AMERICAN SCHOOL Portrait of William van Duzer Lawrence, oil on canvas, 32 x 26 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Underhill

American School

It is fitting that Lawrence’s portrait be hung in the mayor’s office, for it is to this man and his vision for a planned community that Bronxville owes its special character. Lawrence was never the village’s mayor – that position was given to the other founding fathers of the newly incorporated Bronxville in 1898. Instead, Lawrence planned and developed a community that was congenial and culturally rich – and artists played an important role in his design. The Portrait of William van Duzer Lawrence is one of a number of likenesses of Lawrence that was passed down to the sitter’s heirs. The...
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ANN BRAINERD CRANE (1881-1948) The Willows, oil on canvas, 26 x 24 inches, signed at lower right, titled and signed again on the stretcher

Ann Brainerd Crane

Ann Crane was educated in Europe and was a student of the French academic painter Luc-Olivier Merson. On her return from Paris she studied under the noted American Impressionist John Twachtman, whose influence is clearly evident in her work. Ann was known in New York art circles and exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, the MacDowell Club, the Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, as well as at art galleries such as E & A Milch. She also showed her work at the Philadelphia Academy of Art and in Old Lyme, Ct. In Bronxville she organized exhibitions of...
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BRUCE CRANE (1857-1937) A Clearing in the Woods, oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches

Bruce Crane

Crane’s idyllic and atmospheric landscapes are very popular among collectors – he was, in fact, often referred to as “A Painter of Idylls.” The artist attended art classes in New York and abroad in the 1870s, where he was influenced by the subdued tonality and fluid brush of the Barbizon painters. He was greatly influenced by the French artist Jean Charles Cazin with whom he painted at Grez-sur-Loing in the summer of 1882. His technique was to envelop his subjects in an atmospheric haze and treat them as a flat mass; objects should never be modeled. The result was to...
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Like many of Bronxville’s artists, Charles Hinton excelled in different mediums – he was an illustrator of books, muralist, sculptor, painter and designer of commemorative medallions. He shared a studio in Manhattan for almost a decade with his mentor Will Low, who also dabbled in many art forms, and together they collaborated on several projects. Hinton moved first to Tuckahoe and then to Bronxville where, from 1911 until his death in 1950, he lived and raised his family. During this time he accepted many commissions and was known as a passionate art instructor at the National Academy of Design, Cooper Union, and New York University. A Summer Shower illustrates that Hinton, as a painter, adopted Low’s classical revival style. An inscription on the verso reads: “What is so rare as a day in June?” — a line from James Russell Lowell’s poem. The painting was given to the artist’s son on his wedding day in 1935.

Charles Louis Hinton

Like many of Bronxville’s artists, Charles Hinton excelled in different mediums – he was an illustrator of books, muralist, sculptor, painter and designer of commemorative medallions. He shared a studio in Manhattan for almost a decade with his mentor Will Low, who also dabbled in many art forms, and together they collaborated on several projects. Hinton moved first to Tuckahoe and then to Bronxville where, from 1911 until his death in 1950, he lived and raised his family. During this time he accepted many commissions and was known as a passionate art instructor at the National Academy of Design, Cooper...
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FRANCIS W. EDMONDS (1806-1863) Crow’s Nest, 1851, watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper. Gift of Mary and Marshall Bassett

Francis W. Edmonds

Before the Lawrence Park artist colony was established, Francis Edmonds, a banker by trade and National Academician by avocation, built in 1850 a country house that included his studio. The property was called Crow’s Nest, a name that is still used today. Edmonds had little formal training as an artist (he took night classes at the National Academy), but he became well known as a genre painter and engraver and exhibited widely. Crow’s Nest, Edmonds’ watercolor rendition of his 30-acre estate, shows a newly finished gothic-style house surrounded by a long fence, with a barn and shed at street level...
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GEORGE HENRY SMILLIE (1840-1921) Bronxville, 1912, oil on canvas, 15 x 23 inches

George Henry Smillie

A member of a respected family of engravers and painters, George Smillie was once described as “one of the most widely known American landscape painters.” He began studying under James Hart in 1861 and soon thereafter exhibited works at the National Academy, which launched his career. In the 1870s he was greatly influenced by the Barbizon school that embraced plein-air painting. Around the turn of the century Smillie often chose a more Impressionist palette. Bronxville was painted in 1912, six years after Smillie moved to Pondfield Road at the age of 66. He said of his new home town: “For the...
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GEORGE HOWELL GAY (1858-1931) Crashing Waves, 1930, oil on canvas, 35 x 55 inches

