Hobart Nichols bought a large plot of land overlooking Sunny Brook in Lawrence Park West in 1910, built a house and settled in Bronxville until his death. He contributed much to the artistic life of the village and to the New York art world. Nichols was highly respected among his peers for his integrity, sincerity and high idealism. He was for 10 years president of the National Academy of Design, a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a director of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for over 25 years.
Poaching, Winter Woods typifies the snowy landscapes for which Nichols is best known. This richly worked painting of a poacher hiding behind a tree exemplifies the artist’s range of shadow and shades in a white and blue palette. The work has an almost abstract quality even as it represents a recognizable scene. Wrote one critic: “[Nichols’ work] is not obvious or literal. His painting is forceful without crudity, sensitive without sentimentality, delicate yet never weak or tenuous.”