George Henry Durrie 1820-1863 Ketcham Farm in Winter, New Haven, 1858
Ketcham Farm in Winter, New Haven, 1858
Signed G.H. DURRIE and inscribed and dated N. Haven 1858 (ll)
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 35 3/4 inches
Gift from the artist to the family of the current owner, circa 1860
One the best known artists of views published by Currier & Ives, George Henry Durrie lived most of his life in New Haven, Connecticut. This painting, produced at the height of Durrie's creative powers, was a gift to personal friends, the Ketcham family, on whose farm near New Haven he and his family lived for a time during a period of financial difficulty. A view of the Ketcham farm in winter, the painting has remained in the family continuously since the late 1850s.
After having made a frugal living as a portraitist and landscape painter in New Haven for a number of years, in 1857 Durrie received an inheritance from his father. This change in fortune encouraged him to try to establish himself in the nation's art capital, New York City, where he rented a studio at 442 Broadway. He returned to Connecticut after only a year, which has led scholars to think that his New York venture was a disappointment. It is probably after this reverse that the Durries lived with the Ketcham family.
The year 1857 was a turning point in Durrie's career as an artist, and the last six years of his life are generally acknowledged as the period of his best work. This painting, unknown to scholars until now, well represents that high point in his achievement.
Estate of William T. Ketcham Jr.
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