Catskill Mountain House

by Claggett D. Spangler (1848–1911)
Oil on canvas
21⅞ x 42 inches
Monogrammed lower right: C Spangler

Information

Provenance

Private collection, New York, New York

Sale, Eldred’s, East Dennis, Massachusetts, July 29, 2021, lot 1501, from above

Note: The popularity of the Catskill Mountain House, depicted at the center horizon line of this composition, was expanded greatly by stagecoach line owner Charles L. Beach, who assumed control of the Mountain House in 1839 and full ownership in 1846. At that time, he began renovations on the hotel and created more hiking trails on the surrounding North and South Mountain terrain (which he also owned), which attracted visitors and artists. Beach also published a guidebook to the Mountain House and the area around it, with excerpts from poet William Cullen Bryant and from several travel writers of the era.[1] Unsurprisingly, the locale became a popular, and awe-inspiring destination. The tourist culture also helped to generate patrons for the Hudson River School artists.[2]

[1] Kevin J. Avery and Franklin Kelly, eds., Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003), 31. [2] Kevin J. Avery, Sanford R. Gifford: In the Catskills (Catskill, NY: Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 2017), 19.

Artist Biography

Claggett D. Spangler, a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, was an American artist known for his bucolic landscape paintings. Raised in a prominent local family, Spangler’s artistic talents were recognized at a young age. He received his early artistic training in Philadelphia and set sail for Europe in 1878. He studied in Munich for two years and painted in Rome and Venice. After his travels, he settled in his hometown and opened his own studio in the Hagerstown Trust Building, where he worked and gave painting lessons.

Spangler’s enduring artistic contribution is his record of country life in Washington County, Maryland.

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Claggett D. Spangler, a native of Hagerstown, Maryland, was an American artist known for his bucolic landscape paintings. Raised in a prominent local family, Spangler’s artistic talents were recognized at a young age. He received his early artistic training in Philadelphia and set sail for Europe in 1878. He studied in Munich for two years and painted in Rome and Venice. After his travels, he settled in his hometown and opened his own studio in the Hagerstown Trust Building, where he worked and gave painting lessons.

Spangler’s enduring artistic contribution is his record of country life in Washington County, Maryland. His subject matter drew on pleasant, light-hearted motifs such as children playing, sweeping fields, and quaint homesteads. His confident yet understated approach to painting earned him praise from his community. His paintings were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1883–84, and today are in the permanent collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. The museum held a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1969.

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