Jasper Cropsey Painting
Appraised Value: $150,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:56)
Paintings & Drawings
Owner and President
Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
GUEST: This was handed down through our family from my great-grandfather, who lived in the Adirondacks area of New York state. It was painted by a gentleman by the name of Jasper Cropsey, whom he met in the Adirondacks and asked him to make a painting for him. And Mr. Cropsey painted it and then sent it to him as a memento of their visit together.
APPRAISER: Uh-huh, uh-huh. And you have this terrific letter--
APPRAISER: --that accompanies the picture. It's a letter from Cropsey to your great-grandfather.
APPRAISER: I'm going to read just a little bit of it. "The little picture is not a literal view, but an impression or reminiscence of Lake George in the autumn. Some years ago, I spent some time at Bolton on the Lake, and this is one of those atmospheric dreams of the time, treasured in the mind and only now put on canvas. Hoping it may give you pleasure. Yours truly, J.F. Cropsey." We don't often have such a personal statement from an artist talking about not only what his feelings are about his picture, but addressed to a patron and signed by the artist. The Hudson River School is a well-known type of American painting. It's a well-known term. It's, in fact, a little bit of a misnomer, because the pictures that are a part of that school are by no means limited to pictures of the Hudson River, nor was it a formal school, but more of a loose group of artists who worked together. Cropsey was one of the first generation and one of the most important of those artists. The picture is signed right here in the lower right by Cropsey. It demonstrates a lot of his most well-known techniques and aspects of his work: this very colorful fall foliage that you see here; his interest in the effects of light and atmosphere; we've got sunlight-- if you've noticed these rays that actually come right down through the tree here; the use of the little figures on the rock to give it some perspective. And best of all, a picture that has never really been on the market, nor even probably known to scholars, because it's been in your family since it was painted.
APPRAISER: That's apparent, not only from the history that you have, but also based on the condition of the picture. It's very original in its state. It looks as if it's never really been touched by a restorer or--
APPRAISER: --or cleaned or relined or whatever, which is wonderful. : If I were to put a valuation for replacement purposes, I would probably be thinking on the painting alone, and we're not talking about the frame here, on the painting alone perhaps $150,000.
GUEST: That's surprising.
APPRAISER: Is... I hope it's a pleasant surprise.
GUEST: Oh, yes, very pleasant.
APPRAISER: The frame is probably the original frame.
APPRAISER: Unfortunately, it's been painted at some point in time, so its value is negligible, but it still makes a nice presentation with the painting, and it could be made to look a little bit better. But it's an exciting thing to find here, and it's a beautiful painting. You're really lucky to have it.
GUEST: Thank you. We feel we are, too.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.