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Winter, Spuyten Duyvil

Not on view

Winter, Spuyten Duyvil

Artist: Ernest Lawson (American, 1873 - 1939)

Date: 1908
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall: 25 1/8 x 30in. (63.8 x 76.2cm)
Signed: l.r.: 'E. Lawson'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 58.41
Label Text
This painting was acquired by the Museum from Edward Root's widow in 1958. The circumstances that prompted Root to acquire it are preserved in a letter Lawson wrote to him on November 30, 1909 saying that he was "trying to sell a picture or two for 'half price' as I am hard up. Would you care to look at about a dozen canvases I have done this summer and see if there is one you would like."

Root's purchase of this work marked the beginning of his five-decades long career as a pioneering collector of modern American art. Years later, Root remarked that this painting taught him art's primary appeal was emotional rather than intellectual. He compared the beauty of this work to American songwriter Stephen Foster's sentimental 1854 song, "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair." Root recollected when he first saw this picture that it was unframed. The simple, unfinished molding that now surrounds it was presumable added by Root sometime after that.


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