HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Landscape artist Jasper Cropsey came to appreciate the visual splendor of the Hudson Valley late in his professional career. The former Hastings-on-Hudson resident spent the final years of his life capturing its magic.
Cropsey, who died in 1900, moved to Hastings-on-Hudson in 1885. His home,”Ever Rest,” at 49 Washington Ave. remains a tourist attraction. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Homes in the 1970s, and in 1994, a Gallery of Art was completed and features a permanent collection of Cropsey’s paintings. It is run by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation.
"If you're building a major Hudson River School collection, it would have to include a Cropsey or two to be complete. He's a major American painter with great museum representation,’’ Lou Salerno of New York's Questroyal Fine Art said in a story in Fine Arts and Antiques magazine.
Cropsey’s original training was as an architect. He was associated with the Hudson River School, a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism, according to Wikipedia.
Cropsey traveled extensively before settling in Warwick, N.Y., from 1869-1885. He moved to Ever Rest and spent the last 15 years of his life working out of the home in Hastings.
Ever Rest is one of the region’s most unique attractions. It includes period wallpapers and curtains, and furniture designed by Cropsey. There is also a large selection of his paintings, water colors, drawings and prints. Visitors can also check out Cropsey’s painting tools. The Gallery of Art, at 25 Cropsey Lane, features paintings from throughout Cropsey’s career.
Crospey’s work is featured in 86 museums. According to AskArt.com, one of his pieces sold for more than $1 million in 2001. While many area residents may be unfamiliar with his work, Cropsey is revered in artistic circles. He especially loved the Hudson River and Hudson Valley, which inspired some of his best work.
"Whether sweeping landscape views, intimate nature studies, or imaginative allegorical scenes, Cropsey's best works are marked by sharp naturalistic detail, skillful use of color, and close attention to the effects of light and atmosphere,’’ Lisa Bush Hankin wrote in Antiques and Fine Art. “The artist's deep interest in the natural world brought him international acclaim in his day. In addition to his patronage on this side of the Atlantic, his depictions of the American landscape in its brilliant fall colors captivated Europeans, most of whom had never seen the blazing hues produced by America's indigenous trees.”
To arrange for a tour of Ever Rest of the Gallery of Art, contact the Newington-Cropsey Foundation at 914-478-7990. More information is also available on the Newington-Cropsey Foundation website.