George Howell Gay

Gay has been overlooked in the village as one of its artists, although he lived in Bronxville for seventeen years until his death in 1931. He studied painting in Chicago under Paul Brown, a well-known marine artist, and the landscapist Henry Elkins. Gay mastered both genres, particularly in watercolor; his oil paintings are rare. “Mr. Gay’s reading of Sky and Sea in his Marines – is their inseparability…. [He paints] his landscapes with poetic perception and strong, rich interpretation,” wrote one reviewer. Crashing Waves was commissioned by Bronxville resident William Aubuchon for his wife in 1930. The newly finished paint- ing...
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HENRY HOBART NICHOLS (1869-1962) Poaching, Winter Woods, oil on board, 18 x 22 inches

Henry Hobart Nichols

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...
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HUGHSON HAWLEY (1850-1926) The Hotel Gramatan, 1905, watercolor and gouache on paper, 21 x 38 inches. On permanent loan to the Bronxville Historical Conservancy from Houlihan Lawrence, Inc.

Hughson Hawley

Hawley accepted the first of some 11,000 commissions in 1880. His career as an architectural renderer lasted for 50 years and spanned one of the most important eras in American architecture. He was born in England, and his early artistic career began in about 1874 as a scenery painter for Christmas pantomimes at Covent Garden in London. By 1879 he was painting scenery in New York’s Madison Square Theatre. Once established, he tried his hand at architectural rendering and so began a highly successful line of work. Hawley was considered a pioneer in his field. Kenneth Clark noted in 1926:...
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MARY FAIRCHILD (MACMONNIES) LOW (1858-1946) Children’s Regatta at Bronxville Lake, 1924, oil on board, 12 x 16 inches. Purchased in memory of Jean S. Bartlett, Village Historian from 1966-1987

Mary Fairchild Low

Mary Fairchild went to Paris in 1885 to study painting and was accepted the following year at the Salon where she exhibited regularly afterward. She married the sculptor Frederick MacMonnies in 1888 and eventually set up house in Giverny not far from Claude Monet and a growing number of American expatriates. The couple divorced in 1908 and the following year Mary MacMonnies married WILL LOW, who became quite enamored of her while visiting one summer. The newlyweds moved with Mary’s two daughters to Will’s home at 25 Prescott in 1910 and became an integral part of the community. Children’s Regatta at...
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MILNE RAMSEY (1846-1915) Ships at Harbor (detail), oil on canvas, 12 x 18 inches, signed at lower right

Milne Ramsey

The Philadelphia-born Ramsey is most often identified with the painters of that city. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1860s where he knew Thomas Eakins, the muralist Edwin Blashfield, and others. While at the Academy he first began to explore still life painting, which would remain his primary thematic interest throughout his career. Ramsey moved to Lawrence Park in 1897. Like many of his new neighbors, he took an interest in landscape painting, although still life remained his forte. The largest of the four small paintings in the Conservancy’s collection is a boat scene,...
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ORRIN SHELDON PARSONS (1866-1943), Stream in Winter – Bronx River, (before 1913), oil on canvas, 50 x 38 inches

Orrin Sheldon Parsons (No. 1)

In Stream in Winter the long, low arch of a bridge over the Bronx River identifies the scene with Bronxville. One imagines that the artist stood along the water’s edge between what is now Pondfield Road West and Palmer Avenue, where in particular the river twists and turns as in the painting. The artist combines the techniques he learned from his mentors at the National Academy — Barbizon influence from Will Low’s early landscapes and Impressionism from William Merritt Chase. A recognized New York portraitist from about 1895 to 1912, Sheldon Parsons studied at the National Academy under the tutelage of Chase,...
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ORRIN SHELDON PARSONS (1866-1943) Winter Woods (before 1913), oil on canvas, 44 x 40 inches

Orrin Sheldon Parsons (No. 2)

In Winter Woods the strong blue and white contrast of the trees in snow is a departure from the depiction of a wintry scene in Stream in Winter. It is clearly more Impressionist in style and anticipates the strong compositions of Parsons’ Santa Fe years.
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OTTO HENRY BACHER (1856-1909) Ship and Elevator, 1878, etching, 195 x 120 mm. Gift of David Bartlett

