By unanimous action of the Boscobel
Board of Directors, a painting of West Point and the Hudson River has been deaccessioned at Boscobel and is being presented to the West Point Museum. The oil on canvas titled, View of West Point, dates to 1856, but is unsigned. The quality of the imagery and execution suggests it was painted by a highly competent, self-taught artist of the period. While many members of the Hudson River School are well known today, this picture by an unknown painter clearly illustrates the Hudson Rivers enduring appeal for artists. The Hudson Highlands, which appear in the background of the picture, were featured frequently and prominently in 19th-century prints, paintings, drawings and eventually photography.
As with most museums, Boscobel periodically reviews its collections for relevancy, content, condition and mission focus. The most recent such survey touched on a limited number of objects that were deemed inappropriate for the mission of the organization. The date of the View of West Point is well outside Boscobels focus on the 1805-1820 Federal period of Americas history. While the landscape falls outside of Boscobels collecting interests, it is particularly appropriate for the West Point Museum. The United State Military Academy is nestled along the shoreline of the highlands and has long been a popular site with tourists and military personnel alike.
Speaking of the gift, Boscobel Executive Director Steven Miller noted, We are pleased to donate the View of West Point to the West Point Museum. It will be preserved and remain in this area in a public collection and thus be appreciated for years to come.
Marlana L. Cook, Curator of Art at the West Point Museum responds, "The West Point Museum is delighted to receive this wonderful painting into its collections. It is a lovely piece that will enhance our collection of Hudson River School paintings and help to educate the Cadets at the Military Academy about the history and landscape of West Point. We are grateful to our friends at Boscobel for donating this artwork to the West Point Museum."