Dreams and Shadows Thomas H. Hotchkiss in Nineteenth-Century Italy
Authors: Barbara Novak and Tracie Felker
Publisher/Date: New York Historical Society/Universe Publications (c. 1993)Published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Format/Condition: New paperback book in Fine condition. 140 pages, appendixes; 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Profusely illustrated in color and black-and-white.
Description: The Museum of the NewYork Historical Society is world famous for its nineteenth-century Hudson River School paintings. Amongst this large and significant holding is a treasure of intimate oils and watercolor sketches by Thomas Hiram Hotchkiss. A second generation Hudson River School painter, Hotchkiss exemplifies the expatriate American artists who studied and painted in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century.
Thomas Hotchkiss (1833-69), an American painter and intimate of Asher B. Durand and Elihu Vedder, is the quintessential delicate artist who dies, underappreciated, at a young age. The title refers not only to his romantic landscapes but also to his sketchy career. In 1860, Hotchkiss became fast friends with Elihu Vedder and established a permanent studio in Rome where he shared the company of fellow Americans William Wetmore Story, William Henry Rinehart, and Sanford Gifford.
This catalog accompanied the exhibition at the National Academy of Design. Barbara Novak, a premier art historian of the Hudson River School, provides a provocative essay on Hotchkiss as the fragile, poetic artist fixated on capturing evocative images of the ancient past. Tracie Felker, the exhibition curator, provides an insightful catalog of works arranged by subject matter. Appendixes include an exhibition checklist, a chronology of the artist's life, and transcriptions of selected manuscript material.