the other paintings in the exhibition and enlarged photographs of each artist’s signature taken from other paintings of the period. See examples of 19th century auction catalogues, that helped bolster the new identity of the Museum’s painting.
Exhibition supported in part by The Betty J. and J. Stanley Livingstone Foundation, a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Curator’s Circle for American Art, and Private Donors.