Otto Henry Bacher

Otto Bacher was the third member of the artist colony to move to Lawrence Park. Prior to establishing his Bronxville residency in 1896, Bacher studied painting with Frank Duveneck, who, with William Merritt Chase, had been among the first Americans enrolled at the Royal Academy in Munich. In 1880 the “Duveneck’s Boys” traveled to Venice for the summer where they met and worked with James McNeill Whistler. Bacher later continued his studies in Paris where his work was accepted in the Salon of 1886 and in the 1889 Paris world’s fair. Ship and Elevator was executed a year before Bacher began...
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SPENCER BAIRD NICHOLS (1875-1950) Flowers in a Vase, after 1922, oil on board, 24 x 38 inches

Spencer Baird Nichols (No. 1)

Spencer Nichols is probably best known as a designer of church windows and murals for Tiffany Studios. After his retirement from Tiffany he began easel painting around 1917 and found it challenging to transition from commercial to fine art. He moved to Bronxville at about the same time as his brother, Hobart, but relocated to Kent, Connecticut, in 1922 after his 10-year-old son Mather died of typhoid. Spencer returned to Bronxville for a brief period after a fire destroyed his Kent home and a large portion of his artistic output. Flowers in a Vase is a robust work, more expressionist or...
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SPENCER BAIRD NICHOLS (1875-1950), Water Garden, Bronxville, gouache on black paper, 25 ½ x 20 inches.

Spencer Baird Nichols (No. 2)

This work represents the pool and garden of Spencer Nichols’ former Bronxville home at 93 Tanglewylde Avenue. The gouache shows the influence of the artist’s work for Louis Comfort Tiffany, for whom he designed mosaics, windows, and murals from about 1911-1917. The impression of stained glass is created by the vivid, jewel-like patches of color that are sharply defined by the black background.
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WALTER CLARK (1848-1917) Early Spring, after 1910, oil on canvas, 20 x 27 inches

Walter Clark

Like so many of the Bronxville artists, Walter Clark was well established in his field before moving to the village in 1910. After earning a degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1869, he toured Europe to study art and ar- chitecture. Clark exhibited at the National Academy of Design for almost forty years and won numerous awards for his works. Walter’s son, Eliot, became an important artist in his own right. Father and son shared a studio in Manhattan where the elder artist knew Bruce Crane before moving to Bronxville. Early Spring was no doubt painted in Bronxville and...
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WILL HICOK LOW (1853-1932) Illustration for Ballade of Horace’s Loves, 1899, watercolor and gouache on paper laid down on board, 14 3/8 x 22 inches

Will Hicok Low

Will Low was one of Lawrence Park’s earliest residents (he arrived in 1897) and was certainly the most ardent spokesperson on behalf of his colleagues. Will studied many art forms, but excelled as a muralist. Notable among his many accomplishments were the thirty-six twelve-foot high panels for the rotunda of the New York State Education Building in Albany, which he painted in his Bronxville studio between 1913 and 1918. He finished his last painting, a mural donated to the Bronxville School, only a few hours before his death. Illustration for Ballade of Horace’s Loves demonstrates Low’s penchant for classically inspired allegorical...
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WILLIAM R. HAMILTON (1795-1879), Portrait of Mary Morison Masterton, oil on canvas, 24 ½ x 28 ½ inches Gift of Mary Means Huber

William R. Hamilton

Mary was the only daughter of Alexander and Euphenus Masterton. She is seen here as a young girl of about eight years, elegantly dressed and playing the piano, the very model of a child from a well-to-do family. Mary married Elias Dusenberry, a lawyer from a prominent local Dutch family, in 1856 and together they had four children. At her father’s death in 1859 Mary inherited the family homestead on White Plains Road as well as its entire contents. The house remained in the Masterton-Dusenberry family until 1959, when Mary and Elias’ youngest child Amie died. William Hamilton emigrated from...
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WILLIAM THOMAS SMEDLEY (1896-1920) Seated Woman with a Parasol, 16 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches

William Thomas Smedley

William Thomas Smedley was known first as an illustrator and then for his portrayals of fashionable men and women in social settings. He rode the crest of a boom in the demand for illustrations created for books, magazines, news- papers, and posters that reached its peak in America in the late 1890s. Around 1900 Smedley turned from illustration to easel painting, and to portraiture in particular. One critic expressed his view that, “As with all serious illustrators who have eventually become painters, there is about Mr. Smedley’s portraiture an honesty that is positively refreshing.” Smedley lived at 26 Prescott Avenue...
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